Brian Banks was an All-American high school football star with a bright future ahead of him. He received a full ride to USC and was a shoo-in for the NFL. But those dreams were ripped away when he was falsely accused and convicted of sexual assault in 2002, at age 17.
Based on the true story, BRIAN BANKS chronicles the innocent athlete’s decade-long fight for justice. The story picks up after Banks (Aldis Hodge) finishes his prison sentence and shows the challenges he faces as a parolee: He can’t find a job, can’t leave Los Angeles County and can’t play football, even for a community college. Although he’s “free,” he’s stuck, unable to move forward in any career or relationship.
Banks spent six years in prison and is set to spend six years on parole, but his status as a registered sex offender will follow him his entire life. He decides to reach out to Justin Brooks (Greg Kinnear) and the California Innocence Project (CIP) for help with overturning his conviction, in hopes of starting over with a clean slate.
(Brooks and Banks. Credit: California Innocence Project.)
In a featurette from Bleecker Street, the studio behind the movie, the real Banks said, “This movie is to raise awareness about the flaws within our judicial system, but this movie is also about inspiring people.”
Audiences undoubtedly will be touched by his story, as well as Aldis Hodge’s portrayal of him, which may very well become a career-defining role for the actor. Alongside Hodge and Kinnear, BRIAN BANKS also stars Tiffany Dupont as CIP staff attorney Alissa Bjerkhoel, the first person to hear about Banks’ case, and Sherri Shepherd as Banks’ mom, Leomia. Morgan Freeman has a small, but influential role as Banks’ teacher while he’s in prison.
Find out if Banks is victorious in his fight for justice. Get your tickets to the opening of BRIAN BANKS, August 9.