Hurricane Streets (1997) Poster

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What would we be without wishful thinking?
shaunrylee3 September 2006
This is my favorite independent film. The simplicity in the storyline is refreshing and the idealistic dreaming of inner-city youth is inspiring. It takes you back to a more simple time when hardships didn't get in the way of the big picture. Brendan Sexton III shines as the ambitious Marcus. Kit Carson's character brings wild imagination and hope to Marcus' life. The acting is very natural and the heart of the story lies within each of these characters. Sure, it would be nice to learn more about each one. It's the ambiguity that has kept at least one person interested from start to finish. For anyone who has ever dared to dream and think outside the confines of the area you grew up in, "Hurricane Streets" will take you on the joyful (but bumpy) journey of youth. Beautiful film by the wonderful Morgan J. Freeman.
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9/10
A look at inner city youth that is more touching than shocking. Refreshing.
Kill-Gore1 September 2001
The life of an inner city teen in Larry Clark's KIDS is portrayed as single minded and pointless, and while it was an eye opening film experience, ultimately its overall value was shock. I was infuriated at the lengths that selfish teens with no since of life's value would go for self gratification, in the only pursuit conceivable to an immature mind.

Hurricane Streets shows us an inner city teen that seems to see the bigger picture. Marcus gets by committing minor thefts, storing his money away with future plans in mind. He's smart enough to shy from major crime and isn't overcome by peer pressure. Theres nothing macho in his criminal activity, he's drawn to it out of immediate necessity. Furthermore, Marcus is capable of not merely lust, but love. He's generous rather than selfish. When you see him at his worst, its sympathy you feel, not disgust or shame.

Like the teens in KIDS, Marcus grows up too fast in a hostile environment that precipitates this growth. But the choices he makes are smart or at least noble, not stupid and shameless. His life is not pointless, it has meaning.

If you want to get a look at the tragic inner city life of teens, you could watch KIDS and be shocked, or you could follow the example Marcus sets in Hurricane Streets and see the bigger picture.

