(2015) (Will Smith, Gugu Mbatha-Raw) (PG-13)
- QUICK TAKE:
- Drama: A medical examiner must contend with the fallout of discovering a disease that stems from concussions in former pro football players.
- It's 2002 and Dr. Bennet Omalu (WILL SMITH) is a Nigerian forensic pathologist working in Pittsburg. While he gets along just fine with his big boss, Allegheny County coroner Dr. Cyril Wecht (ALBERT BROOKS), his immediate supervisor, Danny Sullivan (MIKE O'MALLEY), can't stand how Bennet works.
And that's namely in treating the dead with respect -- including talking to them -- and doing his best to figure out how they died. Danny's disdain for Bennet comes to a head when the body of former Pittsburg Steelers center Mike Webster (DAVID MORSE) shows up on his table. Danny simply wants the NFL star buried as quickly as possible, but Bennet is curious about what caused this man's unstable mental condition and ultimate death at a relatively young age.
At the same time, and upon his priest's request, Bennet takes in Prema Mutiso (GUGU MBATHA-RAW), an immigrant who was a nurse back in her home country, and is now trying to start anew in America. The workaholic pathologist is friendly and supportive, but doesn't really pay attention to her until the two eventually fall in love.
As that happens, Bennet gets an ally in former Pittsburg Steelers head doctor, Dr. Julian Bailes (ALEC BALDWIN), who now has a private practice and is concerned that so many of his former players and friends, including Mike and now offensive linemen Justin Strzelczyk (MATTHEW WILLIG), have ended up dead. And he's particularly intrigued by Bennet's findings of a new disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), that seems to be affecting former NFL players who had concussions.
Not surprisingly, the NFL isn't happy when his findings are published, and they're dismissed by the likes of Dr. Elliot Pellman (PAUL REISER), the chairman of the NFL's Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee; Dave Duerson (ADEWALE AKINNUOYE-AGBAJE) a former Pro Bowl player turned NFL executive; and Dr. Joseph Maroon (ARLISS HOWARD), the Chief Neurosurgeon of the NFL who tries to warn Bennet of the repercussions he's going to face if he continues with his investigation. Undeterred by that and threatening calls, Bennet continues with his work, determined to alert players and the world about this dangerous malady.
- WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
- Kids who are into football might show some interest, as might those who are fans of Will Smith or anyone else in the cast (but this is mostly likely going to entice teens among kids).
- WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
- For thematic material including some disturbing images, and language.
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