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The Hurricane
Academy Award® Nominee
Rubin Hurricane Carter (Denzel Washington) was a strong contender for the middleweight boxing title. When three people were murdered in a New Jersey bar, Carter's dreams were destroyed when he is...  View more >

Starring Denzel Washington, Deborah Unger, Liev Schreiber...  View more >

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Reviews Summary

Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

Jan 25, 2000
First of all....I loved it. Denzel Washington's best film to date and that definitely was not an easy task for him to accomplish. If you recently enjoyed seeing Denzel in the "Bone Collector" then you'll love him as the "Hurricane". "The Hurricane" is based on a true story of Rubin "The Hurricane" Carter, a contender for the World's Middleweight Championship in the 1960s. That is until he is arrested and convicted for the murder of three people. From the beginning the audience is led to believe that Carter is wrongly accused and convicted solely on the actions of a corrupt police official and on the rising racial tensions of that time period. Many times movies have taken liberties with a story and presented it in such a fashion to make the audience believe what they are seeing is completely and 100% true and accurate. We went through it with the movie "JFK" and "Nixon" to name just two stories based upon "truth". However, "The Hurricane" is different. You watch this film and you can't believe the injustice that you are seeing nor can you imagine that such an injustice could continue for almost 20 years. But it can and it did. Check out any web site on Hurricane Carter and you are amazed with what you will find. This film details the story of a young man living in Canada who picks up a book at a used book sale. The book is written by Rubin Carter and chronicles his life from youth through incarceration. The young man writes Rubin Carter in prison to tell him of the impact that his book has had on his life and in return the youth begins to have an impact upon Carter. From here you are thrown into a web of deceit and corruption as the youth and his legal guardians attempt to free Rubin Carter from prison. Throughout the film, you can't help but imagine that you are watching an A&E biography of the man rather than a movie. The film keeps your interest throughout, but it is not until the final courtroom scene when Rod Steiger playing a Federal Judge hears Rubin's case and has to make a decision. It has been a long time since I have been at a film where the audience breaks out in applause and cheers towards the close of a movie, but "The Hurricane" does it to you. It draws you in from the beginning and doesn't let go until you, as an audience member, personally grasp the injustice. Bottom line...Denzel Washington will surely be a contender, as Rubin was. Let's just hope Denzel wins.

[--- Good ---]by  
Feb 4, 2000
I would recommend seeing this one on the big screen. Don't wait for rental. It delivers a powerful message and Denzel comes on strong and convincing, as usual. Best one I've seen since "The Green Mile".
[--- Good ---]by  
Feb 6, 2000
Good movie, especially if you like Washington. He does this so well. Plus you don't get that "I've been Had" feeling afterwards. You might think there was going to be a "Black" message...but there isn't. Just a good and interesting movie about a man who was wronged by a bad policeman. It's not the system, it's the men involved here that caused so much trouble.

Actually, this one leaves you with the proper feelings for the entire cast...nothing mixed here...just the Facts Ma'am, just the facts.
[--- Good ---]by  
Mar 2, 2000
The critics have been very harsh with this movie. It is not a great story, it is a good film. It is not completely accurate, these events did occur but Mr. Carter has been rather badly effected by his many years in prison and is not the kindly gentleman portrayed in the film. Not suprisingly he is very angry at having so many years taken from him. Critics were also irratated about the lack of character development besides Hurricane. It wasn't their story, it was his.

Despite its lack of flesh I must recomend this warm, interesting story that will probably not change your life.
[--- Good ---]by  
Mar 2, 2000
Beneath the storm of controversy surrounding his wrongful incarceration and the rally for his ultimate release lies the man himself -- Rubin "Hurricane" Carter; the middleweight boxer falsely convicted of murdering three patrons of a New Jersey bar in 1966. Denzel Washington's portrayal of the imprisoned fighter is the best part of "The Hurricane", Norman Jewison's retelling of the story behind the accusations.

Armyan Bernstein and Dan Gordon's script is based upon two books -- Carter's autobiographical "The Sixteenth Round" and "The Hurricane," penned by two of the activists who helped champion his cause, Sam Chaiton and Terry Swinton. The film has been blasted by some who question certain facts regarding the case itself. Criticisms like that are certainly inevitable, but the movie is not a docudrama about the details of the case, but instead a powerful character
study of a man wrongfully accused - a casualty of racial injustice, who must overcome his need to alienate those around him if he is to free his mind and soul. Denzel Washington's embodiment of "The Hurricane", whose tenacity is seen as both a blessing and as a curse, helps raise Carter's plight above the details which escapsulate it.

The story, while told inside an array of flashbacks, is mainly seen through the eyes of a a young boy named Lesra Martin (Vicellous Shannon), who has come across a worn copy of "The Sixteenth Round" at a local book sale. He is immediately drawn in by Carter's story and feels a strong connection with the imprisoned soul. His fascination soon raises the curiosity of his social activist guardians; Terry Swinton (John Hannah), Lisa Peters (Deborah Kara Unger), and Sam Chaiton (Liev Schreiber). Soon, they all find themselves feeding their minds with the story of Hurricane's fight for justice. Lesra, feeling a passionate need to reach out, begins writing letters to the man whose story has given him a sense of direction. His words find their way deep inside the heart of the imprisoned Hurricane -- the boy's own story has taken the shape of a lighthouse for Carter; his compassion having illuminated the dark world which has soaked up virtually every ounce of the once proud fighter's hopes and dreams. After a series of letters, they decide to meet. Lesra introduces Carter to his guardians; all eager to assist in helping to overturn his conviction. At first, Carter is reluctant -- his ability to trust hampered by his confinement. Soon he agrees, and their fight leads to a decision far
riskier than anything he encountered in the ring, but one which has the only true chance of setting the innocent man free.

The most interesting aspect of the film is the way it observes Carter's philosophy regarding what has happened to him. It's his way of thinking which will ultimately affect his decisions -- the way it is for all of us, and the movie does an excellent job of showing how his psychological approach to his situation comes into conflict with what is perhaps the best course of action for him. Carter's process of denying himself certain rights, in an effort to
keep the institution from denying him those very same rights will naturally cause him to second-guess the activists' proposal. The idea of being freed would give him hope -- something that in a prison could be a vice-like grip on the heart. It's that emotional conflict that thunders beneath the story, elevating the film to another level.

Because the scope of the story is so large, the film isn't as tightly constructed as it might have been. There are several scenes involving the activists gathering bits of information and searching for lost witnesses. While moments like that were certainly vital to the case itself, I'm not sure how vital they are to the story here. Sure, a few scenes like that are
necessary, but we get many sequences showing them hunting around for missing information.

But that is just a minor criticism -- the film as a whole is very effective. By understanding how the characters feel, how they view the world around them, and how those feelings sometimes conflict with what decisions they are forced to make, the film leads to a conclusion where there is really something at stake. In the boxing ring, Rubin "Hurricane" Carter would have to bob and weave to avoid shots to his body. Here, he risks taking devastating shots to his soul in an effort to free it. I don't know how much more could be on the line than that.

--Michael Brendan, "Mad Dog" Film Reviews (www.maddogreviews.com)
Feb 1, 2003
Denzel Washington gave an impressive performance in "Hurricane." The story of pro boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter. He was accussed, convicted and sentenced to life inprisonment for a crime he didn't commit. It was a team of young lawyers which made the difference in his innocence. a powerful film about someone's faith in others that made the difference, which made this movie so special.

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