Freedomland (2006)


A bloodied woman stumbles into an emergency room accusing an unknown black assailant of stealing her car with her 4 year old son still sleeping in the back. Detective Samuel L. Jackson investigates while trying to diffuse the ensuing racial tension in the local projects.

Hollywood has another stab at a thriller that tackles race relations and once again is found wanting. The level of subtlety on display here makes Crash look like a gritty documentary, and Julianne Moore sniffles and whines her way through the film as a completely two dimensional hysterical mother. Even Jackson struggles to keep this sentimental drivel afloat, but despite his usual commanding presence the weak script and trite dialogue means that – following a couple of unbelievable plot contrivances and meaningless platitudes on the level of “God moves in mysterious ways” – even he is starting to look embarrassed to be there. This is one of those films that you watch because the star names  attached make you think it deserves attention, but by the end their choice to become involved with such simplistic, melodramatic nonsense makes you feel a little betrayed by them.

If you’re hankering for some race related drama done well – and even featuring Samuel L. Jackson himself – I’d stick with Do The Right Thing.



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