The movie was adapted by Armyan Bernstein and Dan Gordon from the books Lazarus and the Hurricane by Sam Chaiton and Terry Swinton and The 16th Round by Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter. It was directed by Norman Jewison.
It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor (Denzel Washington).
The movie was criticized for glossing over some of the facts of Carter's case, including his previous criminal record and the fact that he was released from prison for four years between trials. Also, one of the fights in which the Carter character gets a win, he actually lost.