Freedomland - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Freedomland Reviews

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Super Reviewer
February 22, 2012
An ex-druggie white mom claims that she was car-jacked in a black neighborhood ... and that her 4 year old was in the back seat. Thus erupts simmering racial hatred, profiling, police brutality and mucho uber-drama in this uneven effort that has eyes bigger than its stomach. The work of Jackson, Moore and Falco do a lot towards saving what could'be been one truly disastrous mess but only just.
Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2006
This film had the potential to be excellent. Freedomland is a grown-up crime drama/mystery film with an actual story and substance, which is the complex relationship between law enforcement and racial isuues/tension. It's not that films like this aren't being made, because they are, it's just that they're not as pervasive as they once were.

This starts off pretty promising and strong, but quickly spirals out of hand, losing focus, and becoming a muddled, confused story where nothing is quite as it seems, with the end result being a limp noodle that just sort of fizzles into nothing. The story does get resolved of course, but it is disappointing and rather anticlimatic.

The direction isn't terrible, but it seems like there's a lack of confidence or maybe that the material is good enough to hold things together. The script was adapted from a book, with the screenwriter responsible for both. Maybe the book is better, maybe not. It just feels like with the movie though that something (or a lot of things) may be missing, because when things lose foucs, they also stop making total sense.

The acting is good though. I like the cast, and they give decent performances. In fact, that's probably the only really decent thing at work here. It's just too bad that the material and the execution couldn't also be as strong. The film, despite it's problems, is just kind of average, and not a complete train wreck. Perhaps my bias towards the actors is affecting things, but this film really seems like it's just average compared to similar works, but not completely bad.
Super Reviewer
April 28, 2007
A bloodied woman stumbles into an emergency room accusing an unknown black assailant of stealing her car with her 4 year old son still sleeping in the back. Detective Samuel L. Jackson investigates while trying to diffuse the ensuing racial friction in the local projects. Hollywood has another stab at a thriller that tackles race relations, and once again is found wanting. The level of subtlety on display here makes Crash look like a gritty documentary, and Julianne Moore sniffles and whines her way through the film as a completely one dimensional hysterical mother. Even SLJ struggles to keep this sentimental drivel afloat, but despite his usual commanding presence, the weak script and trite dialogue means that following a couple of unbelievable plot contrivances and meaningless platitudes on the level of "God moves in mysterious ways" even he is starting to look embarrassed to be there. This is one of those films that you watch because the star names make you think it deserves attention, but by the end their choice to become involved with such simplistic, melodramatic nonsense makes you feel a little betrayed by them. If you're hankering for some race related drama done right (and even featuring the man himself) I'd stick with Do The Right Thing.
Super Reviewer
June 22, 2008
How bad can somebody act? I've liked Julianne Moore since Boogie Nights and she also has Magnolia on her credits. But her acting in this totally horrible film is so awful. How annoying can somebody be?

The acting in overall was one of the worst I've seen in a while. None of the actors can say that they did a good job.

The script was also a total underachievement. Some of the lamest monologues can be heard in this one.

I've never fastforwarded in a movie or skipped a chapter, cuz I think a movie is meant to be seen from start to finish, but I was so close to do it for the first time in my life.

If you're waiting for a boring 2 hours where annoyment is lurking just behind the dark corner... go for it.
Super Reviewer
July 6, 2007
Most definitely my favourite performance by Julieanne Moore. There is more than one storyline here. Great performances also from Samuel L.Jackson and a smaller part from Edie Falco.

