Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
The compression renders Freedomland as a slight, not entirely engaging mystery with slight overtones about the dangers of racial profiling.
Freedomland, -- is a jittery, overwrought drama that does all it can to vanquish the fine performances lurking within it.
First-rate actors bail out second-rate directors all the time, and Freedomland serves as the latest example.
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.
Ebert & Roeper:
A sometimes heavy-handed urban drama punctuated by some devastatingly effective scenes.
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.
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.
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.
Freedomland, an overblown urban crime drama that should be a lot better than it is.
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.
It tries hard and means well. And I couldn't hardly wait for it to end. Freedomland falls short as entertainment.
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.
Freedomland entertains with smarts, reminding us that the resolution of one mystery doesn't necessarily snuff out the fuse it ignited.
Situations that should have great emotional impact drag on into embarrassing shrillness; moments that are supposed to be heavy become leaden.
Watchable as it is, Freedomland comes to very little, because it keeps showing you the seams of its good intentions.
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.
A heap of prodigious talent in an orgy of compensatory overacting.
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.
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.
New York Observer:
What begins as a familiar kind of media-circus melodrama ends up being something much more complex and tangled.
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.
The thing that makes Freedomland riveting is the way in which its tale of human tragedy unfolds.
Freedomland assembles the elements for a superior thriller, but were the instructions lost when the box was opened?
There are places where you can see a subtler, angrier picture trying to kick its way out of the one you're watching.
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.
Globe and Mail:
Freedomland is, at best, a noble failure, which leaves the charred aftertaste of a burned opportunity.
This mixed-up, self-important thriller is adapted by Richard Price from his own novel and wastes a talented cast.
Steer clear of Freedomland, the movie. Your time would be better spent reading Richard Price's much more compelling 1998 novel.
Brimming with high ambitions but disjointed and ultimately unsatisfying.
The performances all around are lousy -- histrionic and turgid, a most lethal combination.
What could have been an unusually smart police procedural becomes a sprawling, overwrought melodrama that itself morphs into a sort of spiritual romance.