Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 35
  2. Negative: 9 out of 35
  1. This tale of a white mother's kid gone missing in a black New Jersey neighborhood - and the tensions and news media attention that ensue - is pretty much pure jive.
  2. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Steer clear of Freedomland, the movie. Your time would be better spent reading Richard Price's much more compelling 1998 novel.
  3. 38
    An overblown urban crime drama that should be a lot better than it is.
  4. 25
    Roth takes three powerhouse actors -- Julianne Moore as the mother, Samuel L. Jackson as the cop who interrogates her and Edie Falco as another woman who lost her son -- and reduces their talents to rubble and their characters to screeching cliches.
  5. 25
    With Roth at the helm of a script attributed to Price, there is minimal suspense, audience involvement or coherent social commentary.
  6. Freedomland is the worst kind of bad movie: one that thinks it's important.
  7. Freedomland manages a seemingly impossible feat: It's both turgid AND overwrought, eliciting the shriek that fades into a yawn without anyone ever noticing. It's a wholly dreary piece of work.
  8. An early candidate for worst film of the year is Freedomland, an inept, lethally dull drama.
  9. 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.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 41 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 22
  2. Negative: 8 out of 22
  1. AlanNutter
    Sep 6, 2007
    I can't understand the negative reaction to this movie. It depicts how one event can have massively far reaching consequences and illustrates it well. Julianne Moore was superb in this movie as one critic said, "she doesn't just act she goes on the attack". Recommended. Full Review »
  2. AdamG
    May 17, 2007
    The movie never seemed to go anywhere or accomplish anything; it simply had nothing to prove. Small amounts of activity/action combined with exhaustively long "talks" from Samuel and company along with a boring storyline make this movie intolerable. Full Review »
  3. MichaelL.
    Aug 23, 2006
    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" is a film about suffering, sadness, and the power of losing hope. It's devastating. It's not to be missed. Full Review »