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Denzel Washington, Vicellous Reon Shannon, Deborah Kara Unger, Liev Schreiber, John Hannah ... see more see more... , Dan Hedaya , Debbi Morgan , Clancy Brown , David Paymer , Harris Yulin , Rod Steiger , Garland Whitt , Vincent Pastore

In 1966, Rubin "Hurricane" Carter was a top-ranked middleweight boxer whom many fight fans expected to become world champion. When three people were shot to death in a bar in Paterson, New Jersey, Car... read more read more...ter and his friend John Artis, driving home from another club in Paterson, were stopped and questioned by police. Although the police asserted that Carter and Artis "were never suspects," a man named Alfred Bello, himself a suspect in the killings, claimed that Carter and Artis were present at the time of the murders. On the basis of Bello's testimony, Carter and Artis were convicted of murder, and Carter was given three consecutive life sentences. Throughout the trial, Carter proclaimed his innocence, saying that his African-American race and work as a civil rights activist were the real reasons for his conviction. In 1974, Bello and Arthur Bradley, who also claimed that Carter was present at the scene of the crimes, recanted their testimony, but Carter and Artis were reconvicted. In the early 1980s, Brooklyn teenager Lesra Martin worked with a trio of Canadian activists to push the State of New Jersey to reinvestigate Carter's case; in 1985, a Federal District Court ruled that the prosecution in Carter's second trial committed "grave constitutional violations" and that his conviction was based on racism rather than facts. Carter was finally freed, and he summed up his story by saying, "Hate got me into this place, love got me out." The Hurricane is based on Carter's incredible true story and stars Denzel Washington as Carter, Vicellous Shannon as Lesra Martin, and John Hannah, Liev Schreiber and Deborah Unger as the Canadian activists. Veteran filmmaker Norman Jewison directed. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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87% liked it

54,724 ratings


83% liked it

113 critics

DVD Release Date: July 11, 2000

Stats: 2,142 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (2,142)

  • April 24, 2013
    Norman Jewison's The Hurricane is a pulse pounding drama about middle weight boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter who was wrongly imprisoned for a murder he did not commit. Denzel Washington stars in the lead role, and he gives a stunning performance, and it ranks among his strongest o... read moref his career. This is a film that boasts a strong story with equally great acting. Norman Jewison crafts a worthwhile film that is a near flawless biopic. Like I previously stated, Washington delivers here, and he carries the film. He is the perfect choice to play Rubin Carter. The film has its flaws, as it tends to get a bit too dramatic, luckily it does manage to tone it down to make this film a well crafted Drama. The story is compelling and entertaining from start to finish. What I love the most about Denzel Washington is how he delivers a performance. He is a fine actor who is very talented, and he yet Again brings a stunning performance. With his powerful performance as Rubin Carter, he elevates the film's strength to overcome its flaws. This is a great film that is worth seeing if you love Washington's work. The film is powerful and poignant. Aside the plot, which is well layered, the film does carry an important message and it will certainly carry on with viewers. The message is that if society does you a wrong, in this case, a wrongful murder conviction, then it's worth fighting for if you strongly believe that person is innocent, and in the case of The Hurricane, it shows how crooked the system is and how right can prevail. Norman Jewison has made a fine drama that tells a very good story and is elevated by a wonderful cast of terrific talented. If you're looking for one of Denzel Washington's finest roles, you will be more than satisfied with The Hurricane.
  • September 19, 2011
    "While this picture is based upon a true story, some characters have been composited or invented, and a number of incidents fictionalized."

    Now that's the disclaimer at the very outset of the movie. So take your pick for who's to be blamed for those having problems with fiction... read morealization of true events here. Whatever manipulations and distortions are carried out are probably done taking into account the well-being of the movie makers and its viewers in 'general'. Overall, I was fine with it although I felt that they should have been a bit more specific about certain things when the movie ended. The movie wasn't appropriately edited and could have used some more trimming. Over dramatization was another problem that irritated me. But all in all, it's a watchable fare with regular performances.
  • fb733768972
    March 24, 2011
    The Hurricane is one of the most influential movies I have ever seen. The story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter lives in all of those who watch this film, giving them a sense of belief to never give up on your dreams or whatever the truth may be. Denzel Washington represents a pictur... read moree-perfect image of the real hero. With extremely moving dialogue, grippingly emotional performances, and a story that people would be ashamed not to cry over! The Hurricane is easily one of the best movies I have ever seen!
  • February 25, 2011
    The Hurricane is a solid film, and could have benefited from a three hour run time. There are so many aspects to this story and so much ground to cover that I think director Norman Jewison might have slightly edited himself out of an Oscar. That's not to say that this isn't a wel... read morel paced, well put together film, but it's missing that "wow" factor; it's hard to explain, but it's that feeling you get when the credits role and you're still sitting in your seat captivated by what you just saw.
    I think it's because the film under-develops some of its characters. I wanted to know more about the racist cop who frames Denzel Washington's character, Rubin Carter, for murder. The guy's a prick no doubt, but I wanted to know more about why he does what he does, instead of just seeing him as Satan Incarnate. Also, I wanted to know more about the Canadians who fought tooth and nail to appeal the case; they seemed just as important as Rubin Carter, but the movie doesn't give them enough screen time - but then again, I might be biased because I am a Canadian.
    Other than that, a solid effort, and Denzel Washington gave another brilliant performance; one of his finest even to this day.
  • August 8, 2010
    "His greatest fight was for justice."

