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Freedom Writers

HD   PG-13 Closed Captioning

Richard LaGravenese

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About the Movie

Assigned the thankless task of teaching freshman English at a gang-infested Long Beach, CA high school, a 23-year-old teacher resorts to unconventional means of breaking through to her hardened students in director Richard LaGravenese's adaptation of Erin Gruwell's best-seller, The Freedom Writer's Diaries: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them. Her students had been written off, and her chances of succeeding scoffed at, but Erin Gruwell (Hilary Swank) wasn't about to go down without a fight. Long Beach is a place where a new war is waged with each passing day, and when the hardened students who walk those dangerous hallways sense an outsider attempting to understand their plight, their cynical resentment threatens to keep a deadly cycle in motion. Despite the initially hostile reaction she receives in the classroom, Gruwell uses the writings of Anne Frank and Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Sarajevo to teach her students not only the basis of the English language, but compassion and tolerance as well. Later, when the time comes to tell their own tales in a project specially designed to explore the daily violence that the majority of students have grown numb to, the barriers that had once stood so strong gradually begin to crumble. When the only chance for survival is to befriend the person who was once your mortal enemy, the world is opened to a whole new realm of possibilities.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 125
  • Fresh: 87
  • Rotten: 38
  • Average Rating: 6.3/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Square, sincere, and proud of it. – Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly, Sep 7, 2011

Fresh: Corny? You bet. And worse when the plot veers into the glitz of a Dangerous Minds and the sappiness of a TV After School Special. But the movie, which Swank helped produce by using her clout as a two-time Oscar winner, gets to you. – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone, Aug 18, 2007

Rotten: Our eager-beaver heroine suffers the kids' sarcasm, fails to earn their respect by bringing in a Tupac tape, then wins them over in a crucial scene that, fact-based or not, rings as false as anything in Dangerous Minds. – Rob Nelson, Village Voice, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: At a time when New Year's resolutions to change already are falling by the wayside, you can't help but be moved by a group of young people who followed through on their resolve. – Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle, Jan 6, 2007

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


I love this heart warming movie.Everytime i watch it i begin to truely understand that i DO have the good life compared to other Americans.You have to find a way to survive and to hang in life.These kids have truely done that.

Another White Savior Flick

I'm black and I'm NOT from da 'hood, homie. Geesh, how many of these movies can one Hollywood make to reinforce stereotypes? My life is better reflected in the "Baldwin Hills" series, so thanks for offering that as an alternative to this.


this movie is truly phenomenal movie motivational and inspiring and hilary swank truly does an amazing job once i saw this movie i watched it the next day it was soo good i also like the music so check out the soundtrack

Freedom Writers
View in iTunes
  • $14.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 2007

Customer Ratings

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