As a doctor points out in Concussion, the NFL basically owns a day of the week in America, so taking it on is a fool’s errand. Dr. Bennet Omalu did take on the NFL, refusing to back away from his research into chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease he was the first to diagnose, and the role football played in CTE-afflicted brains he examined from players who died far too young.
As a presentation of the facts, Concussion more or less gets it right. But the facts aren’t the story here. The NFL’s denial of CTE and the charade of its “we take head injuries seriously” stance are, but those don’t see much time in the film. Still, Will Smith is sensational as Omalu and it raises awareness about one of the many dark sides of football.