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

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 42 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)
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
    Its focus--the children--are not even onscreen very much. But their ghosts are everywhere, and the pain of the film is primal.
  3. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    First-rate actors bail out second-rate directors all the time, and Freedomland serves as the latest example.
  4. 50
    Freedomland, overall, could have been so much better. But Moore, even in a performance as patchy as this one, is something to watch. She's an echo of the movie that might have been.
  5. 40
    What, a white woman can’t take an innocent drive through the ghetto without arousing suspicion? What’s this world coming to?
  6. Anyone who has seen the trailers for Freedomland, which don't exactly skimp on maternal angst, already knows this is going to be a sad-mommy story. What we don't know is that it may be a bad-mommy story as well.
  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: 13 out of 22
  2. Negative: 8 out of 22
  1. ReeseW.
    May 26, 2006
    Amazing movie! Julianne Moore is perfect! She gave an superb outstanding performance.
  2. KevinG.
    Feb 18, 2006
    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
    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. Expand
  4. AdamL.
    Feb 18, 2006
    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. ChadS.
    Apr 9, 2006
    Julianne Moore's character is so pathetic and white-you-know-what, feeling sympathy towards her is hard to come by. Her carjacker is black, and yet she's comfortable amonst their young ones. Brenda reminds me a little of Brad Dourif's character in "Mississippi Burning" when he says, "But they're so cute when they're young," to Frances McDormand, who had been looking after the housekeeper's daughter. Moore is too talented an actress to dismiss as being overblown with her scenes with Jackson, but something is a little off. Also off, the way Falco's character is introduced. What's the point of misdirecting the audience into thinking that her vehicle poses a menace to Lorenzo? The detective's investigation would've gone a lot faster if Karen and her cohorts were mediums. Expand
  6. 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. Expand
  7. TheWhiskeyMan
    Feb 17, 2006

See all 22 User Reviews