Guest / Limited Access /
Freedomland
Our Rating
3 Stars - Good
Average Rating
 
(not rated yet)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
R (for language and some violent content)
Genre
Directed By
Joe Roth
Run Time
1 hour 53 minutes
Cast
Samuel L. Jackson, Julianne Moore, Edie Falco, Ron Eldard
Theatre Release
February 17, 2006 by Sony Pictures

Watching Freedomland reminded me a bit of last year's Cinderella Man. That zero-to-hero boxing movie's conclusion isn't much of a mystery. But, the film created such tension and empathy for the characters, that being able to guess the ending didn't matter. The journey was the important part.

This is probably what the filmmakers of Freedomland hope for. And it mostly works. Based on the book by Richard Price (who also wrote the screenplay), the movie centers on a carjacking/murder case with a solution that is fairly obvious from the get-go. Price has even said publicly that the film is loosely inspired by a famous real-life case. This isn't as much a thriller as it is a drama—propelled by the questions of how the characters will find out the truth. And how that truth will affect their world.

Freedomland begins in a New Jersey public housing project called Armstrong, where local detective Lorenzo Council (Samuel L. Jackson) is king and protector. But he's thrown above his head when a white woman, Brenda Martin (Julianne Moore), is carjacked near Armstrong by a black man. The bad news: Her 4-year-old was asleep in the backseat. Worse news: Her brother (Ron Eldard) is a cop in the almost all-white neighboring suburb of Gannon. Soon, Armstrong is under siege by Gannon cops. There's a bitter stalemate between races as Council investigates the crime. As both races put pressure on him, Council turns to a neighborhood advocacy group, led by Karen Collucci (Edie Falco), which regularly mobilizes to help police find missing children. Together, they try to put the pieces together before Armstrong tears itself apart.

As in the book, Price uses the carjacking/kidnapping of a white child by a black to probe racial fears, prejudice, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Tags:
Browse All Movie Reviews By:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
TrendingHow to Date Jesus' Wife
How to Date Jesus' Wife
New tests suggest a manuscript fragment is ancient after all. Is it important? We asked noncanonical gospels expert Nicholas Perrin.
Editor's PickFive Errors to Drop From Your Easter Sermon
Five Errors to Drop From Your Easter Sermon
If you want to help people see Holy Week with fresh eyes, start by dropping these familiar fallacies.
Leave a Comment

Use your Christianity Today login to leave a comment on this article. Not part of the community? Subscribe now, or register for a free account.

hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

February 2006

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.