Brian Banks Review

*This is a true story but I will still put the disclaimer in.

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Sexual Assault is a topic that has been all the rage lately, and with all the Me Too culture going around it opens up a stirring question. Is every accusation true? Is everything we hear or read about based on facts? That is the question that lingers throughout the emotional drama Brian Banks.

Brian Banks, Directed by Tom Shadyac, is a true story about a man named, shockingly, Brian Banks who fought to exonerate himself from a false accusation of Rape. He was a former football player committed to USC when he was 16 years old and accused of something he said he did not do. He spent 5 years in Prison (6 in the movie) and 5 years on probation, while also having to register as a Sex Offender. He lost over ten years of his life and happiness due to a lie, and extreme negligence on the part of the prosecution. Working with the California Innocence Project him and their team were able to clear his name.

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The movie is really about how he inspires others with his strength and fortitude by never giving up in his case. Bring the tissues though because this is a tear jerker for sure.

As far as the technical details of the movie, I thought they could have gone deeper into his story, because it felt like they skipped over some pieces. I also felt they relied a lot on inspirational speeches, and some very subtle God/Jesus Symbolism which just seemed unnecessary.

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Stock Up – Aldis Hodge was absolutely incredible as the Title Character. He showed strength, emotion, and everything in between with an incredible ferocity. He chewed up his surroundings in every scene and is making me a major fan. I loved him all the way back in season 1 of Friday Night Lights as Voodoo Tatum, and he might be finally starting to make that ascent to stardom.

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Stock Up – Greg Kinnear always shows up every couple years and he nailed this role. He played Justin Brooks the head of the California IFP and brings realism to every scene where everyone is dreaming big. He plays the smartest guy in the room role and does it very well.

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Stock Neutral – Tom Shadyac has a long and storied comic directorial career. I mean just look at this…

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So it was interesting to see him take on a dramatic biopic like this. This was directed well with solid pace, but as I said I thought there were just a couple things he could have done better. I am happy Shadyac continues to work though because he is clearly a talented director with something to say.

*A couple other tidbits

  • Morgan Freeman is fully in the getting them checks period of his career.
  • I wish they wrapped up the story with his girlfriend a little cleaner.

This movie will bring out all the feelings and is truly a remarkable story about perseverance and dedication. I have some issues with the lack of depth, but overall this is a great story that is extremely well acted.

Juice Rating: 

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*All of my Movie Ratings can be found here.

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