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Concussion | 2015 | PG-13 | - 3.4.5

The true story of pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith) who discovered and brought to light the destructive effects of concussive brain injuries due to playing football. Resistance and obfuscation from the NFL almost kept his findings from becoming accepted. Also with Alec Baldwin, Albert Brooks, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Morse, Arliss Howard, Mike O'Malley and Eddie Marsan. Directed by Peter Landesman. [2:03]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - A man touches a woman's hand and asks if he can kiss her; they kiss and she leads him toward her room (sex is implied). Men and women dance in a club; one man and woman dance close together.
 A man talks about a dead woman having a condom in her purse. A man tells a pathologist to "Touch someone living every once in a while." A man and a woman talk about love and marriage and she accepts his proposal; they hug.
 Women in a club wear dresses that reveal cleavage and bare shoulders. A dead man's body is shown on a morgue table and we see the bare chest and abdomen. A dead woman's body is shown on a morgue a table and we see cleavage (the rest of her body covered with a sheet); later we see the bottom of her bare breast and abdomen.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A man climbs into bed, cocks a gun and shoots himself in the chest (we do not see the aftermath) and we hear that he did this to save his brain for research.
 A dead man is shown on a autopsy table and we see that his skin is discolored, his hands are malformed and a doctor cuts into his chest (we see blood on the scalpel and the doctor's gloves and then later on the dead man's shoulder but nothing else). A man performs several autopsies and we briefly see organs being removed (we see blood and tissue), and many bloody knives are placed in a bucket. We see the photo of a dead woman's hands and her fingernails have been dislodged from the nail beds. We see slices of brain being tissue placed on microscope slides. A man tases himself in the leg and we see burn marks all over his leg from previous tasings as he falls unconscious.
 A man in a rage throws things breaking them, grabs his wife by the throat, and then speeds away in a car; we see a fiery crash on the highway and understand that the man was killed in the crash. A man on a street confronts another man, they yell at each other and shove each other. A man hits a wall and breaks it apart.
 We see several professional football scenes that include players crashing together and hitting their heads, accompanied by loud cracks; one player is shown stumbling and falling to the ground after a heavy blow to the head, a player is shown landing hard on his head, and a man is knocked unconscious on the field. We see a couple of youth football games with young boys slamming their heads together during play.
 A man yells at a doctor and pleads with him to help him with what is happening to him after recurring brain trauma. A man yells at another man for making a big deal out of cleaning surgical instruments between autopsies. Two men argue in a few scenes. We see people gathered at a funeral for a man who committed suicide.
 A man says that his mind keeps slipping. We hear that a man committed suicide at the age of 45. A pathologist speaks to dead bodies before performing autopsies on them and some members of the staff are bothered by that practice (one man yells at him and tells him to stop). A man testifying in a court room talks about a man suffering from hemophilia and that her would have bled to death from even the smallest cut. A character says, "I was attacked and that man almost broke me." A man talks about his job as a coroner being "The science of death." A man testifying in a courtroom says, "If you put this man to death, you will be killing an innocent man." A man talks about an individual suffering brain trauma and about an individual dying from an overdose. A man's boss says, "Danny hates your guts" to a man about another man working with him. A man tells a pathologist to "Touch someone living every once in a while." A man says, "I'm starting to forget things, and I'm saying crazy things to my kids," then he says, "I pushed her into a wall" speaking about his wife. A doctor talks about animals that have evolved to be able to withstand heavy head trauma (wood peckers, big horn sheep, etc.). A man talks about concussive trauma choking the brain. A man says, "If she had known he was sick she would have done more." We hear about a child being still born.


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LANGUAGE 5 - At least 1 F-word, 5 scatological terms, 3 anatomical terms, 5 mild obscenities, name-calling (un-American, uneducated quack, bogeyman, African voodoo doctor, self-righteous bastard, stupid, loud mouth, creep), 5 religious profanities (GD), 5 religious exclamations (e.g. My God, God, Jesus).


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man inhales from a towel soaked with ammonia (he looks gray and unwell), a man talks about using Ritalin and super glue as well as Haldol, and a reference is made to someone drinking a gallon of antifreeze. Men drink in a bar and they seem drunk, a man drinks liquor, people in a bar are shown with drinks in front of them and we see an unopened bottle of champagne on a table.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Concussions, strength, professional football players, brain trauma, neuroscience, influence, power, suicide, CTE, weakness, drug addiction, fear of the truth, guilt, professional humiliation, greed, epidemics, the business of football, brain disease, Alzheimer's disease, dementia, cognitive impairment.

MESSAGE - Repeated concussions from playing football cause horrible traumatic brain injuries and while the NFL has known about it for a long time, it has tried to deny the medical evidence.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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