Freedomland 2006

Critics score:
23 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: The compression renders Freedomland as a slight, not entirely engaging mystery with slight overtones about the dangers of racial profiling. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Freedomland, -- is a jittery, overwrought drama that does all it can to vanquish the fine performances lurking within it. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: First-rate actors bail out second-rate directors all the time, and Freedomland serves as the latest example. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: Moviemakers who exploit the suffering and death of children to ratchet up the dramatic stakes belong in the innermost circle of hell, but Freedomland -- clumsy and overwrought as it is -- earns the right to its harrowing trajectory. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: A sometimes heavy-handed urban drama punctuated by some devastatingly effective scenes. Read more

Steve Murray, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: A blunt, awkward, wannabe Important Movie, Freedomland bludgeons its good ideas into a pulp of overacting, overdirection and black-and-white characterizations in a story meant to be shaded in gray. Read more

Scott Tobias, AV Club: Even with an ideal cast and a script by Price himself, Roth lacks the sensibility to capture the subtle tensions between the black residents of a tenement project and the working-class whites in a neighboring city. Read more

Bill Muller, Arizona Republic: In Roth's hands, Freedomland is a civics lesson disguised as a police drama, shrouded in a mystery that's not very mysterious to anyone who has seen the trailer. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: Freedomland, an overblown urban crime drama that should be a lot better than it is. Read more

Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times: Freedomland, written by Richard Price from his novel of the same name, directed by Joe Roth and produced by Scott Rudin, purports to be a social study of racial tensions straining under the weight of a highly publicized, hot-button tragedy. Read more

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: It tries hard and means well. And I couldn't hardly wait for it to end. Freedomland falls short as entertainment. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, The complication in Freedomland arises out of Brenda's hysteria, which is so extreme that we doubt her story even before we've bought into it, and from the movie's dogged, booby-trapped demonstration of the sins of racism. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Director Joe Roth pumps up the hysteria and the racial rumbles, but a cooler hand would have made for a hotter movie. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: Freedomland entertains with smarts, reminding us that the resolution of one mystery doesn't necessarily snuff out the fuse it ignited. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Situations that should have great emotional impact drag on into embarrassing shrillness; moments that are supposed to be heavy become leaden. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: Watchable as it is, Freedomland comes to very little, because it keeps showing you the seams of its good intentions. Read more

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: Freedomland is not an opportunity denied, just squandered. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: As more and more plot lines, characters and possibilities enter the picture, Freedomland loses sight of the tensions that set it in motion in the first place. Read more

Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly: A heap of prodigious talent in an orgy of compensatory overacting. Read more

Gene Seymour, Newsday: Freedomland, the movie, doesn't flow at all. Joe Roth, who as a director makes an excellent producer, tries hard and you can see the effort throughout. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: The movie it's in isn't wonderful, but Moore always is. Read more

Jack Mathews, New York Daily News: The film is dark and claustrophobic, and so confined in its location as to seem more like an adaptation of a play than a novel. Read more

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer: What begins as a familiar kind of media-circus melodrama ends up being something much more complex and tangled. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: Freedomland is so well-acted, so poignantly written, that you can almost forget its excesses and shortcomings and embrace it for what it is -- a serious writer's exploration of racism, cop mob mentality and the mechanics of guilt. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: The thing that makes Freedomland riveting is the way in which its tale of human tragedy unfolds. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Freedomland assembles the elements for a superior thriller, but were the instructions lost when the box was opened? Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, There are places where you can see a subtler, angrier picture trying to kick its way out of the one you're watching. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: What saves Freedomland are the individual scenes and the interplay of people. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: A monumentally overwrought story of child endangerment, racial antagonism, mob violence and police brutality, it provides some of our finest actors the opportunity to behave like bug-eyed, tinfoil-hat-wearing loonies. Read more

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: Freedomland is, at best, a noble failure, which leaves the charred aftertaste of a burned opportunity. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: Freedomland is a good idea that got out of control. Read more

Dave Calhoun, Time Out: This mixed-up, self-important thriller is adapted by Richard Price from his own novel and wastes a talented cast. Read more

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

Brian Lowry, Variety: Brimming with high ambitions but disjointed and ultimately unsatisfying. Read more

Robert Wilonsky, Village Voice: The performances all around are lousy -- histrionic and turgid, a most lethal combination. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: What could have been an unusually smart police procedural becomes a sprawling, overwrought melodrama that itself morphs into a sort of spiritual romance. Read more