Freedom Writers is a movie about inspiration. It is not inspirational.
I write those words with great disappointment, as I believe its writer/director Richard LaGravenese is capable of wonderful things. His script for The Fisher King – while unwieldy and overwrought and pulled in six different directions at the best of times – was and is a joy to watch. The Fisher King is a good place to start in saying what goes wrong with Freedom Writers because it offers an excellent example of a movie that, for all its faults, risks something. Freedom Writers fails because it’s cautious.