Critic Reviews



Based on 35 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
The film is, above all, a moving portrait of hurting souls, brought to life in compelling performances.
Entertainment Weekly
Moore doesn't just act. She goes on the attack, embracing the kind of lower-rung-of-the-middle-class role that actresses from Jodie Foster to Meryl Streep have long savored. Her performance is an achievement of sorts, yet, like the movie itself, it's also strenuous and joyless.
If Freedomland reminds you of Spike Lee's "Clockers," that's not by accident. Like that film, it's adapted by Richard Price from his novel and is set in the neighboring Northern New Jersey communities of Dempsy, predominantly poor and African-American, and the largely white blue-collar suburb of Gannon.
Despite a few raw moments, pic feels like a Lifetime movie with a marquee cast.
The A.V. Club
Only Edie Falco, appearing as a bereft mother leading a citizen's group that searches for missing children, suggests the great film that Freedomland might have been.
Surrounding Council and Moore in this cacophonous, bleak New Jersey are a set of cops, neighbors, and relatives played by actors that the unimaginative Roth yanked directly from various TV gritty crime shows; it's like he thought HBO was his personal casting agent.
Individual scenes feel authentic, but the story tries to build bridges between loose ends.
L.A. Weekly
Ordinarily it's kind of hard to screw up a Richard Price story, but the writer is his own worst enemy here, with a screenplay so filled with bromides and object lessons from God, you can't tell what he's trying to say.
Roth takes three powerhouse actors -- Julianne Moore as the mother, Samuel L. Jackson as the cop who interrogates her and Edie Falco as another woman who lost her son -- and reduces their talents to rubble and their characters to screeching cliches.
Dallas Observer
Freedomland manages a seemingly impossible feat: It's both turgid AND overwrought, eliciting the shriek that fades into a yawn without anyone ever noticing. It's a wholly dreary piece of work.

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