True story of wrongfully imprisoned middleweight boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter, based on his own autobiography and the testimony of those who helped to obtain his release. In 1973, Carter (Denzel Washington) languishes in jail, having been falsely accused and convicted of murdering three whites in a New Jersey ballroom. The man responsible for his arrest is corrupt white detective Vincent Della Pasca (Dan Hedaya), who has already had Carter imprisoned twice before on jumped up charges. When young black boy Lesra Martin (Vicellous Reon Shannon) reads Carter's autobiography, he is moved to campaign for his release. Supported by Canadian educationalists Terry (John Hannah), Lisa (Deborah Kara Unger) and Sam (Liev Schreiber), Lesra manages to obtain an appeal, but when this goes against him Carter begins to lose hope of ever clearing his name.