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Freeway (1996)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  3 September 1997 (France)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 21,589 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 195 user | 62 critic | 15 from

A twisted take on 'Little Red Riding Hood' with a teenage juvenile delinquent on the run from a social worker traveling to her grandmother's house and being hounded by a charming, but sadistic, serial killer/pedophile.



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6 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cop #1
Cop #2
Ben Meyerson ...
Cop at Truckstop
Cop #3
G. Eric Miles ...
Cop #4
Detective Mike Breer
Chris Renna ...
ER Nurse
Female Anchor
Kitty Fox ...
Naomi Frohlegger - Grandma


Little Red Riding Hood for the 1990's: After her mom and step-dad are arrested, 15-year-old Vanessa Lutz decides that instead of once again being put into a foster home, she'd rather go and search for the grandmother she's never met, and live with her. "On the way to grandma's house," (actually a trailer park) Vanessa's car breaks down, and she's picked up from the side of the road by Bob Wolverton, a counselor at a school for troubled boys. Bob slowly earns Vanessa's trust, and eventually convinces her to talk about her sexual abuse at the hands of her stepfather. When Vanessa realizes that Bob is enjoying what she's saying, she realizes that he's "The I-5 Killer," from the news. She tries to get out of his truck, but the inside door handle has been removed... Written by Daniel Aubrey White <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Her life is no fairy tale. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong lurid violence and sexual dialogue, some sexual situations, drug content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

3 September 1997 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Auto-Estrada do Inferno  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Vanessa (Reese Witherspoon) vomits, she is actually spitting out yogurt. See more »


When Vanessa is fighting Bob, they roll over the bed, and a tray of medicine bottles slides off a bedside table. In a later shot, the tray and some of the medicine bottles is back on the table. See more »


Vanessa: Well look who got beaten with the ugly stick. Bob, is that you? My God, I can't believe such an itty bitty gun could make such a big mess out of someone! You are so ugly Bob! Oh and hey I heard you have one of those poop bags where the shit comes out the side, you're just a big old shitbag aren't you Bob! I hope you think of me every time you shit in that thing motherfucker!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The beginning credits play over a series of color drawings (in a style similar to cartoonist Robert Crumb) in a hip retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood story. See more »


Followed by Freeway II: Confessions of a Trickbaby (1999) See more »


Written and Performed by Alicia Rose (as Miss Murgatroid)
Published by I Hate Music Inc.
Courtesy of Worry Bird Disk
See more »

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User Reviews

Witherspoon Starshine
29 September 2002 | by (Oregon) – See all my reviews

In other hands this story might have become just another cheesy teen exploitation flick. But in Matthew Bright's "Freeway" we have a solid script, confident direction, an excellent supporting cast, and a gleefully twisted world view, all backing up a boldly brilliant star-turn performance by Reese Witherspoon. Her Vanessa Lutz is brazen, coarse, violent, manipulative, and seemingly doomed no matter which way she turns. But at the end of the day, of every day, she remains her own person, and nothing can intimidate or stop her. Witherspoon seems to live and breathe this demanding role, with never a hint of 'acting a part' -- which is to say she is doing some very fine acting indeed. Vanessa Lutz is a role like Forrest Gump, though even more challenging, where one tiny step out of character would spoil the whole thing. But Miss Witherspoon never misses.

Plus, it was great to see Kiefer Sutherland play a smarmy, goody-two-shoes psychopathic villain. Much more fun than his trained chipmunk limp-wrist tendentiousness in "24." I have seen no evidence that this man can actually act, but he really does not need to here. When he first appeared on screen I thought, 'Oh no, this movie's over.' But soon I discovered, to my delight, that he he had been cast precisely for his pathetic loser quality.

For some reason IMDB classifies Freeway as a 'crime/drama,' which mostly misses the point. It is a diabolical black comedy with lots of violent action, some of it realistic, but most of it wonderfully absurd. All in all it earns a solid 8/10 for being funny and satisfying, a movie which I would happily watch again.

42 of 63 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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