    The story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, a boxer wrongly imprisoned for murder, and the people who aided in his fight to prove his innocence.


    "The Hur... read morericane" may have been the best film of 1999. It is the story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter (Washington, in an Oscar-nominated role), a middle-weight boxer who was wrongly accused of multiple murders and ended up spending nearly 20 years in a New Jersey prison. Washington is so solid here. He dominates the action. He makes the film succeed all by himself. All the supporters help Washington's cause and Norman Jewison's sharp direction keeps the film intriguing and solid all the way through. In my view, I think that "The Hurricane" was one of the best films of 1999.
  • fb619846742
    July 2, 2010
    An uplifting, competently made true story of a ferocious boxer wrongly imprisoned by a crooked police force in the mid 1960's. While the movie does have a couple problems (such as the rest of the acting cast not coming close to matching Denzel's level, as well as some cheesy dial... read moreogue), the ending really brings it home. It's predictable in a sense but that doesn't make it any less satisfying or moving, as Denzel does an outstanding job making you care for this intense, emotional character. It's a testimony to him really, since this movie could've become a corny Hallmark movie but instead he makes it something riveting and almost tear-jerking. It's definitely a solid film that is worthy of multiple viewings.
  • December 21, 2009
    Really enjoyable dramatic piece.
  • September 7, 2009
    This is a great movie. Denzel Washington captures all of the different stages of Rubin Carter's journey through the whole ordeal.
  • August 5, 2009
    Long-winded and kind of slow at times, but also very gripping and powerful. The story of Ruben Carter, and the injustice that he became the victim of, is one that touches as much as it upsets. It's scary how easily someone can be wrongfully accused, simply due to the color of the... read moreir skin. Granted that this happened almost half a century ago, but we all know that this kind of prejudice and racism still occurs today.

    Denzel Washington's performance is quite beyond words and this is the role he should have gotten an Oscar for, as opposed to his work in Training Day. But better late than never I guess. At any rate, it's a movie I think everyone should see. Not only because it has a great story to tell, but because it goes far beyond mere entertainment, and leaves with you something to think about.

    All in all, a wonderful piece of film-making, that altough being draggy and somewhat flawed, has that little extra magic that makes into an above-average viewing experience.
  • October 12, 2008
    Excellent spellbounding movie! Just a greatly formed and real life film. In June 1966, Rubin "Hurricane" Carter was a strong contender for the middleweight boxing title. When three people were murdered in a New Jersey bar, Carter's dreams were destroyed. Driving home from a nearb... read morey club, Carter was erroneously arrested for the murders and sentenced to serve three life terms in prison. Several years later, Carter's published memoir, The 16th Round, inspired a Brooklyn teenager and three Canadian activists, who believed in the truth, to join forces with Carter to prove his innocence. Their extraordinary efforts, commitment and love ultimately secured his release, leaving "Hurricane" to sum up his 20 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit by simply stating, "Hate got me into this place, love got me out."

Critic Reviews

June 24, 2006
Time Out

Facile and unpersuasive. Full Review

Peter Rainer
August 7, 2004
Peter Rainer, New York Magazine/Vulture

The movie's dogged humorlessness, and its sixties-style cant, don't do justice to all the political crosscurrents in this story. Full Review

Liam Lacey
April 25, 2003
Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail

A reminder that there's still a lot to be said for the good old-fashioned inspirational Hollywood movie. Full Review

Mick LaSalle
June 18, 2002
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

Give director Norman Jewison credit for two things: 1) He made the movie; 2) He let Washington run away with it. Full Review

Lou Lumenick
January 1, 2000
Lou Lumenick, New York Post

An expertly crafted, deeply moving film.

Philip Wuntch
January 1, 2000
Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News

You can always tell where The Hurricane is leading you. But the trip is strong and stirring. Full Review

Susan Wloszczyna
January 1, 2000
Susan Wloszczyna, USA Today

Epic in nearly every way, The Hurricane has the power to blow you away.

Steven Rosen
January 1, 2000
Steven Rosen, Denver Post

Features Denzel Washington's toweringly triumphant performance as Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter. Full Review

Andrew O'Hehir
January 1, 2000
Andrew O'Hehir,

The Hurricane delivers a mighty emotional load, most of it borne on the broad shoulders of a great actor hitting his prime. Full Review

Jami Bernard
January 1, 2000
Jami Bernard, New York Daily News

Washington can bank on an Oscar nomination for the most forceful work of his career. Full Review

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    • Rubin "Hurricane" Carter: I'll always be the Hurricane and the Hurricane is beautiful.
    • Rubin "Hurricane" Carter: I will bend time to my own clock. When the prison is awake, I will sleep. When they sleep, I will wake. I will live neither in their cell, nor in my own heart, only in my mind and my spirit.
    • Rubin "Hurricane" Carter: You're in my seat, country.
    • Rubin "Hurricane" Carter: [to Lesra] Hate put me in prison. Love's gonna bust me out.

The Hurricane : Watch Free on TV

The Hurricane Trivia

  • What is the name of the book which creates the hurricane which killed Dr. Pinderschloss and Tully Alford in the Addams Family?  Answer »
  • In "The Devil Wears Prada," Why is Miranda's flight from Miami to New York cancelled?  Answer »
  • A True story of a boxer , who is wrongly accussed and sentenced for murder! But he fought back for justice!  Answer »
  • in which movie does a boxers win the heavyweight title of the world outside of a ring  Answer »

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