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Freedom Writers (2007)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Crime, Drama  |  5 January 2007 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 49,180 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 231 user | 83 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

A young teacher inspires her class of at-risk students to learn tolerance, apply themselves, and pursue education beyond high school.


(screenplay), (book), 1 more credit »
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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Eva Benitez (as April Lee Hernandez)
Jaclyn Ngan ...
Sergio Montalvo ...
Jason Finn ...
Ben Daniels
Antonio García ...


It's 1994 in Long Beach, California. Idealistic Erin Gruwell is just starting her first teaching job, that as freshman and sophomore English teacher at Woodrow Wilson High School, which, two years earlier, implemented a voluntary integration program. For many of the existing teachers, the integration has ruined the school, whose previously stellar academic standing has been replaced with many students who will be lucky to graduate or even be literate. Despite choosing the school on purpose because of its integration program, Erin is unprepared for the nature of her classroom, whose students live by generations of strict moral codes of protecting their own at all cost. Many are in gangs and almost all know somebody that has been killed by gang violence. The Latinos hate the Cambodians who hate the blacks and so on. The only person the students hate more is Ms. Gruwell. It isn't until Erin holds an unsanctioned discussion about a recent drive-by shooting death that she fully begins to ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


their story their words See more »


Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violent content, some thematic material and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

5 January 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Écrire pour exister  »

Box Office


$21,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,405,582 (USA) (5 January 2007)


$36,581,633 (USA) (9 March 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Based on the book called "The Freedom Writers Diary" by Erin Gruwell and the kids of Wilson High. See more »


Near the end of the movie, the class meets at a park with a lighthouse. This is Shoreline Aquatic Park in downtown Long Beach. In 1994-1995, this park had not been constructed yet. See more »


Erin Gruwell: Maybe we should talk about art. Tito's got real talent, don't you think? You know something? I saw a picture just like this once, in a museum. Only it wasn't a black man, it was a jewish man. And instead of the big lips he had a really big nose, like a rat's nose. But he wasn't just one particular jewish man. This was a drawing of all jews. And these drawings were put in the newspapers by the most famous gang in history. You think you know all about gangs? You're amateurs. This gang will put ...
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Referenced in 21 (2008) See more »


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User Reviews

8.5 out of 10 - very nice
7 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I just arrived home after having seen a screening of this film. It's very strong and moves well. It is very emotional, but is balanced well with humor. Even better it's true to life humor, things that would actually happen. you are drawn into the "family" that is the class and you are led to see the changes taking place in people, instead of having it shoved in your face like your too basic to understand.

I would also like to note the music. It was wonderful and did what music is meant to for movies, setting the moods the score was present in the background but not overwhelming (as in so many other movies lately) the music didn't overshadow the story that was unfolding in any way.

Overall a very good movie that I will be happy to see again, and even happy to pay full ticket price (which is saying something!). Great job and thank you to all who worked on this movie, in my eyes it's a winner. ^_^

"My badness" *chuckle*

62 of 86 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Any racial tension in your school? mistasilent
What annoyed me about this movie... lromo21
Anyone else couldnt stand Eva? GeorgeI4280
Shouldn't Ms. G NOT go with them to their junior + senior year? llama_girls
A movie identical to this one guttapimp
The white kid... silverose1209
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