Head Games Reviews

  • "Head Games" gains credibility and power from compassion for athletes and respect for their accomplishments. But it also tries to open the eyes of sports lovers to dangers that have too often been minimized and too seldom fully understood.

    A.O. Scott — New York Times

  • While Head Games does feature a number of articulate and consistently intelligent talking-head interviews, it's ultimately not a satisfying advocacy doc.

    Michael Nordine — Village Voice

  • James has a worthy message, but never makes the case that he needs an entire documentary to deliver it.

    Elizabeth Weitzman — New York Daily News

  • The documentary by Steve James paints a devastating picture of the long-term consequences of head injuries among pro NFL players.

    Roger Ebert — Chicago Sun-Times

  • It's solid and interesting work in the main, but Head Games can't help but feel like a come-down after The Interrupters.

    Michael Phillips — Chicago Tribune

  • Director Steve James centers this documentary on Nowinski, but there are affecting profiles of various NFL and NHL veterans who are living with the damage -- or may have died from it.

    J. R. Jones — Chicago Reader

  • One of the more fascinating aspects of a thoroughly entertaining movie is how incomprehensible James' proposed changes are in a country where many would list their necessities as food, shelter and Monday Night Football.

    John Anderson — Variety

  • Finally, there's a sports movie for people who are caught between admiration and fear of athleticism.

    Adam Litovitz — Globe and Mail

  • It hides more than it shows, and makes a cloudy story into something way too simple.

    Daniel Engber — Slate

  • [A] powerful documentary about the devastating effects of head injuries in sports.

    Frank Scheck — Hollywood Reporter

  • A complex, determined look at one of the most pernicious problems facing organized sports on all levels ...

    Kenneth Turan — Los Angeles Times

  • The film struggles with the contradiction of knowing the serious risks while enjoying the games as participant and spectator.

    Mark Pfeiffer — Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema

  • The film paints a dire picture that will strike fear into the hearts of many parents. How many concussions are too many? The documentary suggests the magic number might be one.

    Christopher Long — Movie Metropolis

  • A bit more palatable than most "let me teach you a lesson"-style non-fiction films.

    Tim Brayton — Antagony & Ecstasy

  • It's exciting to watch big, powerful guys bash into each other, and a well-executed hit makes an excellent addition to any highlight reel. The problem is that the human brain is not designed to absorb repeated impact.

    Sarah Boslaugh — Playback:stl

  • There may not be a more important documentary release this year for the general health of (especially sports-playing) American kids than Head Games, an impactful look at the trauma inflicted by repeated concussions.

    Brent Simon — Shockya.com

  • If you have children involved in contact sports, you must see 'Head Games.'

    James Verniere — Boston Herald

  • Players risk their health and their very lives, in futures hard to imagine when they're eight or 12 or 24. Head Games means to change those futures, for players and sports alike.

    Cynthia Fuchs — PopMatters

  • It's certainly wholesome food for thought for anyone with kids in sports.

    Chris Knight — National Post

  • Its steady, methodical style, however, does justice to its overall aim, which is to touch a nerve that has been desensitized by the media's valorization of athletes as tough guys.

    Adam Nayman — The Grid

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