Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Released 2006


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Movie Summary

Joe Roth
Freedomland is a 2006 crime drama about a kidnapping case with racial overtones starring Samuel L. Jackson and Julianne Moore. Police detective Lorenzo Council (Samuel L. Jackson) has earned the nickname "Big Daddy" at the New Jersey housing project he covers for his benevolent, if iron-fisted, supervision. One night, he gets called to the hospital where Brenda Martin (Julianne Moore) is being treated for injuries sustained during a carjacking near the projects, and her four-year old son was in the backseat. Before Lorenzo can move on the case, Brenda's brother Danny (Ron Eldard) arrives, who also happens to be a cop from a nearby neighborhood, and uses his influence to lockdown the housing project while a search takes place. Racial tensions mount as the project residents resent the bully tactics that would never be used for a missing black child. Lorenzo must get the case solved before riots erupt. Joe Roth directs this emotional drama from the best-selling novel by Richard Price.moreless


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Metacritic Score

  • 50

    Variety Brian Lowry

    Despite a few raw moments, pic feels like a Lifetime movie with a marquee cast.

  • 40

    Los Angeles Times Carina Chocano

    Anyone who has seen the trailers for Freedomland, which don't exactly skimp on maternal angst, already knows this is going to be a sad-mommy story. What we don't know is that it ma...

  • 10

    The New York Times Manohla Dargis

    An early candidate for worst film of the year is Freedomland, an inept, lethally dull drama.

  • The Ultimate Movie Review! -- @tss5078


    Exploring racism and police misconduct in a mixed neighborhood, Freedomland had ambitious goals and tried to tell it's story without taking a position. As the film moves forward, it becomes very clear which way the films writers are leaning, and it defeats the films intended purpose. Julianna Moore plays a woman who claims she was carjacked in the black part of town. Samuel L. Jackson, one of the detectives assigned to the area, goes to investigate, and when he interviews the victim, she drops a bombshell, telling Jackson that her 5 year old son was in the car. We all know that Samuel L. Jackson is a legend and he performed like one in this film, but the problem was Julianne Moore. I get that she's playing a mother who is missing her kid, but she was so whiny and out of it the whole film, that every scene she was in was just painful to watch. Add to that the fact that she's trying to use some southern redneck accent, and she was barely understandable. A white woman claiming her child was kidnapped by a black man is the premise of the film and leads to the police putting down the hammer on the black part of town. It was a story that could have gone in so many terrific directions, but instead it falls flat on it's face, with nonsensical sub-plots, shotty performances, and of course a writer who did anything but tell his story objectively. The investigative part of the film was pretty interesting and Samuel L. Jackson is always great, but overall Freedomland is a cliche, that plays on racial conflict in order to get people to watch it.moreless

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Crime, Thrillers, Detectives