Metascore
43

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 35
  2. Negative: 9 out of 35
Watch On
  1. The film is, above all, a moving portrait of hurting souls, brought to life in compelling performances.
  2. At the finish, the filmmakers give us at least three different endings, probably because they have no idea what Freedomland is saying, probably because it's not saying much of anything. But a film with this many virtues can't be written off as just another average entry.
  3. The film doesn't lose its way emotionally; it's full of great monologues about loss and responsibility.
  4. 75
    Strong acting is one of the film's hallmarks. It has been a while since Samuel L. Jackson has given a performance with this much intensity.
  5. 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.
  6. Moore doesn't just act. She goes on the attack, embracing the kind of lower-rung-of-the-middle-class role that actresses from Jodie Foster to Meryl Streep have long savored. Her performance is an achievement of sorts, yet, like the movie itself, it's also strenuous and joyless.
  7. If Freedomland reminds you of Spike Lee's "Clockers," that's not by accident. Like that film, it's adapted by Richard Price from his novel and is set in the neighboring Northern New Jersey communities of Dempsy, predominantly poor and African-American, and the largely white blue-collar suburb of Gannon.
  8. Like most Price movies, it's challenging, engaging and free of the usual thriller cliches.
  9. 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.
  10. Moore is as gutsy an actress as there is today, and I'm not sure I've seen a star as dressed down for a psychological unpeeling since Jessica Lange in "Frances," in 1982, or farther back, Olivia de Havilland in 1948's "The Snake Pit." It's strong stuff.
  11. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    63
    First-rate actors bail out second-rate directors all the time, and Freedomland serves as the latest example.
  12. Price has written a screenplay that may be complex and ambitious to a fault.
User Score
5.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 44 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 23
  2. Negative: 8 out of 23
  1. Jan 6, 2015
    6
    Exploring racism and police misconduct in a mixed neighborhood, Freedomland had ambitious goals and tried to tell it's story without taking aExploring racism and police misconduct in a mixed neighborhood, Freedomland had ambitious goals and tried to tell it's story without taking a position. As the film moves forward, it becomes very clear which way the films writers are leaning, and it defeats the films intended purpose. Julianna Moore plays a woman who claims she was carjacked in the black part of town. Samuel L. Jackson, one of the detectives assigned to the area, goes to investigate, and when he interviews the victim, she drops a bombshell, telling Jackson that her 5 year old son was in the car. We all know that Samuel L. Jackson is a legend and he performed like one in this film, but the problem was Julianne Moore. I get that she's playing a mother who is missing her kid, but she was so whiny and out of it the whole film, that every scene she was in was just painful to watch. Add to that the fact that she's trying to use some southern redneck accent, and she was barely understandable. A white woman claiming her child was kidnapped by a black man is the premise of the film and leads to the police putting down the hammer on the black part of town. It was a story that could have gone in so many terrific directions, but instead it falls flat on it's face, with nonsensical sub-plots, shotty performances, and of course a writer who did anything but tell his story objectively. The investigative part of the film was pretty interesting and Samuel L. Jackson is always great, but overall Freedomland is a cliche, that plays on racial conflict in order to get people to watch it. Full Review »
  2. AlanNutter
    Sep 6, 2007
    8
    I can't understand the negative reaction to this movie. It depicts how one event can have massively far reaching consequences and 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 »
  3. AdamG
    May 17, 2007
    1
    The movie never seemed to go anywhere or accomplish anything; it simply had nothing to prove. Small amounts of activity/action combined with 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 »