Review of Bryan Banks written by Doug Atchison and directed by Tom Shadyac rating *****
I followed this story when it first broke. I knew then that it had the makings of a great film. A high school athlete on a fast track to college football and the NFL is accused of rape. He is sent to prison. His hopes and dreams are stolen. Once out of prison, life is no easier. He is a convicted felon. He is a registered sex offender. He is on probation. Everything changes when the accuser reaches out on Facebook.
This film uses Bryan’s story to highlight many of the problems with the criminal justice system. Bryan Banks was black and did not have the resources to go up against a criminal justice system stacked against him. His lawyer convinced him to take a plea rather than face the possibility of decades behind bars. He did not know the consequences of that action.
Being a convicted felon and a registered sex offender is perhaps the most oppressing circumstance one can find themselves in. Add to this the scrutiny of the probation system, and it becomes nearly impossible for someone to climb back out. Bryan’s only chance is to prove his innocence and have his conviction overturned. That glimmer of hope presents itself when the accuser reaches out to him on social media.
The story of what happens next is a story of people in positions of power doing the right thing. It doesn’t always happen like this.
Aldis Hodge as Bryan Banks and Greg Kinnear as the lawyer who helps overturn the conviction do justice to the real life people they portray.
This is an uplifting film worth your time.
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