Freedomland (15)

Film image

The ViewLondon Review

StarStarNo StarNo StarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner26/04/2006

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 113 mins

Freedomland starts well but quickly becomes extremely tedious, with overwritten dialogue, nonsensical plot developments, some dodgy performances and several loose ends.

What’s it all about?
When a dazed and bloodied woman named Brenda (Julianne Moore) staggers into a New Jersey emergency room, it’s up to police detective Lorenzo Council (Samuel L Jackson) to investigate. She claims she was car-jacked by a black man in the Dempsy housing projects and that her young son was asleep in the back of the car at the time. However, Lorenzo senses he’s not getting the whole story.

As the community searches for the missing child, racial tensions erupt in the projects as the area is flooded with cops from a neighbouring white district area, one of whom (Ron Eldard) is Brenda’s brother.

The Good
The film’s not a total disaster. Jackson is a highly watchable actor and he’s on fine form here, while there’s strong support from Edie Falco (from The Sopranos) as the activist leader of a group of women who’ve lost their children. However, Julianne Moore must have been having something of an off day because her twitchy, overly mannered performance is frequently annoying and only serves as a distraction.

The Bad
Freedomland has an extremely strong opening sequence but its intriguing premise is quickly squandered in favour of overwritten speeches and a series of boring, nonsensical scenes that seem to go nowhere. It’s not hard to see where the blame lies – Richard Price adapted the screenplay from his own novel and it’s clear that large amounts of the story have been hacked out.

The film is frustrating on many levels. For one thing, the mystery itself is deeply unsatisfying. Secondly, there are way too many loose ends, with several characters being introduced and then failing to play any meaningful part in the story.

Worth seeing?
In short, Freedomland is something of a disappointment thanks to a squandered premise and a frequently tedious script.

Film Trailer

Freedomland (15)
Be the first to review Freedomland...
image
01 Shaun the Sheep Movie (tbc)

Shaun the Sheep

image
02 The Minions Movie (tbc)

Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin, Sandra Bullock

image
03 The Interview (tbc)

Seth Rogen, Lizzy Caplan, James Franco

image
04 Black Sea (15)

Jude Law, Scoot McNairy, Tobias Menzies

image
05 Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (PG)

Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Dan Stev...

Content updated: 19/12/2014 14:25

Latest Film Reviews

Film of the Week

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies (12A)

Bilbo Baggins and the dwarves come to the end of their journey in the third and final part of Peter Jackson's epic adaptation of Tolkien's novel.

UK Box Office Top 5 Films