A football player’s dreams to play in the NFL are halted when he is wrongly convicted and sent to prison. Years later, he fights to clear his name within an unjust system.
You’re going to see a lot more of Aldis Hodge (“Clemency”) who, in this film, creates a sympathetic character based on a true story. While the film is predictable, even if you don’t know the story, it is one that is engaging, entertaining, and intense as it keeps you on the edge of your seat, watching the injustices and situations spiral out of control. Using a non-linear story telling technique, you’re taken back in time to witness the events unfold. Hodge shines in this role and Sherri Shepherd gives a genuine and heartfelt performance as Banks’ mom. There are also great life lessons in this film that will inspire both teens and adults.
There’s no question that this film has the best of intentions as it is really nothing more than an extended commercial for the California Innocence Project run by Justin Brooks. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that and Banks’s story is surely worth telling but director Tom Shadyac’s heavy-handed approach undercuts much of the movie’s sincerity. Aldis Hodge in the title role does a fine job as does Greg Kinnear as Brooks and the film does end strongly – however this is a case of missed opportunities as this could have been a devastating piece of work had a more deft touch been used.