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Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

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5.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 44 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: A criminal investigation into an alleged kidnapping of a child by a suspect who is presumed to be a local from the projects ignites long-simmering racial tension between two neighboring New Jersey towns. (Sony Pictures)
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 35
  2. Negative: 9 out of 35
  1. The film is, above all, a moving portrait of hurting souls, brought to life in compelling performances.
  2. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    70
    Its focus--the children--are not even onscreen very much. But their ghosts are everywhere, and the pain of the film is primal.
  3. 63
    Hugely ambitious and driven by Julianne Moore, Samuel L. Jackson and Edie Falco's fine, intense performances, Richard Price's adaptation of his own sprawling novel about a racially charged kidnapping that turns a volatile New Jersey town into a powder keg tries to tell too many stories in too little time.
  4. 50
    Individual scenes feel authentic, but the story tries to build bridges between loose ends.
  5. 40
    Ordinarily it's kind of hard to screw up a Richard Price story, but the writer is his own worst enemy here, with a screenplay so filled with bromides and object lessons from God, you can't tell what he's trying to say.
  6. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    40
    A prime example of what works in a book not working in a film.
  7. The production can best be described by several f-words. It is frenetic, frazzled and febrile. It is also feeble -- almost touchingly so, if you think of what bottomless insecurity must have prompted so much bombast.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 23
  2. Negative: 8 out of 23
  1. ReeseW.
    May 26, 2006
    10
    Amazing movie! Julianne Moore is perfect! She gave an superb outstanding performance.
  2. KevinG.
    Feb 18, 2006
    9
    This is a really compelling story that centers around some fine performances by Julianne Moore, Samuel L. Jackson, and Edie Falco. The sour This is a really compelling story that centers around some fine performances by Julianne Moore, Samuel L. Jackson, and Edie Falco. The sour notes in this movie (and there are quite a few) come courtesy of schlock director Joe Roth who tries to package this dramatic story of racial tension and child violence as a commercially viable thriller. His pacing is clunky, his frames are awkward, and he never bothers to seriously examine the psyche of his characters beyond what the fabulous cast is able to produce with their performances alone. If you can excuse a poor directing decision here and there, then this is definitely a movie worth seeing. Expand
  3. MichaelL.
    Aug 23, 2006
    9
    Critics never cease to amaze me. If this film was an Eastern European import, I guarantee it would have received raves. Please note that Critics never cease to amaze me. If this film was an Eastern European import, I guarantee it would have received raves. Please note that Manohla Dargis of the New York times, who gave "Freedomland" a 10 (worst film of the year) awarded "Snakes on a Plane" a 70. Pete Travers of Rolling Stone panned "Freedomland", and gave "Pirates of the Carribean II" it's highest score. Enough said. If you're looking for dumbed-down non-stop action, explosions, cardboard characters, no social message, lots of blood and/or gore, "Freedomland" isn't for you. If you'd like to be challenged by a film that takes an obvious plot outcome yet still manages to create a stranglehold of dread, this is your film. Look, it's not a happy film--it's gloomy, it's fatalistic, and yes, it's too long...but it made me rethink my opinions of people like Susan Smith, and fully understand the tragedy of the uncared-for among us. The people and societal segments that slip through the cracks. This is powerful stuff, and you won't feel good when it's over. Moore is magnificent, and she allows her character's flaws to shine as if they were virtues. Jackson has never been better (except in "Snakes on a Plane", eh, Maohla?) as the detective who is trapped between his own shortcomings, his friends, his need for the truth, and his compassion. Edie Falco brings a quiet truth and dignity to the role of a long-suffering woman assisting in the case. What must be noted here: this is not a crime film. This is not "CSI"...it is a film about suffering, sadness, and the power of losing hope. It's devastating. It's not to be missed. Expand
  4. AdamL.
    Feb 18, 2006
    7
    Its not that bad. Not preachy as i had heard it would be. It held my interest as a mystery. They bad ratings were from people who want there Its not that bad. Not preachy as i had heard it would be. It held my interest as a mystery. They bad ratings were from people who want there to be a moral lesson or some such cornball bullsh.t. They should stick to movies like Crash. Which this movie was not like, thank God. Expand
  5. JudyT.
    Feb 18, 2006
    6
    Not bad, just not great. It does try to be too many things all at the same time. I am surprised that the writer couldn't do better with Not bad, just not great. It does try to be too many things all at the same time. I am surprised that the writer couldn't do better with his own subject. Expand
  6. TomB.
    Feb 27, 2006
    2
    Here's why I can honestly say this movie was terrible: I went by myself, on a whim, and I had absolutely never heard of this movie or Here's why I can honestly say this movie was terrible: I went by myself, on a whim, and I had absolutely never heard of this movie or what it was about. And it's just really, really bad. One good scene with Edie Falco and one good scene between Julianne Moore and Sam Jackson get a point each. But this movie doesn't know what it's trying to say and makes poor black people look pretty stupid. A waste of time and money; don't bother with it. Expand
  7. TheWhiskeyMan
    Feb 17, 2006
    0
    Awful!

See all 23 User Reviews

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