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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 Stephen Groenewegen

"An ordinary film about an extraordinary life"
2 stars

The Hurricane provides a broad overview of the key events in the life of wrongfully imprisoned boxer, Rubin "Hurricane" Carter. This conventional "bio-pic" approach doesn't do justice to Carter's extraordinary life. There's material here for any number of superior movies, if a film-maker was prepared to explore some of these incidents in more depth.

Through a series of repetitive, non-linear flashbacks, we learn that Carter (Denzel Washington) became a top fighter after spending his adolescence in a juvenile detention centre. In his early twenties, he was arrested and imprisoned for murder (he had been found in the vicinity of a crime scene). Unfortunately, the credibility of the scenes relating to the criminal investigation is undermined by combining all the officers involved into the villainous Detective Della Pesca (Dan Hedaya, who'd twirl his moustache if he had one). Della Pesca is portrayed as being out to get Carter since he was 11 years old. There's no suspense to these scenes, and the injustice doesn't hurt like it should either, because Della Pesca is such an unrealistic, cartoon nemesis.

I would have preferred the movie to focus more on the friendship between Carter and Lesra Martin (the charming Vicellous Reon Shannon), who started writing to him in prison. Martin is a young, black student living with three white Canadians, who eventually take up the legal case against Carter's wrongful conviction. The development of Martin and Carter's relationship through their letters would have been a great subject for a movie in itself. It would have also had the advantage of allowing the film to speak more through Carter's own words. The extracts of his autobiography, narrated on the soundtrack by Washington, are much more moving than anything in Dan Gordon and Armyan Bernstein's trite screenplay.

Director Norman Jewison deserves credit for his early juxtaposition of a black protest song with some of the boxing scenes - it boosts The Hurricane with some sorely needed energy, if momentarily. But Washington is the only real reason to see this mediocre movie; he gives it some dignity.

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originally posted: 03/15/00 14:16:06
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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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