Concussion (2015)

concussionDirector: Peter Landesman

Writer: Peter Landesman (Screenplay) Jeanne Marie Laskas (Article)

Starring: Will Smith, Alec Baldwin, Albert Brooks, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Morse, Arliss Howard, Mike O’Malley, Eddie Marsan, Hill Harper, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Stephen Moyer, Luke Wilson


Plot: In Pittsburgh, accomplished pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu uncovers the truth about brain damage in football players who suffer repeated concussions in the course of normal play.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Event Changing Film


Story: Concussion starts as we meet Nigerian Doctor Bennet Omalu (Smith) a pathologist who has a slow method when he examines the dead, his boss Dr Cyril Wecht (Brooks) wants him to become more traditional quicker. We meet former NFL star Mike Webster (Morse) who has been struggling since retiring as have his team mate Justin.

As Bennet opens his doors to Prema (Mbatha-Raw) a successful African looking for a start in America, we see how Mike is falling further into a mess as his Dr Julian Bailes (Baldwin) is running out of ideas before he finally dies. Bennet is assigned to figure out why this once hero has died to give the how state a final answer to what happened. What he learns could change sports from a medical stand point forever.

Concussion shows how one sport can cause so many issues later in their life. We get to see how a neutral was the one person that was willing to push the limits against the NFL. We get to see how to see how the players are getting ill moments before their deaths. We don’t get into the NFL side enough as we only focus on Bennet’s story which is slightly disappointing. This is an important story because it shows yet another cover up in America


Actor Review


Will Smith: Dr Bennet Omalu is the Nigerian pathologist living and working in America, when one of his town’s favourite players dies he is assigned to examine the body, while examining the body he learns about the brain damage the NFL players are suffering from which could easily change the game forever. Will gives one of his best performance in many years here.bennet

Alec Baldwin: Dr Julian Bailes is the former NFL doctor who couldn’t understand why he former players were acting the way they were. Once Bennet releases his research he teams up with him to turn his much loved sport into something safe again. Alec gives us a great performance in this role.

Albert Brooks: Dr Cyril Wecht is the head of the hospital in which Bennet works, he lets Bennet take these chances to make sure he can protect further injury even if it puts his own career in danger. Albert gives us a good performance which is perfect in the supporting role.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw: Prema is the young African woman who comes to live in America where she gets asked to live with community man Bennet, over time the two fall in love which makes her the strong part whenever Bennet is feeling weak. Gugu is good in this role without being anything special.

Support Cast: Concussion has a good supporting performance but sometime lacks the character time required.

Director Review: Peter LandesmanPeter gives us a good film exposing the truth about a sport that many people in the world enjoy.


Sports: Concussion shows the affects playing the sport could have on a human body.

Settings: Concussion doesn’t make too much out of the settings with none being anything memorable to the final story.
Special Effects
: Concussion uses the effects to show how the affects happen to the brain.

Suggestion: Concussion is one to try, it is good to see how sports can be dangerous to the people playing. (Try It)


Best Part: Smith’s performance.

Worst Part: NFL side of the story.


Believability: Based on what happened and how the sport was changed.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Awards: Nominated for Best Actor in Golden Globes.

Oscar Chances:

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

Tagline: Even Legends Need a Hero


Overall: Solid sports drama that doesn’t go into the real depths of the battle.


Birth (2004)

logoDirector: Jonathan Glazer

Writer: Jonathan Glazer, Milo Addica, Jean-Claude Carriere (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Cameron Bright, Danny Huston, Lauren Bacall, Alison Elliott, Arliss Howard, Michael Desautels, Anne Heche, Peter Stormare, Ted Levine


Plot: A young boy attempts to convince a woman that he is her dead husband reborn.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Thinking Thriller Without Punch


Story: Birth starts by having Sean (Desautels) jogging before having a heart attack and dying while also showing a baby being born. Move forward ten years and we see Anna (Kidman) visiting Sean’s grave with her new fiancé Joseph (Huston). To celebrate the recent engagement the couple are having a party, but for some reason one of the guests Clara (Heche) hides her present before replacing it. The party going on a young boy (Bright) is waiting in the lobby.

The young boy Sean enters into the house to talk to Anna explaining that he is Sean her dead husband and not to marry Joseph. Trying to get the interruption to stop Joseph confronts Sean’s father Mr Conte (Levine) and between the three adults they repeatedly tell Sean to stop pestering Anna before going the separate ways. When Sean collapses after this Anna starts to give the thought a second think.

The Conte’s try to figure out what could be wrong with their son but Sean continues to try and contact Anna and to meet up in the park. Anna decides to meet him and when Sean knows where to go he asks to meet the old Sean’s brother in law to answer questions. The questions asked bring a startling realization that Sean does know too much for it to only be research, Anna wants to get to the bottom of this once and for all while both families don’t know what to make of the situation.

Anna comes up with an idea to figure out about this Sean but with the more time spent together the closer they get leading to Joseph showing his true colours and Sean’s original best man Clifford (Stormare) coming in to try and help find out the truth. We are left to wonder just who wants to believe the truth along with what is the truth.

Birth is a romantic thriller that really pushes boundaries, first it deals with actually having to let go of a true love before eventually dealing with the idea that you could never get over it. It does have a spoon feed finish which does leave it coming off short but it does keep you wondering throughout. It doesn’t feel as open as it could because the ending pretty much tells us the truth, but it also never really address the problems the boy could actually be having with a potential delusion. The idea of everlasting love is good and really does make you want to see it but this feels very much taboo because of the ages which gives the film an awkward feel throughout too. (5/10)


Actor Review


Nicole Kidman: Anna widowed lady who is about to take the her first step into marriage again, until the young boy turns up and changes her look on life after claiming to be her husband. Anna has to decide what she thinks is real or not. Nicole gives a good performance showing just how hard it could be to let someone go. (7/10)


Cameron Bright: Young Sean a little boy who claims to be the dead husband of Anna and he seems to know too much to be making it up but is he really the man reborn or just making up a farfetched story. Cameron showed why he was getting plenty of roles as a child actor here. (7/10)


Danny Huston: Joseph husband to be of Anna who has be very patient with Anna but this little boy could show his true colours that will push him to the limits. Danny showed he is a good supporting actor here. (7/10)


Support Cast: Birth has a supporting cast that includes the family and friends of Anna who are all trying to help figure out what is going on with some believing and others not. They help move the story along because they offer advice and clues to the truth.


Director Review: Jonathan Glazer – Jonathan goes a solid job directing keeping us guessing to the final outcome. (7/10)


Drama: Birth touches onto sensitive subject with the ideas of reincarnation being real but the idea of the ages makes you have to pause about the reality of things. (7/10)

Mystery: Birth offers up a mystery that you spend most of the film trying to solve. (9/10)

Romance: Birth gives us the idea of everlasting love and how the two could have that. (7/10)

Thriller: Birth keeps you guessing to what is real as the story unfolds. (7/10)

Settings: Birth uses New York as its main setting which always makes for a beautiful setting for film. (7/10)

Suggestion: Birth is a film to try, it isn’t the greatest thriller but it does keep you guessing along. (Try It)


Best Part: The Mystery.

Worst Part: The end.


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Awards: Nicole Kidman was nominated for Golden Globe.

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $24 Million

Budget: $20 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

Tagline: A haunting thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end.


Overall: Birth is a film that tries to be a romantic thriller but ends up being a drama about who wants to believe in reincarnation or not.

Rating 50