The Hurricane (1999)

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John Hannah plays:  Terry Swinton, one of the Canadians who fight for Carter's freedom
Click for pictures from The Hurricane
Summary:  The movie (based on a true story) begins with the boxing career of Rubin "The Hurricane" Carter (Denzel Washington).  From there, we see how he was framed for three murders by a racist cop (Dan Hedaya) who had a grudge against the boxer since Carter was 11 years old.  He is sent to prison to serve three life sentences.  In prison, Carter writes his memoirs, the The Sixteenth Round, and is rejected after several appeals and retrials.
Years later, a black Brooklyn teenager named Lesera Martin (Vicellous Reon Shannon) is taken in by a group of Canadians (John Hannah, Liev Schreiber, Deborah Unger) who meet him when he volunteers at the EPA.  They realize that the boy has potential and take him back to Canada with them, so that he can have a chance to get an education.  Lesera goes to a used book sale and is drawn to "The Hurricane"'s autobiography.  It is the first book he has ever read and he identifies with Carter's early life and his struggle against racism.  Lesera begins a correspondence with Carter, and the Canadians are drawn in by the story.  The four of them move to New Jersey to work on the case and uncover new evidence.  This evidence wins Carter's freedom.

My thoughts:  As many reviewers have said, Denzel Washington IS the movie, so for a JH fan, there is not as much of him as could be hoped.  JH's character (like most of the supporting characters) is rather one-dimensional, but I suppose one dimension is better than none. 
I would have to say that in my opinion, it's a good story, but a mediocre movie.  There's a lot missing in the story and the supporting characters.  Most people I've heard from loved the movie, though, so don't listen to me - go see it for yourself.

Last Update: 22 May 2001 by SRAH