Freedom Writers

Critics 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.



Reviews Counted: 126

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 293,425


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.9/5

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Movie Info

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.

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Hilary Swank
as Erin Gruwell
Patrick Dempsey
as Scott Casey
Imelda Staunton
as Margaret Campbell
as Andre
Robert Wisdom
as Dr. Carl John
Sergio Montalvo
as Alejandro
Jason Finn
as Marcus
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
Anh Nguyen
as Sindy's Boyfriend
Chil Kong
as Storeowner
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 (126) | 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.

    Jan 11, 2007 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • Square, sincere, and proud of it.

    Jan 10, 2007 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Jan 9, 2007
  • 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.

    Jan 9, 2007 | Rating: 2.5/4
  • Freedom Writers is another exceptional teacher scenario not so different from the norm.

    Jan 6, 2007 | Full Review…

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

    Jan 5, 2007 | Rating: B | Full Review…

    Nathan Rabin

    AV Club
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Freedom Writers

i love this movie, one of my favourite movies really compelling and interested and a really heartwarming movie that doesnt disappoint! i love the storyline as it hows the american ids in a hard american life live and its just beautifully written and fantastic acting by hilary swank and the rest o the cast! hilary swank plas a teacher who gets a classs of undergraduates who are just left by th other teachers as they feel they wont succeed and will just be societies rejects but hilary takes them on and tries her hardest to i them over which she eventuly succeed in doing, but se has a hard time teaching thm and isnt as easya she may of thought throug going through s split up and death and a bunch of teachers who don support what shes doing its testing time! this movie is powerfull compelling and sad just brilliant throughout i love it completely worth a watch!

Film Crazy
Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

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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