Hilary Swank stars in a "based on real events" drama that at first left me thinking I was not in the mood for this - it's been done.
It's the story of an inner-city school racked with gang activity, drugs, and broken families staffed by haggard, deflated teachers resigned to the fact that they can't make a difference, so why even try. Think Teachers (starring Nick Nolte), The Principal (starring Jim Belushi) and the excellent Coach Carter, also a true story and starring Samuel L. Jackson.
Plus, like recent DOA Stop Loss, it's an MTV movie, not exactly a predictor of success, although Coach Carter was also brought to us by MTV Films.
Freedom Writers starts off slow and follows a predictable formula. Hang in there. The combination of creative almost docu-drama production values, coupled with a moving peformance from Hilary Swank and the young performers wins you over, pushes you to the edge emotionally and rewards your patience.