A corpse-whispering sawbones from Nigeria who “exemplifies everything it means to be an American” (Will Smith, giving it his syllable-distending Sidney Poitier best) effectively jerks what could have been a Super Bowl–winning punt out of the place-kicker’s path when he calls into play the scientific burden of evidence needed to bring the NFL to its knees. My gut reaction was to call it Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, but it’s impossible to dislike any film that casts professional sports in such a negative light while providing Albert Brooks with a plum supporting role as Smith’s kvetchy boss. (“My balls are low” wins 2015’s best line of dialogue award, and I’m betting Albert had a hand in tweaking 90 percent of his lines.) A romantic subplot exists if for no other reason than to pin blame on the NFL for a miscarriage, an accusation even a staunch sportsophobe such as myself found hard to swallow. Written and directed by Peter Landesman. (2015) — Scott Marks
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