7.5/10
56,414
235 user 84 critic

Freedom Writers (2007)

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

Writers:

(screenplay), (book) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
4,279 ( 249)

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From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

their story their words See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

5 January 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Écrire pour exister  »

Box Office

Budget:

$21,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hilary Swank beat out her co-star in this movie, Imelda Staunton, for the 2005 Oscar for Best Actress. See more »

Goofs

In one scene set near the beach, a Toyota Sienna is seen in a parking lot in the background. The movie is set from 1994-1996, and the Toyota Sienna did not debut until the 1998 model year. See more »

Quotes

Sindy: During the war in Cambodia, the camps stripped away my father's dignity. He sometimes tries to hurt me and my mom. I feel like I have to protect my family.
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Connections

References 12 Angry Men (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

It's R Time
by Jeannie Ortega (as Jeanette Ortega), Victor Santiago, Kevin Ravenell, Edwin Almonte,
Rolphy Ramirez & Leonardo Vasquez
Performed by Jeannie Ortega (as Jeanette Ortega) featuring Gemstar and Big Mato
Courtesy of Hollywood Records
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User Reviews

Don't listen to the naysayers
5 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I read the message boards before seeing the movie and wasn't really that excited to go see it. Yes, the general storyline has been done before...

I'm a male teenager and this movie made me cry. I can't remember the last time a movie made me cry... in fact, I don't think I have (teary-eyed doesn't count). Freedom Writers moved me.

It was so much better than I expected. All I can say is that it is definitely worth at least a matinée viewing.

The movie reminded me that all of America isn't like white middle-class suburbia, of which I am a part. Regardless of how many times the same movie has been done before, the white middle-class can use as many reminders as possible that education is not that easy to obtain everywhere. Even in America, opportunity is not equal, and I think it's important for people to see that.

Don't judge the movie without seeing it.


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