Brian Banks

The Plot:

Based on a true story, Brian Banks (Aldis Hodge), an All-American high school football star on track to go to USC is wrongly convicted of a crime. Years later, through the California Innocence Project and the help of Justin Brooks (Greg Kinnear), he fights to regain his life and his dream of playing in the NFL. 

Lynn’s Take:

A true-story tale of redemption, “Brian Banks” uses a procedural structure, with flashbacks, to tell yet another inspiring example of a man taking his destiny into his own hands. Banks never gave up on himself and his dogged determination to be his own advocate.

What sets this apart is the acting is strong and convincing. Rising star Aldis Hodge, now on the Showtime series “The City on the Hill” with Kevin Bacon and in “Hidden Figures” and “Straight Outta Compton,” is persuasive in the leading role. 

Kinnear plays Brooks as a realist, not the “White Savior” one usually finds. Actually, the savior role here is played by the uncredited Morgan Freeman as a counselor whose words have a major effect on Banks.

The film sheds light on the legal missteps and how a broken justice system failed Banks. The script is methodical and the direction by Tom Shadyec, who did another true-life inspiring movie “Patch Adams,” navigates all the twists and turns well.

A feel-good movie with no apologies, “Brian Banks” shows us dreams can still come true. We need to be reminded that people can fight for their happy ending.