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Overall Rating

Awesome: 15.84%
Worth A Look39.6%
Average: 28.71%
Pretty Bad: 11.88%
Total Crap: 3.96%

10 reviews, 41 user ratings

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Hurricane, The
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by Dust For Eyes

"Intelligence over prejudice"
4 stars

Denzel Washington produces another dignified and potent performance in Hurricane - the true(ish) story of a wrongly convicted could-have-been-a-contender boxer Rubin Carter, otherwise know as Hurricane.

Rubin Carter had been in petty trouble since being a boy. Through his troubles he had often come across Detective Vincent Pesca (Hedaya) - a cop who was more than quick to harass a black man - and they developed a rivalry. In adulthood, Carter vowed to turn away from his troubled youth to join the army, and then later became a professional boxer where he picked up the name Hurricane.

Late one night two men murder three people in a bar. The police including Pesca go on a hunt for, "any two Negro men" which leads to Pesca confronting Carter. With some bribery of witnesses and evidence falsification, Carter is convicted and sentenced to three consecutive life sentences along with John Artis (Whitt) who happened to be in the car when Carter was first questioned. While in jail Carter writes a book of his story.

Years later Lesra (Shannon), a ward of three Canadian so-so-socialist activists, picks up the book at a fair and, after reading the book, meets with Carter and vows to set him free.

The incarcerated innocent searching for justice is a well-worn theme (The Green Mile and The Insider are recent examples), but Washington’s performance and the avoidance of out and out soppiness in Armyan Bernstein and Dan Gordon’s script allows for a commendable film.

Washington is at his best as he delved deeply into this role to become Carter. I was thankful to see this portrayal of an intelligent black man after the condescension of John Coffey in The Green Mile. Apart from Washington, the cast is excellent with Shannon and Hedaya as Carter’s rival also standing out.

Norman Jewison directs the film with good pace and admirably prevents the film from being a teary weeper as it could easily have been. The film stops being a cliched mess because it is just as much about institutional racism, vendettas, the power of intelligence and the refusal to accept an unjust fate (which provides the link between Carter and Lesra that bonds them), as being about fighting for freedom.

Movies can never cover everything, but there are some interesting facts that were not covered in the movie. It was almost a year between the murders and Carter and Artis actually being arrested. The original conviction was overturned and a second trial ordered with Carter and Artis being released.

The second trial reconvicted them and sent them back to jail. To be sent back to jail after Carter thought he was free must have been soul destroying. There was also three years between when Federal Judge H. Lee Sarokin finally quashed the conviction for the last time and when Carter was actually released (in the film it takes about a minute).

There’s just an annoying feeling in the back of my head about three middle class white do-gooders with sensible haircuts saving a black man. I know it’s based on real life, but there’s something about it that leaves the slightest hint of something I don’t like.

Hurricane’s success is mostly thanks to Washington’s performance, Jewison’s direction and restraint. Hurricane is celebration cinema - not just of a freedom fight - but the victory of intelligence over prejudice.

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originally posted: 04/04/00 17:17:44
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User Comments

3/21/09 brian Amazing that so many cling to falsified "evidence" to find Carter guilty with no motive. 5 stars
1/09/09 Shaun Wallner Kept me on the edge of the seat! 4 stars
8/22/06 jhvuy its good 5 stars
12/13/05 Phil M. Aficionado After researching, the movie is VERY bogus; fantasy; Denzel great but film distorts/omits. 1 stars
11/22/05 Treva best every and anyone who says he is guilty should be kild 5 stars
10/19/04 jordon not bad, not bad at all 4 stars
8/09/04 lee the best 5 stars
4/21/04 Laura It made me think. It made me cry. Best film I have seen. 5 stars
2/08/04 lee Thomas Was a insight into real courage 5 stars
4/04/03 Jack Bourbon He's guilty as sin and you all know it. 1 stars
1/29/03 Pinkline Jones Not all that remarkable - watchable 4 stars
3/29/02 Denzel Washingotn fan in mourning Denzel should have won best actor for this & not robbed Sean or Russel w/lurid Training Day 5 stars
3/25/02 Natalie Stonecipher Denzel should've won best actor for this instead of playing a fucked up psycho cop! 5 stars
10/16/01 Kelly Very inspirational and emotional great watch great ending! The best! 5 stars
8/07/01 Mr. Hat THE BEST DRAMA I'VE EVER SEEN. 5 stars
5/02/01 J Wanna know what I thnk? Read D.F.E's review. 4 stars
3/24/01 steven it sucks, if you ask me 1 stars
3/08/01 Ed Lewandowski Loved the soundtrack - well just Bob Dylan Actually! 4 stars
1/28/01 Mitja Podgajski good story, really good scenes, atention.. I love it! 5 stars
9/30/00 Matthew Bartley Denzel amazes but the film doesn't quite match him 4 stars
8/15/00 Monday Morning Den-zel! Den-zel! Den-zel! He's terrific but film too long to sustain quality & interest. 4 stars
7/30/00 Trina M. Barnard slow start, but picks up and turns out to be a great movie 5 stars
7/19/00 The Bomb 69 Denzel was awesome, deserved an oscar, story was average 3 stars
4/17/00 Add An interesting and provoking story that was ruined by a typical Hollywood telling 3 stars
4/14/00 k.sydenham wonderful,one of the best i've seen 5 stars
4/07/00 SID Not bad, but overrated. It's bitter throughout don't expect the feel good movie of the year 3 stars
3/24/00 malcolm Denzel - incredible as usual. predictable story. too damn long! 4 stars
3/17/00 Mic Washington and Steiger are great, but script lacking in places. 4 stars
3/16/00 Justine Briggs Enjoyed this tremendously, especially Denzel 4 stars
3/07/00 Joel Harwood DENZEL WASHINGSTON should get BEST ACTOR oscar 5 stars
3/06/00 cynthia it was alittle boring in parts but pretty good 3 stars
2/27/00 Bueller ...and the Oscar goes to...Denzel Washington! 4 stars
2/27/00 JimBob cried several times, this movie is a tribute to all thats good in human beings 5 stars
2/13/00 Mr Glute A little too much artistic license with the facts, but Denzel takes centre stage well. 4 stars
2/08/00 Obi Wan Great Movie...Denzel @ his best again. Why doesn't he get more roles like this?? 4 stars
1/19/00 jenn "Blu Smrf" this movie was very well done, the acting was incredible 4 stars
1/17/00 Malbert Denzel&'Lesra'(Vicellous Reon Shannon)were was not wonderful, but very good 4 stars
1/14/00 Joe Shapira Denzel is amazing as always 5 stars
12/30/99 Damian Lackey I walked in with high expectations, but the movie was absoluely horrid! 1 stars
12/30/99 Mike Lancaster Overlong & plays 2 loose with the facts. Despite film's shortcomings, DW willbe nominated 3 stars
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  29-Dec-1999 (R)



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