(2019) (Aldis Hodge, Greg Kinnear) (PG-13)
- QUICK TAKE:
- Drama: A young man must contend with the continued fallout of having been falsely accused and sentenced for raping a girl a decade earlier as a teen, all while trying to clear his name in hopes of having one last chance to make it in the NFL
- Brian Banks (ALDIS HODGE) is a 27-year-old man who's in the last year of his three-year parole period that's followed his six-year imprisonment for allegedly raping his then 15-year-old classmate, Kennisha Rice (XOSHA ROQUEMORE), at their school when he was sixteen. He claims they did nothing more than make out, but with bad advice from his public defender, he plead no contest to the charges and ended up imprisoned, breaking the heart of his single mom, Leomia (SHERRI SHEPHERD).
Beyond dashing his dreams of becoming an NFL player -- he was that promising back in high school -- he finds that he can't get a job due to his criminal record (including being registered as a sex offender) and the new requirement that he must wear a GPS ankle bracelet, thus meaning his parole officer knows where he is at any moment.
And when gym employee Karina Cooper (MELANIE LIBURD) hears Brian's story, she initially feels she must get away from him. Yet, and thanks to the wisdom imparted to him years earlier by his juvenile detention counselor, Jerome Johnson (MORGAN FREEMAN), Brian has the mindset to not let that completely get him down and thus knows he must clear his name.
He hopes that the California Innocence Project might be able to help, but unlike Alissa (TIFFANY DUPONT) and Marilyn (MYSTIE SMITH) who work there, that organization's director, Justin Brooks (GREG KINNEAR), doesn't think Brian stands a chance of having the judge's earlier ruling changed. And he realizes he must focus their limited resources on helping those still wrongly imprisoned rather than Brian who's now a free, if restricted man.
Despite that and additional moments where Justin turns him down, Brian perseveres, with eventual hopes that the director might be able to convince Deputy D.A. Mateo (JOSE MIGUEL VASQUEZ) to intervene on their behalf.
- WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
- Some teens might have some interest, especially if the true life story is intriguing to them.
- WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
- For thematic content and related images, and for language.
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