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Concussion is an effective, powerful piece of film making that puts a spotlight on an ongoing issue, and features one of the best performances of the year in Will Smith. Though not all of the story feels relevant, the film does a great job at telling a natural story without being taken over with a message. The story of Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith), and his fight to protect the safety of NFL football players is a great exploration of the American dream, through the eyes of a foreigner.

An actor with as extensive as a career as Will Smith will find it challenging to become completely unrecognizable, but Smith does an excellent job at capturing Omalu, and feels natural, comfortable, and relate able in the role. While the most effective elements of the film surround the NFL players and the eventual cover up of their diagnosis, it’s seeing the tragedy unfold through the eyes of Smith’s character that makes the film so intriguing. The supporting work is also strong, with Alec Baldwin and Albert Brooks giving great performances.

While there are moments that drag, and the film does feel a bit long, the fact that Concussion works as a piece of narrative and journalism is an achievement. Performances aside, it’s a great story that’s brought to life by a vibrant script, and the film pulls no punches in conveying what transpired. Grade: B

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