- 1h 40m
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The inspirational true story of Brian Banks (Aldis Hodge), an All-American high school football star committed to USC who finds his life upended when he is wrongly convicted of a crime he didn't commit. Despite lack of evidence, Banks is railroaded through a broken justice system and sentenced to a decade of prison and probation. Years later, with the support of Justin Brooks (Greg Kinnear) and the California Innocence Project, Banks fights to reclaim his life and fulfill his dreams of playing in the NFL.
Rotten Tomatoes® Score
Critics Consensus: While it remains a reasonably inspiring drama, Brian Banks might have presented a more complex or fully realized version of the real-life story it dramatizes.
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Common Sense Media
Common Sense Says
Faith-tinged overturned-rape drama has problematic messages.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the fact-based, faith-infused drama Brian Banks seems like a slam dunk of an inspirational story, but it's actually a bit of a minefield that requires extra critical thinking. Banks was a high school sophomore with a promising football career when he and a female classmate snuck into a hallway to fool around. As he tells it, she wanted to go all the way and he didn't, but she ended up accusing him of rape. He pled no contest and went to jail, but the terms of his parole made his life difficult, so he fought an uphill battle to prove his innocence. His accuser doesn't get to tell her story here, and Banks says he doesn't know why she lied, but the film strongly suggests that the intent was revenge and regret (some of the most oft-repeated rape myths). Several black female characters are depicted stereotypically, as dumb, conniving, gold-digging, promiscuous, vengeful, incompetent, sassy, and, in one case, as an unmarried single mom with multiple children. Additionally, Banks' main attorneys, who are white, are shown to be smarter and savvier than everyone else, including the Latinx district attorney and Asian judge. The film fuels distrust in authority and the legal system, and the good guys frequently utter "'f--k' the system" (other curse words include "s--t," "bitch," and more). California Innocence Project is an admirable organization, and Banks has become an inspirational celebrity figure in real life, but the messages teens take from this film may not all be positive.
A Lot or A Little?
The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Positive Role Models
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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- Release Date:August 9, 2019
- Audio Format:5.1
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