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The Hurricane

The Hurricane (1999)



Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 113
Fresh: 94 | Rotten: 19

Thanks in large part to one of Denzel Washington's most powerful on-screen performances, The Hurricane is a moving, inspirational sports drama, even if it takes few risks in telling its story.


Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 31
Fresh: 28 | Rotten: 3

Thanks in large part to one of Denzel Washington's most powerful on-screen performances, The Hurricane is a moving, inspirational sports drama, even if it takes few risks in telling its story.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 54,715

My Rating

Movie Info

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, Carter 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

Jul 11, 2000

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All Critics (114) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (94) | Rotten (19) | DVD (18)

Facile and unpersuasive.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

August 7, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

April 25, 2003 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

June 18, 2002 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Jewison has delivered another excellent film.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Hurricane has real mythic power.

January 1, 2000
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Denzel dazzles in biopic of imprisoned boxer.

December 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

The film, directed by Norman Jewison, feels a bit too simple for such a complex story, but Washington transcends the problems to provide his best acting since Malcolm X.

August 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

There's no denying it's powerful stuff, which, for want of a better phrase, really packs a punch.

August 5, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

Startlingly inept coming from a generally accomplished director like Norman Jewison.

September 24, 2007 Full Review Source:

There is a talented supporting cast, but they are not given much opportunity to break out of the two-dimensional symbolism they are cloaked with in the script by Armyan Bernstein and Dan Gordon.

April 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

The film has genuine impact, and I'm betting that leading and supporting Oscar nominations will follow.

May 20, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

A thoughtful, moving story, and a triumph for Jewison, Washington, and Carter himself.

February 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Quips Online
Film Quips Online

The drama is hung on a vendetta between a flawed-but-honourable man and a doggedly bad cop. Yes, it's Valjean and Javert, together again.

December 2, 2002 Full Review Source: Sight and Sound
Sight and Sound

A great showcase for the actor's skills.

November 22, 2002 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Some stories are so good that even a Hollywood screenwriter can't ruin them. The Hurricane is one of them.

October 21, 2002 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

As the center of the drama, Mr. Washington more than fills the screen; he very nearly sets it on fire.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

Crusty old Canadian liberal Norman Jewison has airbrushed Carter of his foibles and turned him into that hoary racial stereotype, the saintly martyred black man.

March 24, 2002 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix | Comment (1)
Boston Phoenix

a glowing depiction of the resilience of humanity that extends beyond skin color or political affirmation.

March 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Matinee Magazine
Matinee Magazine

A mesmerizing drama about the potent force of small incremental doses of hope.

March 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

In the end, the movie's unabashed emotion makes it stick in the memory.

January 9, 2002 Full Review Source: Movieline

An astonishing true story about injustice on a grand scale ... and trust on a small one. Yet the film itself never quite rises above a standard movie bio.

December 10, 2001 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

Audience Reviews for The Hurricane

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 of 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.
April 24, 2013
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

"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 fictionalization 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.
September 19, 2011

Super Reviewer

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 picture-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!
March 24, 2011
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

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 well 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.
February 25, 2011

Super Reviewer

    1. Rubin "Hurricane" Carter: I'll always be the Hurricane and the Hurricane is beautiful.
    – Submitted by Johnny W (22 months ago)
    1. 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.
    – Submitted by Ryan B (23 months ago)
    1. Rubin "Hurricane" Carter: You're in my seat, country.
    – Submitted by Jacob C (23 months ago)
    1. Rubin "Hurricane" Carter: [to Lesra] Hate put me in prison. Love's gonna bust me out.
    – Submitted by Sam B (3 years ago)
View all quotes (4)

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