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Movie Review


MPAA Rating: R-Rating (MPAA) for language and some violent content

Reviewed by: Maggie Hays

Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Drama, Crime
1 hr. 53 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
February 17, 2006 (wide)
Copyright, Columbia Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Columbia Pictures
Racism, Racial Issues and Christianity
Get biblical answers to racial hot-topics. Where did the races come from? How did skin color come about? Why is it important to have a biblical foundation for such issues?

What are the consequences of racial prejudice and false beliefs about the origin of races? Answer

Featuring: Julianne Moore, Samuel L. Jackson, Edith Falco, Ron Eldard, William Forsythe
Director: Joe Roth
Producer: Scott Aversano, Charles Newirth, Scott Rudin
Distributor: Columbia Pictures

“The truth is hiding where no one dares to look.”

Copyrighted, Columbia Pictures

I regret to say that there is nothing about this movie that I can refer to in order to recommend it. Julianne Moore plays a white woman who claims that she is forced from her car one night by a black man, who drives away with her 4-year-old son sleeping in the back seat. Samuel L. Jackson is the detective on the case, who orders an immediate lock-down of the projects, in order to hunt for the boy and the hijacker.

What follows is one scene after another of very angry people shouting and cursing at each other as racial tensions mount. This film is loaded with profanity (way more than 20 “f” words, and the Lord’s name profaned numerous times). Also, there are frequent intense scenes of troubled people shouting, screaming, and verbally attacking each other. If you view this movie, you will absorb a lot of profanity, crudeness, anger, tension, police brutality, and hysteria.

This movie is definitely not for children, or anyone else for that matter. I found myself wondering what point are they trying to get across? Racial tensions in the projects? I’m not really sure. For the soul striving to walk with the Lord, this movie would be unsettling due to the almost-constant stream of foul language and angry people cursing each other. I will not permit my teenager to view this film. I believe it would depress her, and I would not want to expose her to this language. Obviously, this is not a “feel good” film! It is not even interesting, and there is nothing encouraging, educational, uplifting, entertaining, or redeeming.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: None

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive—First the Negative. This was my first time renting an R-rated movie, since “The Passion…,” and I only rented because of excellent recommendation. This movies can be offensive when it comes to profanity (the F-Word). But, It does only use the Lord’s name once. Which is a lot less then many many PG movies.

Now for the Positive. All reviews have missed the whole point of the movie. And it probably presents one of the most Christian messages in a secular format. This movie is not about racial tension, anger or twist. Racial tension is only the vehicle this movie uses to express a very stirring, clear-cut message to the World. This movie is full of symbolism, and the issue it is attacking is child neglect. This movie uses Julianne Moore to express what neglecting one child can lead to. This movie first attempts at making people angry at an “outsider” for hurting her child. Then it makes you angry at how society abuses their power. And last, but not least, it make you angry at her.

Why so much anger? Because the writer wants all of us to be angry at ourselves. Just like Julianne, we blame the outsider (television, music, friends, family) for our woes, when we are really “sleeping' with the enemy.” Then we use “Authorities” who act like little gods (cops, lawyers, psychiatrist) to make us feel better about ourselves. But in reality, the only person who is at fault for our children is us, and our neglect.

This is the revelation that Samuel L. Jackson gets at the end of the movie. He sees his dying son in jail as the equivalent of her dying son. He realizes that there is no difference between him and her, they both neglected their children for other things. In conclusion this movie is very PREACHY to both a worldly audience and also a Christian audience, if you miss the true message (the symbolism of “Freedomland”) you’ve missed the point of the movie.
My Ratings: Good / 4
CJC, age 25
Positive—…“Freedomland” was a movie where people had to read between the lines to see what it was talking about. It was about more than racism. It was about the neglect of children. Both characters neglected their kids, and we ought to learn from them.
Coral J. Cook III
Neutral—I started to watch this movie with optimism because of the all-star cast of Samuel L. Jackson and Julianne Moore, and the story seemed interesting. I have to say, however, that I was disappointed. I am not saying that the movie did not have some twists, but ones that I have seen before. Jackson, tries to carry the poor plot of the movie, but doesn’t exactly succeed. Jackson does talk of faith in God, and letting God have all your problems, and that if something happens it is in God’s will, and in the end Jackson realizes the mistakes he made with his own son, and the film does a shallow job of trying to show race relations problems. The language also downgraded the rating, but in the end I think the message should be treat your children as gifts from God, but don’t make them your life like Moore’s character does.
My Ratings: Average / 2
Chris Francis, age 23
Neutral—I also was a bit disappointed in the movie, mainly because of the use of the F-word on several occasions, but there were also some good points made in the film, mainly about the racial tension that still exists today and that God desires to be in full control of our lives. I was, however, seeking a more focused view on the plot of the movie which was the case of the missing boy and not riots breaking out in the neighborhood. That just seemed to be the main message the director was wanting to get across and not the fact that a 4 yr. old boy was missing. I am just glad I rented the movie for $5.00 and not have wasted $20 going to the movies.
My Ratings: Offensive / 3
Glen Maillet, age 36
Negative—This movie was just not enjoyable in any way, shape, or form. I could even ignore the language, and it still would not be good. The movie went way too long, some scenes that had enough content for about 1 minute ran for 5 minutes, which made the movie drag on and on. The most offensive part of this movie was the language, which appeared in certain parts in large quantities, but in reality, the people in this movie would’ve used language like that on a regular basis. I was bored with this movie, and there is nothing redeeming enough about it that would make it worth recommending to anyone.
My Ratings: Offensive / 3
Ashley, age 20