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Volume 25 No. 239
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HBO's Nick Buoniconti Documentary Premieres Tonight

The documentary is narrated by Liev Schrieber, who also narrates the "Hard Knocks" series
Photo: HBO

HBO's "THE MANY LIVES OF NICK BUONICONTI" debuts tonight at 10:00pm ET, and the documentary on the Pro Football HOFer offers an "absorbing glimpse into a remarkable life packed with enormous professional success but devastating personal loss," according to Barry Jackson of the MIAMI HERALD. HBO "neatly fits a life with so many layers into a documentary that's thoroughly worth your time." There is "crisp chronicling of all the successes," and later, a "post-NFL life as a practicing attorney, an agent, a broadcaster and president of US Tobacco Company" during the late '70s and early '80s. However, the documentary also details the "tragic paralysis" of his son, Miami Project To Cure Paralysis President MARC BUONICONTI, and the "CTE symptoms that made Nick Buoniconti, in his words, 'half the man I used to be.'" Nick Buoniconti, 78, was "healthy enough to conduct the interview from his home and sounds generally cogent throughout." The film is narrated by LIEV SCHREIBER (MIAMIHERALD.com, 2/11).

COMPELLING WATCH: NBCSPORTS.com's Peter King wrote the documentary's producer BENTLEY WEINER does a "superb job of not being judgmental about the game, but rather letting family members describe it." Marc Buonconti and his brother, NICK JR., are "powerful presences." Weiner is an "excellent deep-dive story-teller," and she "finds out every last detail." King: "I thought, 'No way is this going to hold me for 74 minutes.' But it did. ... It makes for compelling TV" (NBCSPORTS.com, 2/11). In Madison, Scott Fishman wrote viewers will "get a subtle sense" of Nick Buoniconti's "struggles neurologically, losing train of thought in some parts and by his speech." Although Weiner "clarifies that the production is not a CTE documentary, with the main focus on his present condition, it's a pivotal part that ends the film in a powerful way" (MADISON.com, 2/8). In N.Y., Ken Davidoff noted Nick Buoniconti "succeeded as a baseball agent as well," and viewers should "watch for testimony from Buoniconti Hall of Fame client ANDRE DAWSON" (NYPOST.com, 2/8). Also in N.Y., Bob Raissman wrote the film "provides plenty of evidence" that Nick Buoniconti is a Pro Football HOF "lifer" (NYDAILYNEWS.com, 1/27).