Freeheld stumbles over too many hurdles to recommend it. The film’s heart is in the right place, but its focus is not.
From Arlie Davis:
I was surprised to see this statement in your review of "Outside the Law": "Imagine the feelings of Americans about a film where the Confederacy is viewed as heroic and the Union as murderous invaders. It all depends on which side you think is the right one."
Nearly every movie that I have seen that involves the US Civil War *has* portrayed the Union as murderous invaders, and the Confederacy as heroic defenders of home and hearth. I cannot think of a single significant movie that shows the Union as a force of liberation, re-union, and forgiveness. Which it was.
The Union won the military and legal battle. But the Confederacy won the emotional battle.
Consider "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." The baddest bad guy is a vicious, torturing, murdering Union officer. Or "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." It's *not* a political story, but instead is a very lyrical and personal study of the value of life, at its very end. The protagonist is clearly a middle-class Everyman who was fending off the invading North, and is hanged for it. Countless, uncountable movies show similar perspectives.
An interview with Michael Shannon on Freeheld, 99 Homes, Boardwalk Empire, and more.
Our monthly series digs into the career of Wes Craven and comes out with his 3D 2010 film, "My Soul to Take".
A comparison of Frank Costello in The Departed and Whitey Bulger in Black Mass reveals weaknesses in the latter.
A letter to Angelina Jolie about the casting of her upcoming take on "Cleopatra."