I rate it 9/10
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it dragged a little but it was still good
LittleRascal-1512 November 1999
I only rented this movie because Sexton was in it and i appraise him for his excellent work in "Welcome to the Dollhouse" and "Empire Records". I heard that this movie was real good if you like crime dramas, which i do. At first the movie was real upbeat and i liked it becuase i'm a teenager and i know alot of people that talk like that, i sometimes do. Towards the middle it kind of dragged and the ending was disappointing. Kind of like Welcome to the Dollhouse, you have to decide what's going to happen. But I still enjoyed, i give "Hurricane Streets" ***1/2 out of ****
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5/10
Same-O, same-o.
=G=2 May 2003
"Hurricane Streets" is all about Marcus (Sexton), a disaffected teen boy struggling to grow up in the mean streets of some waterfront hood in NYC. A slow starter with a weak story, this flick manages some par performances from a cadre of young actors as it dogs along, peaking late, and ending abruptly with an unsatisfactory resolution. "Hurricane Streets" is a mediocre cable watch at best which will leave you with the feeling you've seen it all somewhere else before. (C)
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8/10
Realistic, un"blinged" well made film
stakdogballs8 February 2005
First of all like it has been said, this is not typical Hollywood garbage, resolution at end flick which is refreshing.. I grew up in blue collar New Jersey and the setting is NYC... The characters hit close to home and I had one of each of them close to me in my adolescent years.. I rented it not realizing that one of the cast, Carlo Alban was actually an acquaintance of mine in real life.. Apart from the fact that I have my own opinion about him, I think that he as well as the other actors involved do a great job in providing a realistic, down to earth portrayal of urban youth in the mid-late 90's.. The score is also not glamorous, but well done.. You are allowed to have a glimpse of the world seen through so many eyes, that is rarely done accurately on-screen... A well written movie.. See it..
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9/10
Incredible
jatonangel27 January 2002
Don't be put off by the slow pace of the beginning of the film. It well worth the wait, for what comes after. The abrupt ending of the film, is one of the best endings I have ever seen. Also it is one of the best most accurate depictions of what its actually like to be a "street kid" in NYC. So much better than "Kids" (not that Kids was a bad movie).
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7/10
Didn't go anywhere
erasure31 December 1998
Some decent performances were dulled by characters that never developed and a story that never really went anywhere. A tame counterpart to Larry Clark's "Kids," we are taken into the tough inner-city streets and into the lives of a few of its teenage inhabitants. I couldn't get over the feeling that I knew these kids were acting, whereas in "Kids" the performances seemed shockingly real, like a documentary. Lacking on many counts, the movie never provoked much emotion and there seemed to be no closure to any of the characters nor did I care.
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Great portrayal of life as a teen
Antisoc17 March 1999
Hurricane Streets was one of the most powerful, realistic movies I have ever seen. Marcus was on the outside who every teenager is on the inside. I should know, I'm 16.
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10/10
A Real Surprise
mrvirgo17 March 2006
Once in a while you accidentally see a movie you think might possibly be good. After reading the other reviews I decided to give Hurricane Streets a chance. Boy, am I glad I did. The two principal characters are very well acted and totally believable. I related and sympathized immediately with both of them. I didn't find the story line slow at the start as some of the viewers have commented. I did have trouble understanding the dialog because of the muttered lines. Maybe it's a NY thing not to speak clearly. It ultimately didn't matter because Marcus' plunge into deeper and deeper trouble was gripping, sad and terrifying to watch. I especially like the way the director open-ended his movie. This left me to wonder what would happen to the two lead characters and allowed my imagination full play. I hope that the director will become well known enough so people won't mix him up with the actor. Apparently they are two totally different people. Give this movie a chance.
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KIDS with a soul
LATENITE11 January 1999
This movie has many great points. The main character, 15 year old Marcus, added a great raw aspect to this movie that i haven't seen too often in other films, through his acne-ridden face with seemingly no make-up and harsh young new york accent. The film has a fine plot, but its logic gets very confused towards the end. The ending of the movie left many sub-plots of the movie unfinished, but after pondering it for awhile, i realized that it was a great way to end the movie. Hurricane Streets is similar to the film KIDS in many ways, but falls short of meeting KIDS' underlying messages and tones, and it's fantastic realism. 'Hurricane' does however have much more soul and feeling displayed than KIDS.
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5/10
Fnord
peterpants6631 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Hurricane Streets was a tight little picture about several NYC kids who run around causing trouble then chill in a neat little underground pad. This came out just two years after KIDS and seems to be a pretty standard copy, only with younger actors and less visceral sex, maybe no sex. Brendan Sexton plays his usual down and outer, he runs around the city with his homies, eventually finds a girl, robs a store and leaves town. People i knew liked it, maybe due to the soundtrack (sex and candy anyone?), maybe due to it being a slightly adult themed movie geared towards kids. Personally i think just about anyone can shoot in NY with a bunch of scruffy looking youth's and collect enough footage for a film that people will deem "great". Besides what i mentioned above the movie doesn't really go anywhere, there's no real narrative and the actors involved play things out pretty blasé, it's heavily conquered material to say the least. It was compared to "kids" because it was in NY and dealt with mislead youth, another flick that came out around the same time which was similar and boring in the same way was "all over me". It's important to note that all three films had amazing soundtracks. The director Morgan Freeman (not the science channel) went on to write for MTV reality shows mostly, and it makes sense. There is one scene worth mentioning, at some point the kids end up with a gun and while one dude is hiding in their clubhouse the trigger gets pulled. They must have had no money because it's the fakest gunshot i think i've seen, it's like a cap gun literally. Some of that white smoke even peels out of the barrel. Seriously fake looking gun/scene. Forget this movie, rent the Vagrant instead.
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8/10
Under-appreciated - a simple story well told.
oneguyrambling5 January 2011
There is nothing outstanding about this little film from the late 90s, the director never really went on to make bigger things, the only actor that I recognise as still being "in work" is Brendan Sexton III, hardly a household name and the film is rarely mentioned in lists of any description; underrated, forgotten, minor classics… even where are they now.

