Concussion review

The last film we saw with director Peter Landesman‘s name on it was Kill the Messenger, which he scripted. That drama shares a lot in common with Landesman’s sophomore directorial effort, Concussion. Both follow real-life who heroes are simply trying to speak the truth, and yet are treated as villains. Kill the Messenger is the more successful of the two stories, though. Although Concussion is a well-meaning and an undeniably important film, it’s also a by-the-numbers, dramatically frustrating underdog story.

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Concussion - Will Smith

Will Smith hasn’t been an Oscar contender for a few years now. The actor almost exclusively appears in big-budget movies these days, but every now and then, he’ll star in a drama. Like his upcoming picture Concussion, which premieres in the next few days at the American Film Institute. Before Peter Landesman‘s film makes its debut, a new trailer for the drama has been released.

Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Concussion NFL controversy

Last week brought the first trailer for the professional football set drama Concussion starring Will Smith. The movie doesn’t arrive until Christmas Day when we’re well into the next season of football, but there’s already controversy surrounding the film due to some cuts that Sony Pictures reportedly made to the film in order to avoid clashing with the NFL.

For those who don’t know, Concussion follows Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic neuropathologist who discovers the first case of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a progressive degenerative disease) in a pro football player. The doctor tries to alert the public to his findings, but the NFL denies his conclusions and has stopped his efforts to get the organization to address these problems at every turn.

The controversy that has surfaced comes from e-mails between Sony Pictures Entertainment, director Peter Landesman and Will Smith’s representatives where they discuss how to make the movie without antagonizing the NFL or “kicking the hornet’s nest” as one e-mail puts it. Find out more about the Concussion movie NFL controversy below! Read More »

Concussion trailer

Even if you’re not particularly a sports fan, you’ve likely heard about the ongoing controversy over head injuries in the NFL. This winter, a new movie dramatizes that fight. Will Smith plays Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic neuropathologist who discovers the first case of CTE in a pro football player. He tries to alert the public to his findings, but the NFL denies his conclusions and stymies his efforts at every turn. Watch the Concussion trailer after the jump.

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will smith football movie

Now that Mission: Impossible 5 has moved into the Summer of 2015, Sony Pictures saw an opening. And in that opening, they placed a brand new Will Smith football movie.

Previous just referred to as the “NFL concussion movie,” Sony has officially titled the film Concussion. It stars Smith as the doctor who discovered the traumatic head injuries a life playing professional football causes, and proceeded to blow the whistle on the operation. Concussion is written and directed by Peter Landesman based on a GQ article is and produced by Ridley Scott among others. Co-stars include Alec Baldwin, Luke Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Arliss Howard, Paul Reiser, David Morse and Albert Brooks.

Concussion will open wide against the Paramount film Monster Trucks, David O. Russell’s Joy with Jennifer Lawrence and Alvin and the Chipmunks 4. [Coming Soon]

Luke Wilson

Luke Wilson is going all the way to the top of the NFL. He’s in talks to play Roger Goodell, who’s been in the headlines a lot lately for his terrible handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence scandal. But this isn’t about that, it’s about a different NFL scandal. Wilson will play Goodell in Sony’s untitled concussion movie, joining Will Smith as the doctor who blew the whistle on traumatic brain injuries in football.

Climbing aboard with Wilson are David Morse and Arliss Howard. Alec Baldwin, Albert Brooks, Paul Reiser, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw were cast previously. Hit the jump for more on the Luke Wilson Roger Goodell casting.

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Will Smith in I Am Legend

A pair of sports film just took significant jumps up the production ladder. First up, superstar Will Smith is in talks to star in a film about head injuries in the NFL produced by Ridley Scott. Peter Landesman (Parkland) is scheduled to direct.

Second, John Lee Hancock – director of the highest grossing sports film of all time, The Blind Side – will direct a film about the life of baseball superstar turned financial criminal, Lenny Dykstra. Read more about the Will Smith NFL movie and Dykstra project below. Read More »


The latest film about the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy is Parkland, named for the hospital that received Kennedy after he was shot in Dallas. The film is the directorial debut of journalist Peter Landesman, and features a high-profile cast playing the many people who surrounded the President at the time: Ron Livingston and Billy Bob Thronton are secret service agents, Paul Giamatti is Arnold Zapruder, Zac Efron and Marcia Gay Harden are Parkland employees, and Jacki Weaver and James Badge Dale are Lee Harvey Oswald’s immediate family.

The first trailer clearly feels the weight of history, and you can watch it below.  Read More »

Parkland - Paul Giamatti

Nearly fifty years later, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963 remains one of the most controversial and discussed events in history. With hundreds of books and dozens of movies made on the subject, it might seem like every angle of the story has been explored. Well, that’s not the case.

Writer/director Peter Landesman is coming to the Toronto Film Festival this September with Parkland, a brand new film telling the story of that terrible day from the point of view of the hospital employees at Parkland General Hospital, the local Dallas hospital where the President was taken and pronounced dead. The film stars Paul Giamatti, Colin Hanks, Zac Efron, Billy Bob Thornton, Jacki Weaver, Marcia Gay Harden and will be released September 20. Check out the first images below. Read More »