VERDICT: Without a doubt, I recommend watching (however I'm not gonna send out recommendations for this film, in light of topical issues)
Super Reviewer
July 16, 2007
Freedomland begins in a housing project in N.J. Detective Lorenzo Council (Samuel L. Jackson) is establishing his character as a "policeman of the projects." Brenda Martin (Julianne Moore) enters a hospital with blood stained hands. Martin claims that she was jacked by a "black man" and that was it. She is clean for five years (in recovery) and actually works in the projects. She claims that had been heading back to the projects to retrieve her glasses. This was late in the evening-around 11 pm or so. As Council pushes her she gives up that her son was in the back of the car when it was jacked. It comes out that Brenda's Brother, Danny Martin (Ron Eldard)is on the force. You can see where this is going. Racial tension swarms, the cops shut down the projects, a hunt ensues. All of the subplots about Brenda's life, race riots, recovery, single parenting, kidnapping...they are all there, but NONE fleshed out well at all. Everything gets summed up within a scene or a monologue. This movie begged a lot of questions, but addressed very few leaving poorly drawn conclusions to drawn out conflict. You see the ending coming a mile away. You know what happened from the get go, but they keep circling around through different lines that only intersect when it is convenient to the what is happening at that moment. It might have been more poignant to get there and hit it hard. Jackson is the best thing about this movie, but he was far from his best. Moore is in a haze, what end? The racial tension issue was left pretty untouched save for a few scenes and I think that was a really important part of the movie. This had the just did not make it.
Super Reviewer
½ June 10, 2007
A film that deals with race and class as a young white mother claims of being highjacked and having her child snatched while near the rundown area of the city. But is all as it seems?
Super Reviewer
½ August 29, 2006
Super Reviewer
April 16, 2006
good movie with some parts of suspense, action and adventure.
it keeps you on the edge of your seat.
its totally unpredictable because when u think one thing immediately the things happening on the movie makes you think different.
Great pair of actor , Julianne Moore and Samuel L. Jackson are excellent
Super Reviewer
April 1, 2007
[font=Century Gothic]"Freedomland" starts with Brenda Martin(Julianne Moore) staggering into the Dempsy Medical Center with bloody hands. At first, she tells Detective Lorenzo Council(Samuel L. Jackson, who does a wonderful job) that she was carjacked near the Armstrong Housing Projects by a black male on her way back to Gannon. But then she mentions that her four year old son, Cody, was in the back seat. This sets off an intense manhunt, as Gannon police arrive, led by Brenda's brother, Danny(Ron Eldard), and the housing project is locked down, exacerbating already high racial tensions. But Council is beginning to have doubts about Brenda's story...[/font]
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[font=Century Gothic]"Freedomland" is a powerful movie about the twisted legacy of suburban segregation. The movie also has quite a lot to say about the role of the police in society as symbolized by Detective Council who seeks to find the best way as a policeman to serve his community, while coming to terms with his own past. After all the righteous anger expressed, there is still some hope for reconciliation. [/font]
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Super Reviewer
January 13, 2010
An interesting story of how strong race can make for interesting times in criminal investigations and prosecutions. It has been better executed in other films however.
Super Reviewer
June 11, 2007
Relates to the problems of a "mother on crack! Julianne Moore is definitely believable in her performance as a recovering crack addict/school teacher. Worthy of seeing as the question sticks in your mind..."How could she?" Please see.
Super Reviewer
½ June 22, 2007
This entire movie,plot and ending was a let down.I thought it might be good since i enjoy both Moore and Jackson,but this was th worst plot ever. You keep thinking that something interesting is going to happen and it just craps out. A waste of good film and 2 hours.
Super Reviewer
½ November 7, 2006
Stubbornly aimless storytelling.
Super Reviewer
May 21, 2006
I don't even know where to begin. Julianne Moore, you're on the list.
Super Reviewer
½ May 27, 2006
There is a distinct lack of focus & drive in Freedomland that largely lessens the film's impact-- so much is thrown around (loss, guilt, racial prejudice, responsibility, etc.) that every theme brought to the table ends up diluted and kind of fuzzy. By the time the third reel kicks in, the film is far past its momentum and too preoccupied by the usual thriller tropes to fully register to the elaborate social commentary it first aimed for. The result? A resolutely not very cinematic picture that's troubling in parts but feeble as a whole. Moore, Falco and Jackson seem, however, to dig a little deeper into their characters that the screenplay does, and as frustrating as it is to see such fine performers thrash inside mostly one-note personas, the few notes of sincerity they hit makes Freedomland tolerable enough during one's viewing.
Super Reviewer
February 25, 2008
Decent film, some good performances. Julianne Moore was excruciatingly annoying though.
Super Reviewer
½ February 14, 2008
|I thought this would have been alot better
Super Reviewer
½ May 5, 2006
I am still confused as to my feelings over 'Freedomland'. There were many individual scenes I admired, and parts where it felt like the film was just about to come alive, but as a whole the film lacks clarity and structure, and so doesn't really come together. Julianne Moore in particular gives an outstanding performance as mentally unbalanced Brenda - she is consistent and strong throughout. One of her most heartfelt scenes are in the latter end of the film, where she finally reveals the truth of her ordeal, and it is a captivating thing to watch - you sense her emotional turmoil and the inner struggle she is dealing with. But save for moments like these the film is rather average, and abundant with plot-holes. The racial undertones too are to ambiguous for the audience to confront and so we are left feeling unsatisfied. The other characters also appear to not know what they are doing or understand their role, so are never as interesting as Moore. If a bit more time was spent on the script this could have been successful. As it is, there's little to impress.
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