But for some reason I really like it.

Low key and unassuming from first frame to last, Hurricane Streets follows a 15 year old kid and his young mates for a couple of weeks in the unnamed city n which they live. But really this is all about Marcus (Sexton). Marcus has no father and his mum is in prison. He lives with his grandma who owns a scungy bar with seemingly no clientele. We never really see Marcus at home as he is always hanging with his friends either on the streets or in their "clubhouse", an underground cellar type place where they smoke, drink, talk sh*t and play darts.

Being 15 and without any adult guidance the kids get up to some small time mischief, shoplifting mainly for stuff to sell to kids at the local school. One of the kids however, Chip has definitive plans to be "laaaaarge", he feels that their achievements are small time and wants more. (It should be noted that Chip is also a terrible actor and a total tosser - if you don't want to punch him several times in the film you were never a teenager.) Marcus decides one day leave the city to go back to where he grew up, he has no real plans but feels (at 15) that he needs a change. When I was 15 a change meant new shoes or buying a hat – maybe I had no aspirations.

With 3 days to go until he skedaddles though Marcus meets a young girl named Melena and the two hit it off. He also gets nabbed for shoplifting and arrested, finds out more about his Mother and her criminal past than he previously knew and attempts to talk the other boys out of escalating their criminal activity to bigger things.

Shoulda just bought a hat really.

There really isn't too much more to the film that I can tell, there is a convenient yet contrived plot twist that makes practically no sense whatsoever, but it does lead to one of the better awkward endings to a film that I've seen in a long while, one that I mull over each time I see the film.

Given that the main 6 actors in the film are school age a certain degree of settling for less is simply a must, 3 of the 6 are especially awful – Glengarry Glen Ross this ain't, but Brendan Sexton III at least showed enough to have suggested that he had a future in film, even if he hasn't yet landed a big role or a lead yet.

It's hard to talk up a film that no-one else has heard of; and that you probably couldn't track down nowadays even if you did want to watch it – but Hurricane Streets manages to convince me to see past the flaws and enjoy the film as the simple, uncluttered and unassuming 90 odd minutes that it is.

Final Rating – 8 / 10. A low key indie film that aims for little more than telling a simple story well – and achieves that humble goal.
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uhhh yeah
mawkyjones14 November 2002
Well your message was sort of un-informed. Morgan J Freeman is not the same as the actor Morgan Freeman(Seven, The Shawshank Redemption.) And the movie was really good, just because it didnt tie up all the "loose ends," doesnt make it a bad ending. Figure it out for yourself, not everything has to have a happy, hollywood ending, so you dont have to use your mind and form your own interpretation.
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brilliant and entertaining
wobert1218 April 1999
I rented this one on a whim, and really enjoyed it. It's the first movie I've seen since Kids that gave a realistic portrayal of teenage life. All the actors are believable as 15-year-olds (I especially enjoyed Brendan Sexton and the girl who played Melena), and the dialogue was realistic. Up until very late in the film, all of the plot twists were things that could have happened in real life. Also, the film showed the downside of a life of crime without coming off as preachy. I'm looking forward to seeing more work from everyone involved in this film.
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A great performance by Brendan Sexton III
sallyhanford27 February 2000
This is the first time that I have seen Brendan Sexton III on screen and I was really impressed. The movie does start a little slowly, but it is worth sticking with. It is more like a French movie than an American one something like 'Les Quatre Cents Coups', where the atmosphere is almost more important than the action. The leading actors are a gang of youngsters all of whom are very good in their roles. The hero reminds me of River Phoenix in 'Running on Empty.' I would recommend it.
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10/10
shows promising young actors
maaja4520 October 2000
These kids do bad things but they are not all bad. Marcus has integrity and it shows. Brendan Sexton and Isidra Vega shine on screen. It's real, it's gritty and the cinematography is wonderful. I'd love to see a sequel and find out what happens to Marcus and Melena.
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Won't really rock you like a "hurricane," but it's a good enough drama
coverme66 August 2000
"Hurricane Streets" is a film about how a young teen delinquent named Marcus (Brendan Sexton III) who goes through some rough soul-searching after several run-ins with the police, other emotional disturbed teens, and even his own family. This flick might not be an explosive, urban drama like "Boys in the Hood"

