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Parents' Guide to

Freedom Writers

By Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

True story of inspirational teacher; language, violence.

Movie PG-13 2007 123 minutes
Freedom Writers Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 16 parent reviews

age 12+

This Movie Is Awesome

I thought this movie was very educational, and a life lesson to the world.
age 11+


it's a motivational movie, but the day of the trial took forever making the plot longer than it should.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (16 ):
Kids say (35 ):

This deeply earnest drama follows a familiar storyline. An idealistic young teacher inspires her "at-risk" urban students to respect each other and themselves. She's white, they're mostly of color; she's clueless about their harsh lives, they initially resent her cluelessness but learn to appreciate her efforts to understand them. It's this last part that makes director Richard LaGravenese's film work, despite its many clichés. Erin Gruwell (Hilary Swank) makes a difference by asking her students to talk to her and each other -- and acting on what they say.

The plot is predicable, the actors too old to play high school students, and the pacing too slow. And really, the camera circles around deep-thinking faces a few too many times. But Freedom Writers also argues for listening to teenagers. That in itself makes it a rare and close-to-wonderful thing.

Movie Details

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