A black police detective must solve a strange case of a kidnapped boy and deal with a big racial protest.


Joe Roth


Richard Price (screenplay), Richard Price (novel)
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Samuel L. Jackson ... Lorenzo Council
Julianne Moore ... Brenda Martin
Edie Falco ... Karen Collucci
Ron Eldard ... Danny Martin
William Forsythe ... Boyle
Aunjanue Ellis ... Felicia
Anthony Mackie ... Billy Williams
LaTanya Richardson Jackson ... Marie
Clarke Peters ... Reverend Longway
Peter Friedman ... Lt. Gold
Domenick Lombardozzi ... Leo Sullivan
Aasif Mandvi ... Dr. Anil Chatterjee
Philip Bosco ... Priest
Fly Williams III Fly Williams III ... Rafik
Portia ... Doreen / Rafik's Sister


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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


His Streets. His Rules. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violent content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Michael Winterbottom was the original Director, and did extensive work before leaving this project. See more »


The movie is set in 1999, but there is a child wearing a G-Unit pullover in the initial police lock-down scene. G-Unit did not come into being until 2003. See more »


Lorenzo Council: I tell you, 22 years of policing in this city things I see day in, day out makes it very, very hard to have faith in humanity.
See more »

User Reviews

Overblown drama/thriller that goes nowhere
6 February 2006 | by leglevySee all my reviews

Caught an advance screening a week ago, the same one attended by the other reviewer.

It's a sad day when a movie is made with its sights set on an Oscar award AND box office at the same time. For me, the mere intent can undermine a good idea - what to say of a bad one? That's what happens in this botched and overblown attempt at a drama/thriller (some may say a cross between a 70's racial drama and "The Forgotten" - on speed). IT IS a bad idea from the start - everyone in Hollywood knows the trouble that is adapting a lengthy book to the screen. But when you couple that with Oscar aspirations - for acting, I suppose - you have a recipe for disaster.

The basic story line is that of a single mom that gets car-jacked while lost in a public park and then proceeds to tell the police (after much "emotion") that her son is still in the car with the criminal. Pretty much what all thrillers are about, right? Well, everything is kosher except that she is white and the park where it all took place happens to be right in the middle of a poor, black neighborhood.

As the viewer would have guessed, the main topics here are the racial conflict - "violent" white cops versus "angry" black mob - and the desperate search for the kid.

As director and screenwriter tried to keep every single thread present in the book, things eventually get extremely confusing. We never get a feel for the characters or a sense of fulfillment. Many of the threads feel incomplete and others seem like mere sketches that went along for the ride.

More so, Joe Roth's directing style is frenetic and restless. I'd say he could do a great action flick, but here so much movement ends up wasted and actually annoys the viewer.

Finally, to keep this short, the acting goes from OK to histrionic. I truly feel sorry for Julianne Moore - she is a great actress trapped in a recycled role. Samuel Jackson is another casualty; his talent is wasted on another empty character, an amalgam that doesn't work despite his visible effort. Many dislike the score, but I did enjoy it for some obscure reason.

Well, as you guys can see, "Freedomland" is a disappointment and I would highly recommend a DVD screening for this one since it is my personal belief that we should see a little bit of everything in a protected environment.

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English | Italian

Release Date:

17 February 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Freedomland See more »


Box Office


$37,665,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,833,562, 19 February 2006

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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