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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 Erik Childress

"Denzel Washington is amazing"
3 stars

The Hurricane (***) – After several years of seeing movies in the theater and on TV, one gets the sense that they’ve just about seen it all and every subsequent film either improves on or destroys ideas from previous movies. We’ve seen black-and-white boxing in Raging Bull. We’ve seen prison scenes in The Shawshank Redemption. We’ve seen courtroom scenes, well, at least twice a year in different courtroom dramas. And we get a little bit of everything in The Hurricane, save for a performance by the great Denzel Washington.

His character, The Hurricane was in early danger of being reduced to merely a supporting character in the film as his three Canadian and young Black saviors begin to dominate the story. But the film wisely shifts its focus to the life of Rubin Carter and how he turned his rage into a boxing career and subsequent wrongful arrest. Where the film works are in these scenes, as we watch Carter’s troubled life and multiple prison sentences. Norman Jewison also approaches the prison scenes strictly from the perspective of Carter, avoiding the routine lock-up footage that we’re so used to seeing. How Carter survives in his mind makes for original prison sequences. But at the midway point of the film, we start to focus more on the relationship between Carter and the young boy who discovers his story at a used book sale. These scenes have some well-written moments, but I didn’t care much for the actor playing the boy. He talks so tough at times when he doesn’t need to be and ends up talking like a character out of Fat Albert, but Denzel pulls us through, aging without the use of heavy prosthetics, using simply the reflexes in his face and its incredible.
While dealing with the relationship between Carter and his newfound friends, an underlying racial tension is developed as the Hurricane has learned to mistrust the white man. Through their help and an underdeveloped friendship with another inmate, Carter comes to understand that not all white people are racist and the Canadians recognize that not all black men are murderers. The ironic footnote to all of this is that the film’s director, Norman Jewison, was the original director of the Malcolm X biopic with Denzel in the lead. The eventual director of that piece, Spike Lee, was outraged and demanded that a white director has no right to make a film about a black leader. Well, I guess two wrongs don’t exactly make it white.

One of The Hurricane’s problems is its pacing. I’ve always been a supporter of longer films to give depth to its characters and earn their emotional endings, but at 146 minutes (not the 125 minutes that some papers advertise), The Hurricane feels every minute long. Add into that all the things we’ve been witness to before and you have the makings of a film that could have fallen well below the Oscar-season expectations everyone was hoping for. But the one thing that transcends the material and that we haven’t seen before is Denzel’s amazing performance and that alone is worth the trip to the theater.

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originally posted: 02/15/00 09:51:14
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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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