Cinema: The Hurricane

STARRING: Denzel Washington DIRECTOR: Norman Jewison OPENS: limited Dec. 29; wide Jan. 14

Maybe Rubin Carter was a hurricane in the ring, but the movie version of his story--the middleweight contender who was framed on murder charges based on racism--downgrades him to a tropical storm. In Washington's finely shaded performance he's a low-pressure system, illuminated by distant flashes of lightning.

Despite what you might imagine, this is not a bad thing. For once he absorbed the outrage of false conviction, Carter turned fiercely inward. He wrote a good autobiography about his case, read spiritually uplifting books and learned to avoid everyone...

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