Freedomland

Categories: Movie Reviews
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Published on: 2007.03.19

Freedomland is a 2006 movie starring Samuel L. Jackson and Julianne Moore that simply isn’t worth watching, unless you’ve just got two hours to kill, and can’t find a better movie to watch. And you CAN find better movies to watch.

Only redeeming feature:
Julianne Moore and Samuel L. Jackson deliver spot-on acting performances (as expected from these reknowned actors).

But you’d think they would have read the script first. Maybe their agents just browsed the script and then signed them up. Or maybe their bank accounts were getting thin and they just needed some dough. Who knows?

This movie was written in a nonsensical, illogical, erratic fashion that makes it difficult to watch, and was nowhere near as good as the previews made it out to be. The users on IMDB rated it 4.9 out of 10 possible stars, and I’d tend to agree with this.

To paraphrase one of the user reviews on the above-mentioned website: The movie could never decide if it was a thriller, a mystery, a socio-economic statement, a white-black racial commentary, or some kind of psychological documentary.

Since I hope you never watch the movie anyway, I’ll give away most of the plot here.

Jackson is a detective in a poor, mostly black neighborhood, while Moore plays a woman from the uppity white neighborhood next door (but she works in the poorer part of town). You don’t find out until later, but she’s had an affair with a guy from the other side of the tracks, and he helps her to bury her dead son (who died by her own neglect — bad parenting).

She tells the police initially that she was carjacked and that her son was in the car, giving a description of the suspect that would lead police to the poor black housing project.

But the story-line doesn’t focus on this central plot point. It meanders back and forth over the racial tension between the mostly white cops from the richer area and the poor blacks in the project. The storyline also sometimes hints at possible psychic tendencies, but then ignores this. The writing an production also seem to give big hints and foreshadowing elements that never materialize. Is it possible that the writers and director were completely unaware they were dropping these hints? Or maybe they knew it and were trying to keep us guessing?

Either way, I don’t think I’ve seen a movie this poorly strung together in quite a while.

I only watched it through to the end because I can’t stand starting a movie and then not finishing it. It would have been better to not rent it at all.

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