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The Hurricane (1999)

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



(book), (book) | 3 more credits »
4,318 ( 467)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lesra (as Vicellous Reon Shannon)
Myron Bedlock
Leon Friedman
Judge Sarokin
Badja Djola ...
U.S. Court Prosecutor


This film tells the story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, an African-American man who rose above his troubled youth to become a top contender for the middle-weight boxing title. However, his dreams are shattered when he is accused of a triple murder, and is convicted to three natural-life terms. Despite becoming a cause celebre and his dogged efforts to prove his innocence through his autobiography, the years of fruitless efforts have left him discouraged. This changes when an African-American boy and his Canadian mentors read his book and are convinced of his innocence enough to work for his exoneration. However, what Hurricane and his friends learn is that this fight puts them against a racist establishment that profited from this travesty and have no intention of seeing it reversed. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


His greatest fight was for justice. See more »


Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

14 January 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lazarus and the Hurricane  »

Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$337,000 (USA) (31 December 1999)


$50,668,906 (USA) (14 April 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Hurricane film was based on the song written by Bob Dylan called Hurricane, which was Bob Dylan's way of protesting to Carter being wrongfully convicted. See more »


After the shootings in the bar are shown the first time, the exterior shot shows the traffic light at Madison Ave. In the later flashback, there is no traffic light. See more »


[first lines]
Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, this fine young fighter will be right here in Pittsburg on the boxing cog, this Monday night.
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Featured in The 57th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2000) See more »


A Fool for You
Written & Performed by Ray Charles
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User Reviews

good old-fashioned entertainment
16 January 2000 | by (Ottawa, Canada) – See all my reviews

Jewison's film is an old-fashioned biopic, complete with pivotal backstory, voiceover narration, and a character who enters the protagonist's life and changes it immeasurably. It's one of those stand-up-and-cheer movies where everyone seems to be against the hero, but above all odds (and with more than a little help from some of his friends), he rises above The System and gets his belated due. It's an oft-used scenario, with many scenes that could easily have been taken from Jewison's other films A SOLDIER'S STORY or IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT. Yet despite the familiarity of the storyline, I'll be damned if I wasn't choking back tears of elation at the movie's triumphant conclusion. It's a masterful piece of filmmaking that proves Norman Jewison's skill as a director, as he transcends the cliche-bound script and, with the help of Washington and company, makes it a powerful entity all its own.

As the Hurricane, Denzel Washington proves he is one of the best actors (if not THE best) in the business today. He can run the gamut from cold hatred to hearty laughter like few others can. He brings dignity and class to every one of his pictures (he was the only thing worth watching in THE BONE COLLECTOR). Here, he makes you FEEL every single thing he's feeling. In times of righteous indignation, you feel morally outraged alongside him. When he's at his most vulnerable, you can feel your throat constricting and your eyes watering. He has an uncanny knack for reaching into your soul and making you part of the picture itself; it's almost as if he's channelling the viewer while acting. Other actors delight in wowing the audience with grand theatrics and histrionics, but neglect to make the audience care; Denzel is usually soft-spoken and low-key, but always holds your attention.

In summary, THE HURRICANE was one of the most exhilarating motion picture experiences I've had all year. Norman Jewison directs with a deft surehandedness reminiscent of his late 1960s/early 1970s glory years, Denzel Washington delivers perhaps the most awe-inspiring performance of the year, and the audience goes home happy and feeling good about themselves and the world. What more could be asked for?

54 of 70 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Was he guilty? theendofzion
Did The Police ever catch the real killer? mjh27
innocent or guilty? Sammmy02
How many falsehoods in this film? kag2-1
Cater is guilty. lazur-2
Is this the best Denzel Washington movie? abhishes-572-40630
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