Parents' Guide to


By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Compassionate drama about equality has intense themes.

Movie PG-13 2015 96 minutes
Freeheld Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 1 parent review

age 17+

Freeheld – Pushes a half filled Barrow

Based loosely on true events, Freeheld is a sad story, and we can feel for the plight of lesbians Laurel Hester and Stacie Andree in their quest to choose their financial beneficiaries on death. Yet for all its makers’ intentions, what comes through is just another flat agenda pushing production, consisting of stereotypical performances and telegraphed movie-making. The obvious casting choices were all designed to make the viewer ‘sympathetic’ to the cause, and the lazy script simply expected everyone to be on-board with its strained, one sided message. Steve Carell’s performance as the homosexual Jewish rabbi was so over the top as to be more of a cartoon caricature, generating more annoyance than sympathy. Then there’s the somewhat ill-informed priest, who comes forth to give evidence in court to convince us that Jesus said ‘nothing’ against Homosexuality. He clearly never read Christ’s very own forthright claim that; “He never came to change one iota of his father’s law”. That means nothing, not even the dot of an i or the cross of a t; all which went before, holds. Some might attempt to reduce these down to technicalities, but when being presented in a court of law, they count. What have we witnessed since same sex marriage became law? Is love still love or has the hate increased amongst so many other diverse groups now clamoring to be ‘accepted’? By all means yes, change the contractual equality laws between couples - Presently, we even have a call to accept the perversions of pornographic ‘comic book style’ literature and cross-dressing men graphically grooming children in schools and libraries across the land. What’s to be ‘proud’ of in these activities? Maybe it’s even time to consider these watered down laws and accept that obscenity is now thriving and attempting to take over many of our vital human qualities - all so particular selfish individuals can overindulge their perversions in the name of ‘Diversification & inclusion’. Laws can only be pushed so far then sadly, they fall over, serving no good cause. The failure of this picture to find an appreciative audience speaks for itself and while there will always be those who will

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (1):

There are so many reasons to recommend FREEHELD: For starters, the real-life story on which it's based is inspiring and important. And the always-great Moore is so good as Laurel Hester that you can almost feel the pain of every breath she takes once Laurel is diagnosed with cancer. It's refreshing to see Shannon play a good guy (and do it well), and the ensemble, on the whole, is impressive (though Carell seems to be on a different wavelength tonally).

In fact, the film means so well overall that it's tough to criticize it, but its dogged devotion to telling the story chronologically gives it a paint-by-numbers feel. There's so much timeline to cram in that we hardly see how -- or more importantly, why -- Laurel and Stacie fall in love with such force and intensity. And Freeheld also summarizes Laurel's career in a way that diminishes its potency. Yes, by the end, we share in the movie's feeling of triumph, but even that is muted by an earnestness that overpowers its beauty and spark.

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