or even "Kids," for that matter, due to lack of excess violence, but the acting is definitely first-rate, especially by Sexton, who kind of reminds me of young Russel Crowe.
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10/10
Surprisingly powerful
spunky-175 July 1999
At the beginning of this movie I was turned off by all of the not-so-modern ghetto slang and almost wanna-be-hip attitude of the movie but I soon forgot that. It's really quite an interesting, and realistic film about a New York kid who's on the fast track to a life of crime. His dad's dead, his mom's in jail for murder, and his grandma owns a bar. He and some of his friends hangout, lift stuff from stores and generally just do illegal stuff. It escalates into a suspenseful train and then the movie just ends when he's on the way out of New York. A somewhat disappointing ending, but a good film altogether.
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only redeeming factor was Brendan Sexton III's performance
momma-35 June 1999
This film seemed utterly pointless...it didn't really seem to go anywhere, was quite predictable in some areas (i.e. his mother's real reason for being imprisoned), and seemed contrived in other areas. As someone who has lived most of her life in NYC, it did not seem feasible nor realistic that the abusive father of Markus's love interest knew EXACTLY where to go to find his daughter and also knew EXACTLY where the kids' clubhouse was. Brendan Sexton III's performance was promising and was really the only worthy teen performance in this film. The acting caliber of some of the kids in his clique was absolutely atrocious, more specifically the nose-pierced, tough guy Sexton's character constantly butted heads with. On a scale of 1 to 10, I'll give it a 6 and that's only because of Brendan Sexton III's contribution to this film.
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Hurricane Streets won't exactly blow you away, but its young performers act up something of a storm.
Raul Santigo26 April 1999
OK class, let's review: successful screenplays usually have at least three things in common – a beginning, middle and end. Within this basic framework, we are supposed to be introduced to the main character, observe his or her conflict and, hopefully, learn how he or she resolves it. Unfortunately, Hurricane Streets starts out at the end, has too many characters and fails to resolve much of anything.

Written and directed by newcomer Morgan J. Freeman (not the famous actor), this film traces the descent of an inner-city youth gang into increasingly serious crime. We first meet this group of 5 disenfranchised adolescent boys in their headquarters -- a glorified sewer hole -- where they regularly reconnoiter to inventory their stolen merchandise and plan their next heist. Up till now, the group's leader, a boy named Marcus (Brendan Sexton III), has been wisely steering them away from high profile crime. Then one of the boys suggests they go after some real money. This perfectly acceptable plot could have been the basis for a decent, if not cliché story.

The problem is, there is no real story. Instead, the film loiters too much around its central character, Marcus. We eavesdrop on Marcus' relationship with his parentally-abused girl friend, monitor his visits with his incarcerated mother and wonder why this angry, fatherless kid hasn't completely gone off on someone. Meanwhile, the gang keeps on swearing and posturing its way through a number of theft and sewer-hole sequences until an unexpected tragedy occurs. This "stagy" event is strictly deus ex machina (theater talk for introducing an obvious, last-minute plot device), but it does have a devastating effect on the gang. Unfortunately, by this point we are basically too numb to care.

Director Freeman does know kids however, and has a good ear for dialogue. And, despite a somewhat unstructured, unresolved story, manages to elicit some poignant moments from his young actors whose performances, overall, are quite good. If nothing else, we see how painfully vulnerable these kids are -- despite their bluff facades. Given a more disciplined screenplay, we might even have cared.
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6/10
A mediocre, uninspired first directing effort by Morgan Freeman
pugdad21 November 1998
Morgan J. Freeman, perhaps our finest actor working today, gives us a pedestrian and uninspired film that includes most of the cliches of growing up in the lower class ghettos of a large city. While he draws good performances from his young actors, the story meanders and never goes anywhere, leaving the viewer wholly unsatisfied as the final credits roll when too many loose ends remain undeveloped.
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