Magazine article Anglican Journal
The Hurricane Directed by Norman Jewison Starring Denzel Washington
*** (out of five)
Adult Accompaniment -- coarse language
IT BEGINS movie about as a movie about boxing and ends up as a parable of the human spirit. Based on the real life story of boxer Rubin `Hurricane' Carter, Norman Jewison's The Hurricane packs a lot of story telling into its almost two and a half hours: from ring side action to courtroom drama, from police investigations to spiritual enlightenment, this movie seeks to inspire its audience. It is successful.
Academy Award winner Denzel Washington plays Carter, a man who rose above his troubled youth to become, in the late 1950s, a top contender for winning the middle-weight boxing title. His dreams were destroyed when he was accused of a triple murder and sentenced to three natural life terms in prison. Turning his anger into creative action, Carter, from prison, wrote his autobiography The Sixteenth Round and although his case became well known and publicized, he was unable to have his conviction overturned.
It's years later in Canada that a young Brooklyn-born African American boy Lesra (Vicellous Reon Shannon) finds a copy of Carter's autobiography at a Toronto library book sale. Lesra has come to live in Toronto with three social activists: Terry Swinton (John Hannah); Lisa Peters (Deborah Kara Unger) and Sam Chaiton (Liev Schreiber). Lesra is fascinated by Carter's story, cannot understand why an innocent man should be imprisoned, and convinces his guardians to take up Carter's case. They move to New Jersey, investigate the circumstances of Carter's conviction, and work with the lawyers to appeal the case again. Finally, a judge hears the new evidence and releases Carter.
Although the movie has been criticized for distorting the facts of the legal battles and circumstances of Carter's life, one must allow a certain poetic license for filmmakers. …