Freedom Writers


Action / Biography / Crime / Drama

Plot summary

Uploaded by: OTTO

Top cast

Hilary Swank Photo
Hilary Swank as Erin Gruwell
Imelda Staunton Photo
Imelda Staunton as Margaret Campbell
Patrick Dempsey Photo
Patrick Dempsey as Scott Casey
Joe Seo Photo
Joe Seo as Sindy's Asian Gang Member / Student
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
750.51 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 3 min
P/S 2 / 6
1.65 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 3 min
P/S 8 / 26

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bkoganbing9 / 10

The Wider World

Films about our educational system have been moneymakers from The Blackboard Jungle, to Up the Down Staircase, to Stand and Deliver and now Freedom Writers. This film and Hilary Swank's lead performance in it have an honored place among those previously mentioned.

If you noticed the common thread running through all the films mentioned and this one is that it seems to take a neophyte teacher to shake up the system and try something new. And that's what Hilary Swank is in Long Beach High School a newly racially mixed school where all the kids seem to be balkanized.

The real miracle that was wrought in Freedom Writers is that Swank gave these kids a vision of the wider world. And that vision showed that as young people they had far more in common than the race and ethnicity that divided them. The writing came when she had them keep diaries that could be read on a volunteer basis.

I had a few good teachers like Hilary Swank in my youth. Some of them were just time servers and not terribly inspirational. Those are the folks the educational system ought to treasure.

I'd expect nothing less than the best from a two time Oscar winner and Ms. Swank does deliver. She gets good support from Patrick Dempsey as the husband who becomes estranged from her with her single minded devotion to her kids and from Scott Glenn as her father.

What was for me the best was having those kids read about the troubles of another young person who they could relate to. That would be Anne Frank and her diary. And the meeting of Swank's class with Holocaust survivors was tender and touching indeed.

I wish she'd been my teacher and given me The Diary of Anne Frank to read. Better than reading Silas Marner.

Reviewed by SnoopyStyle6 / 10

familiar formula

It's 1994 L.A. Erin Gruwell (Hilary Swank) is a rookie wide-eyed idealistic English teacher in Woodrow Wilson high school. It's two years after the riots. The school was academically excellent until it voluntarily integrated. She is given the at-risk kids who segregate themselves into racial cliques. Her father Steve Gruwell (Scott Glenn) is disappointed in her wasting her effort. Her husband Scott Casey (Patrick Dempsey) slowly stops being supportive. Administrator Margaret Campbell (Imelda Staunton) refuses to give her proper books. Erin gives the kids diaries to write in. The movie also follows the narrator student Eva Benitez who witnesses her boyfriend's drive-by shooting of her classmate and must testify.

It follows the very familiar formula of the white savior teacher and the rough students in need of her help. Hilary Swank is excellent and pulls off this standard melodrama. She really needs help from the students but the young actors don't stand out. They are fine for the purpose of this movie but not much more. Their stories are sincere. I can't oppose its sincerity but it does wear thin when it hits the nail over the head so directly and so often. The heart is in the right place but the formula is unchanged.

Reviewed by edwagreen8 / 10

Freedom Writers- It's Just the Same Old Story ***

As far as movies go, this is still an excellent adaptation of what goes on in our urban schools. Hilary Swank gives a superb performance as an idealistic teacher who confronts a bunch of misfits and becomes a miracle worker. This is where the movie suffers as is the case with most of these school movies. By the middle and end of these films such as "To Sir, With Love," and "The Ron Carey Story," the worst pupils imaginable become outstanding. We never saw this in earlier school films such as "Goodbye, Mr. Chips," or "Good Morning, Miss Dove."

The film is realistic when it shows the uncaring school district and especially the English supervisor. The latter was memorable.

It should be noted that the real character that Swank portrayed left teaching after several years. If she were so devoted to education and so very successful in the classroom, she should have remained. After all, this was supposedly her calling in life and this supposed calling led to the break-up of her marriage.

Let's challenge our film directors to make realistic movies about the school systems in our country.

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