Late one evening, Brenda Martin, a thirty-seven year old Caucasian woman from the proverbial wrong side of the tracks, enters Dempsy Medical Center in Dempsy, New Jersey with minor injuries, but she is also emotionally distraught. One of the people to who she tells her story is Dempsy Police Detective Lorenzo Council, a black man. That story is that she was just carjacked by another unknown black man when she took a shortcut that she had never traveled between the Armstrong housing projects, where she works at the Rainbow Club, a children's center, and her home in Gannon, New Jersey. Her emotional distress is because her four year old son, Cody, was asleep in the back seat of the car and is thus now in the hands of the carjacker. Brenda's brother, Danny Martin, a police detective in Gannon, cannot help but get directly involved in the investigation despite he operating outside his jurisdiction. His actions do not sit well with Council, who he insinuates is not only not doing his job, ... Written by
"We are going to find your son!" Agent Lorenzo (Samuel L. Jackson)
I think Joe Roth was aiming for something deeper with 'Freedomland'. It's not necessarily a bad movie, but it isn't really a good one either. From an acting stand-point, it's great with solid performances from Samuel L. Jackson (Jackie Brown) as a determined police detective and Julianne Moore (The Forgotten) as a whacked-out dead-beat mom who's son has been kidnapped. Edie Falco is also pretty good with a role that's anything but Mrs. Soprano. The writing or dialogue, however, is absolutely terrible. I think 'Freedomland' actually wouldn't be a half-bad movie if the screenwriter put as much work into the character's conversations as he did the creativity of the racial epithets spewed through-out the film. 'Freedomland' annoyed me in a sense that the movie trailers made it out to be something it's not -- a taut, mystery/thriller, when in reality it's a film about racial and economical tensions. 'Freedomland' is pretentious in that it thinks it's an Oscar-caliber film when in reality it's a slightly above-average suspense film filled to the brim with tired clichés. 'Freedomland' is enjoyable if you can see through it's smug undeserved sense of brilliance. Grade: C .(screened at AMC Deer Valley 30, Phoenix, Arizona, 2/20/05)
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