236 user 82 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.


(screenplay), (book) | 1 more credit »
3,084 ( 367)
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
... Erin Gruwell
... Scott Casey
... Steve Gruwell
... Margaret Campbell
... Eva Benitez (as April Lee Hernandez)
... Andre Bryant
... Gloria Munez
... Sindy
Sergio Montalvo ... Alejandro Santiago
Jason Finn ... Marcus
... Jamal Hill
... Brandy Ross
... Tito
... Ben Daniels
Antonio García ... Miguel


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


our story. our 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 USA:

$9,405,582, 7 January 2007

Gross USA:

$36,605,602, 15 March 2007

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Based on the book called "The Freedom Writers Diary" by Erin Gruwell and the kids of Wilson High. See more »


In the scene where the students are reading The Diary of Anne Frank, one of the girls is reading a sentence, and then flips 3-5 pages instead of one. See more »


Marcus: Lady, stop acting like you tryin' to understand our situation, and just do your little babysitting up there.
Erin Gruwell: That's what you think this is?
Marcus: It ain't nothing else. When I look out in the world I don't see nobody that looks like me with their pockets full unless they're rapping a lyrics or dribbling a ball, so what else you got in here for me?
Erin Gruwell: And what if you can't rap a lyric or dribble a ball?
Andre: It ain't this.
Marcus: I know that's right.
Erin Gruwell: And you all think you're gonna make it to graduation like this?
Andre: I ...
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References The Simpsons (1989) See more »


Papa'z Song
by Tupac Shakur, Will Jennings, Joe Sample & Dean Evans
See more »

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User Reviews

mostly untrue
8 August 2007 | by See all my reviews

i was a freedom writer (10th-12th) and i was so upset with the over dramatized nature of this film. as i watched this film, the first weekend it was out and also glad i didn't waste my money to fly to the premiere, i was jaw dropped at all the untrue happenings. as to not spoil this film for people who are willing to waste their hard earned money on it i won't tell you everything but just watch knowing that what you are seeing has very little to do with the truth. anything even remotely good that happens in the film that doesn't include "gang warfare" and then becoming "bff" is never even mentioned of. i was almost sick in the movie because of the lack of truth. my husband knew of all the wonderful opportunities i was given in that class and he was disappointed as well. my husbands mother went with us, as she wanted to see a movie about the class she had heard so much about, and she was touched yet curious about how i turned out so well. so i guess if you know don't know anything about this class or it's students , especially the ones who weren't in a gang or were thugs, you might think that this movie is very heart warming. unfortunately you are going to be very mislead

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