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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.