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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 49,227 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?


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


At the beginning of the movie when Mrs. G is new to the school, in the office, she picks up her coffee cup and puts it down, then in the next shot you can see her putting the coffee cup down again. See more »


Margaret Campbell: You can't make someone want education.
See more »


References To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) See more »


Keep Ya Head Up
by Tupac Shakur, Daryl Anderson, Roger Troutman & Stan Vincent
Performed by Tupac Shakur (as 2Pac)
Courtesy of Interscope Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
Contains a sample of "Be Alright" by Roger Troutman
Performed by Zapp
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
By Arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

You will NOT be disappointed!
27 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Great movie! I just saw an advanced screening, and was taken aback. I went into it not knowing a lot about what the movie was about, but expecting a "Dangerous Minds" Knock-off, but was surprised at how much I really loved this. It's not like an award-winning film; however, it is definitely worth checking out. And, without a fear of losing my masculinity, I can honestly say that there were two, maybe three scenes that I had to bite my lip and try to not tear up... if you can watch this movie and not get misty eyed at least once there is something wrong. There were actually scenes where the packed theater clapped and cheered, and other times when everyone gasped at the same time.. it will keep you entertained and you will walk away glad you came to see it.

79 of 108 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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