Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Washington can bank on an Oscar nomination for the most forceful work of his career.
  2. 88
    This is one of Denzel Washington's great performances, on a par with his work in "Malcolm X."
  3. 88
    Epic in nearly every way, The Hurricane has the power to blow you away.
  4. 75
    Milks Carter's story for maximum "inspirational" value, and at times the movie skirts dangerously close to afterschool-special territory.
  5. 60
    The material is inherently compelling and anchored by Washington's performance.
  6. 40
    Feels overlong and underscripted.
  7. 91
    This is some of the finest acting you will see on-screen, maybe ever. Single-handedly, Washington turns The Hurricane from so-so to must-see.
  8. Washington immerses himself, even more than he did in "Malcolm X," in a stare of unforgiving outrage.
  9. Jewison handles this rich tapestry of non-linear scenes with the skill of the old pro he is, and carefully modulates the drama to create the maximum emotional impact.
  10. 90
    This is the deepest of Jewison's three racially themed films, the other two being "In the Heat of the Night" and "A Soldier's Story."
  11. Brilliantly played by Denzel Washington
  12. Reviewed by: Emanuel Levy
    In what's easily his most zealous and fully realized performance since "Malcolm X," Washington elevates the earnest, occasionally simplistic narrative to the level of a genuinely touching moral expose.
  13. Washington leans into an otherwise schlocky movie and slams it out of the ballpark.
  14. 70
    The narrative--a complex structure of flashbacks and shifts in perspective that's part inspirational story, part courtroom drama, part character study, part exposé--never makes it seem that history is being oversimplified.
  15. Reviewed by: M. V. Moorhead
    (Washington's) performance is halfhearted, soft.
  16. Both the movie and Denzel Washington are knockouts.
  17. Washington blows you away. To say he gives the performance of his career is an understatement.
  18. 88
    An expertly crafted, deeply moving film.
  19. (Washington) raises it to the level of importance with an acting job that's one unbroken chain of intense emotion.
  20. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    (Washington's is) an astonishing performance, partly because it's so devoid of histrionics, and it has Oscar nomination written all over it.
  21. 75
    Jewison's focus on the Canadians' dogged do-gooderism might have actually prevented a good movie from being a great one.
  22. The rest of this well-intentioned picture never reaches (Washington's) level of subtlety and intensity.
  23. The story is so important and compelling that you wish Jewison had treated it more as an urgent wake-up call than a by-the-numbers morality play.
  24. What remains is Washington's volcanic and contemplative work at the core of a film packed to the rafters with raging bull.
  25. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    In Washington's finely shaded performance he's a low-pressure system, illuminated by distant flashes of lightning.
  26. 70
    An often affecting, if standard-issue, Hollywood biopic.
  27. With power, intensity, remarkable range and an ability to disturb that is both unnerving and electric, it is more than Washington's most impressive part.
  28. Reviewed by: Kevin Stuart
    The dedication of the Canadian team strains belief at times, and for good reason.
  29. Reviewed by: Morgan Fouch
    One of year's most thought-provoking and soul-stirring films.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 31 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. Mar 25, 2013
    I have no idea whether The Hurricane was guilty or not (in real life the story was different than presented in the movie), but Mr. Denzel made his "character" in the movie lively and sympathetic with his outstanding performance. Overall the story is good and rather staightforward, driven by Mr. Denzel Washington's powerful performance. Worth a look. Full Review »
  2. Oct 26, 2010
    i love films based on true storys and this is a great and inspiring film . a story of a boxer the hurricane played by denzel washington who does a fantastic job as usual portaying this charicter . its about racisism and a fram up of his charicter committing a robbery and murder and getting wrongfully imprisoned and him writing a book from prison that a young kid who is trying to find his way through life picks up and inspires him to try and do some thing to help washingtons charicter prove his innocense . the movie is paced well and story wonderfully told . Full Review »