Freedom Writers (2007)



Critic Consensus: Freedom Writers is a frank, formulaic entry in the inspirational inner-city teacher genre, with an energetic Hilary Swank leading the appealing cast of unknowns.

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A dedicated California teacher finds a way to unify her disadvantaged, racially divided students and to improve their grasp of academics, partly by having them keep journals about their violent, troubled lives.
PG-13 (for violent content, some thematic material and language)
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Written By:
In Theaters:
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Hilary Swank
as Erin Gruwell
Patrick Dempsey
as Scott Casey
Scott Glenn
as Steve
Imelda Staunton
as Margaret Campbell
as Andre
Robert Wisdom
as Dr. Carl John
Sergio Montalvo
as Alejandro
Jason Finn
as Marcus
Vanetta Smith
as Brandy
Jaclyn Ngan
as Sindy
John Benjamin Hickey
as Brian Gelford
Pat Carroll
as Miep Gies
Armand Jones
as Grant Rice
Ricardo Molina
as Eva's Father
Angela Alvarado
as Eva's Mother
Anh Tuan Nguyen
as Sindy's Boyfriend
Chil Kong
as Storeowner
Anh Nguyen
as Sindy's Boyfriend
Palma Lawrence Reed
as Andre's Mother
Liisa Cohen
as Brandy's Mother
Brian Bennett
as Brandy's Father
Dan Warner
as White Cop No. 1
Tim Halligan
as Principal Banning
Lisa Banes
as Karin Polachek
Giselle Bonilla
as Young Eva
Earl Williams
as Young Marcus
Angela Sargeant
as Marcus' Mother
Robin Skye
as PTA Mom
Juan García
as Defense Attorney
Larry Cahn
as Prosecutor
Sharaud Moore
as Hall Monitor
Abel Soto
as Gang Member
Randy Hall
as Cop #2
Carl Paoli
as Cop #3
Dominic Daniel
as Drug Dealer
Cody Chappel
as Bookstore Clerk
Renee Firestone
as Herself (Holocaust Survivor)
Eddie Ilam
as Himself (Holocaust Survivor)
Elisabeth Mann
as Herself (Holocaust Survivor)
Gloria Ungar
as Herself (Holocaust Survivor)
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News & Interviews for Freedom Writers

Critic Reviews for Freedom Writers

All Critics (124) | Top Critics (38)

Engaging but clichéd inspirational drama set during the time of the 1992 race riots in Los Angeles. On some level, just about any movie featuring never-say-die teachers is effective.

Full Review… | January 11, 2007
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

Square, sincere, and proud of it.

Full Review… | January 10, 2007
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Our eager-beaver heroine suffers the kids' sarcasm, fails to earn their respect by bringing in a Tupac tape, then wins them over in a crucial scene that, fact-based or not, rings as false as anything in Dangerous Minds.

January 9, 2007
Village Voice
Top Critic

Corny? You bet. And worse when the plot veers into the glitz of a Dangerous Minds and the sappiness of a TV After School Special. But the movie, which Swank helped produce by using her clout as a two-time Oscar winner, gets to you.

January 8, 2007
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Freedom Writers is another exceptional teacher scenario not so different from the norm.

Full Review… | January 5, 2007
Top Critic

Thanks to LaGravenese's empathetic writing and direction, and Swank's titanic force of will, Freedom Writers' unabashed earnestness proves unexpectedly powerful.

Full Review… | January 5, 2007
AV Club
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Freedom Writers

I think the book is better.

Wildaly M
Wildaly M

Super Reviewer


Yes it's corny, yes it's predictable, and yes these characters are as generic as ever, but that doesn't stop Freedom Writers from being extremely powerful, moving and inspirational. Hilary Swank does a great job in the lead here, but the unknown actors and actresses who play the Freedom Writers are the soul of the film; they are incredible. Apart from being predictable and square, this film had me crying and laughing at the same time, had me snickering and get angry at character that I disliked, and more than once made me want to jump and yell with joy. It's a must see film.

Raymond Wieser
Raymond Wieser

Super Reviewer

Inspirational... A must see!

Bethany Murphy
Bethany Murphy

Super Reviewer

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