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Freedomland Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… crappy … Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 10

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    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.

  • 38

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Steer clear of Freedomland, the movie. Your time would be better spent reading Richard Price's much more compelling 1998 novel.

    Read Full Review

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    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.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    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.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Sheri Linden

    The film is, above all, a moving portrait of hurting souls, brought to life in compelling performances.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Freedomland reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

This missing child drama is not for kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the subject matter of this film is not for kids. It focuses on the upset caused by a missing child, specifically his mother's upset and the social and political chaos that erupts surrounding the crime, which may involve his abduction, injury, or death. One asthmatic character has an episode when his inhaler gives out, and he gasps for air and has to take a panicky shot of adrenalin (soundtrack pounding, fast editing). The film includes violent and bloody imagery, heavy use of profanity (frequent f-words, "hell," s-words, and "damns"), and tense situations (including clashes between an adult brother and sister, and a grieving mother's hallucination of her child in a hospital waiting room). Several characters smoke, refer to drugs, and one looks to be smoking a joint.

  • Families can talk about missing children and efforts to find them. How can media help or hinder this search process? How does racism affect the authorities' responses to the crime story? How does Lorenzo's background -- his incarcerated son, his addictions, his religious faith -- affect his professional choices?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: White characters (including cops) display racist attitudes toward young black men; black character refers to white police officer's "hillbilly ass" white cop refers to black suspect as a "monkey" cops abuse suspects; a woman describes the history of an instutition where children were abused; a woman has an affair with a married man (off screen); riot at end is framed as rebellion and frustration.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Descriptions of children's abuse in an institution and a child being buried; imagery includes Brenda's flashback where anonymous carjacker throws her to ground and her hands bleed; she hits her own head in frustration (with fists and against a door); she becomes hysterical in interrogation room and must be restrained; cops beat "suspects" with batons; cops beat suspect, leaving him bloodied and bruised; Lorenzo hits his head against a window, leaving glass broken and a bloody cut; riots break out, burning appliances and buildings.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Reference to being "knocked up," a woman describes her sexual affair with a neighbor, focusing mostly on her loneliness and desire rather than the phsyical aspects.

  • language false5

    Language: Frequent f-words, plus multiple uses of "hell," s-word, and "damn."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: References to drug/alcohol addictions (Brenda and Lorenzo); cops say a young man was spotted with a bag of marijuana (off screen).