75

New York Daily News

By Jack Mathews
I say bring 'em on, if the stories can be told as well, as convincingly and as inspirationally as Richard LaGravenese's Freedom Writers, an educational fantasy that happens to be mostly true.
Full Review
75

Boston Globe

By Ty Burr
The movie works.
Full Review
75

Charlotte Observer

By Lawrence Toppman
The movie is based on the life of California high school teacher Erin Gruwell, played with captivating honesty by Hilary Swank, yet it feels like the usual Hollywood exaggerations.
Full Review
75

Chicago Tribune

By Michael Wilmington
Hilary Swank gives a powerhouse performance as a maverick high school teacher in Freedom Writers, an often gripping and sometimes even inspiring film drama taken from the real-life story of Erin Gruwell.
Full Review
75

ReelViews

By James Berardinelli
Freedom Writers delivers the expected messages about hope and the ability to change one's destiny, and does it in a manner that it is emotionally and intellectually satisfying.
Full Review
75

Entertainment Weekly

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Square, sincere, and proud of it.
Full Review
75

San Francisco Chronicle

By Ruthe Stein
Overall Freedom Writers is a noble effort. 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.
Full Review
63

Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
Leave it to Hilary Swank. Even when her film's pace lags behind its cliches, she sparks this true story, about a California teacher who sparks her students, with the passion the subject demands.
Full Review
50

The Hollywood Reporter

By Kirk Honeycutt
The film is both too short and too long at two hours-plus. Not enough time is spent with the teens and far too much with their teacher.
Full Review
50

USA Today

By Claudia Puig
Freedom Writers is an earnest, well-meaning attempt at inspirational teen drama. It has some moving scenes and honest observations, based on a school in Long Beach, Calif., but the movie sinks under the weight of formula and stereotypes.
Full Review
64 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.