7.6/10
61,610
246 user 83 critic

Freedom Writers (2007)

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

Writers:

Richard LaGravenese (screenplay), Freedom Writers (book) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,384 ( 35)
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hilary Swank ... Erin Gruwell
Patrick Dempsey ... Scott Casey
Scott Glenn ... Steve Gruwell
Imelda Staunton ... Margaret Campbell
April L. Hernandez ... Eva Benitez (as April Lee Hernandez)
Mario ... Andre Bryant
Kristin Herrera ... Gloria Munez
Jaclyn Ngan ... Sindy
Sergio Montalvo Sergio Montalvo ... Alejandro Santiago
Jason Finn Jason Finn ... Marcus
Deance Wyatt ... Jamal Hill
Vanetta Smith ... Brandy Ross
Gabriel Chavarria ... Tito
Hunter Parrish ... Ben Daniels
Antonio García Antonio García ... Miguel
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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:

our story. our 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 January 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Écrire pour exister See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$21,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,405,582, 7 January 2007

Gross USA:

$36,605,602, 15 March 2007

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$43,090,741
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | SDDS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles is featured in the film. Gruwell takes the students on a field trip to the museum. An exterior view of the museum is shown, and there are scenes inside the museum, showing simulated entrances to gas chambers in death camps. See more »

Goofs

When Ms. G is talking about writing Miep Gies instead of writing a report about the diary of Anne Frank, the information on the chalkboard changes 2 or 3 times. See more »

Quotes

Erin Gruwell: I love you.
Steve Gruwell: You love the idea of me.
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Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Good Movie Teachers (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Hip Hop Hooray
by Vin Rock (as Vincent Brown), DJ Kay Gee (as Keir Gist), Anthony 'Treach' Criss (as Anthony Shawn Criss),
Ernie Isley, Marvin Isley, O'Kelly Isley, Ronald Isley, Rudolph Isley & Chris Jasper (as Christopher H. Jasper)
Performed by Naughty By Nature
Courtesy of Tommy Boy Music, Inc.
By Arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
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User Reviews

Sometimes the Pen Does Defeat the Sword.
12 March 2007 | by tfrizzellSee all my reviews

True story about a young teacher (Hilary Swank) who comes to a rough part of inner-city Los Angeles in the mid-1990s and inspires her high school students through expression via personal writings. A wide range of ethnic and cultural divisions provide difficulties aplenty with gang activity and general mischief being the orders of the day and it is up to Swank to pull through the layers of grief, anger and despair to help her students not only succeed in the classroom, but also in life. Inspirational and a bit cheesy at the same time, "Freedom Writers" still uses a proved formula to work well for the most part. Swank is dominant (as she always seems to be) and she gets ample support from good young performers, a smart screenplay and adequate direction. 4 stars out of 5.


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