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Freeway
Freeway
Actors: Reese Witherspoon, Kiefer Sutherland, Bokeem Woodbine, Paul Perri, Robert Peters
Director: Matthew Bright
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     1997     1hr 50min

Freeway is one of those movies that has the power to simultaneously amaze and disgust just about anyone who dares to view it. Like Seven, Kalifornia, and Natural Born Killers, it's a movie that could be called a product of...  more »
     
     

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Movie Details

Actors: Reese Witherspoon, Kiefer Sutherland, Bokeem Woodbine, Paul Perri, Robert Peters
Director: Matthew Bright
Creators: Matthew Bright, Adam Merims, Brad Wyman, Chris Hanley, Dan Halsted, Mark Ezralow, Oliver Stone
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Crime, Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Republic Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 08/20/1997
Original Release Date: 01/01/1996
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1996
Release Year: 1997
Run Time: 1hr 50min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 2
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Subtitles: English, Spanish
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Member Movie Reviews

Jennifer D. (jennicat) from ST AUGUSTINE, FL
Reviewed on 4/17/2014...
Could not get into this movie. But I haven't seen it in a long time.
0 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Don K. from BEAVERTON, OR
Reviewed on 7/29/2012...
Reese Witherspoon is amazing to watch, as always, but it's just not enough to overcome a stilted, gratuitous, pointless plot. This is one of those movies where everyone is so overtly despicable, I want to take a shower halfway through. Zero finesse on the director's part.
Don't waste your time or credits.
Robbie B. from HYANNIS, MA
Reviewed on 7/15/2012...
I thought this was a good movie that showed Reese Witherspoon in a very different light.
Rachel W. from DELANSON, NY
Reviewed on 5/27/2011...
This movie was surprisingly pretty good. Unique seeing Reese in this role. I would describe this as adventure, drama ,action , psycho-thriller, and even comedy all in one. Lots of adult language and scenarios.

Movie Reviews

Reese Witherspoon's Oscar came a deacde late
Larry VanDeSande | Mason, Michigan United States | 11/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Better than both "Seven" and "Natural Born Killers", director Matthew Bright's "Freeway" is a looseleaf modern view of Red Riding Hood where Reese Witherspoon plays Red traveling to Grandma's house.

Only she takes this trip after her prostitute mother and junkie stepdad are arrested, she escapes the cluthces of foster care, she says goodbye to her fiancee who is then murdered in a driveby shooting, she hitches a ride with a psycho who turns out to be a mass murderer, she kills a few people, ends up in lockup, escapes, finally makes it to Gradma's house, where some more bloody action takes place.

Oh yes, she has homosexual and heterosexual sex, spends a lot of time saying the "F" word, brutalizes most anyone that gets in her way, and otherwise creates mayhem for everybody. Sounds like your typical Reese Witherspoon role, eh? No, not by a long shot.

But one thing about her role -- she is fantastic, out of this world great. She is twice the actress in this role she was playing June Carter Cash, for which she won an Oscar as best actress. On the basis of these roles, Witherspoon must be considered one of the best actresses extant right now.

As the description here and on Amazon indicates, this movie presses the envelope of the "R" rating as far as possible without slipping over into NC-17. There is gory, bloody violence throughout this film, nudity and more "F" and "F"ing talk than you heard by Matt Damon when he played that low-class genius at Harvard. Someone told me they said "F" 147 times in that movie. Witherspoon herself must say it that many times here.

But none of this diminishes the astonishing electricity and action that swallows the viewer right from the opening scene, where junkie-hooker mom gets arrested and weirdo-junkie stepdad forces Reese to do the nasty while mom's out earning a living. There is an uncompromising level of reality in these characterization, too, although it's clearly an over the top psycho young Sutherland plays.

In an astonishing bit of casting, squeeky clean prom queen type Brooke Shields is cast as the uptight, upscale wife to lurid pervent and child molester Sutherland, whose character is even more disgusting than Witherspoon's. While everyone wants Sutherland rubbed out, Witherspoon manages to keep viewer sympathy because of for her terrible place in life even throughout her ongoing antisocial activities. Other players, incluidng Dan Hedaya as a cop with sympathies all over the place, contribute a lot to this film.

This is recommended for viewers unafraid to look inside the dark side of our culture where youngsters like the one Witherspoon plays actually exist. There is nothing pretty or orderly about this movie; much of it seems upside down. But it is unrelentingly exciting and is full of action in almost every scene, action you may never have seen in a film before.
"
An Unheralded Classic Black Comedy....Highly Recommended !!!
The Jaundiced Eye | Texas, USA | 08/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A 15-year-old illiterate girl named Vanessa Lutz (Reese Witherspoon, about 19 at the time) lives in a crummy motel with her lunatic, methadone-addicted, prostitute mother (Amanda Plummer in an incredible performance) and crack-smoking, child-molesting step father (Michael T. Weiss, of The Pretender, as you have never seen him....before or since). When mom and dad get arrested for about the 100th time, poor young Vanessa evades Child Protective Services custody, gets a gun from her black, gangster fiance (Bokeem Woodbine) who can't join her because of a parole hearing in the morning and who is immediately murdered in a drive-by shooting, and, wearing a red jacket and carrying a basket, she heads for Grandma's house (ala Little Red Riding Hood), only to have car trouble and be picked up by the dreaded I-5 rapist, pederast, and serial murderer (Keiffer Sutherland)....now here is the best part: this is a COMEDY !!!

Granted, it is the blackest of dark comedies, but make no mistake, this gem offers some of the most hilarious dialog and situations you will even see on film. Brilliantly written and directed by newcomer Matthew Bright, it features superb performances by a remarkable cast, including an almost unrecognizable Brittany Murphy as a deranged, paint-sniffing lesbian with a face that is hacked up like a post-Christmas ham.

Possibly due to its unorthodox tone and content, this 1996 masterpiece never received the marketing and public release it deserved, but was still selected by critics (including Roger Ebert) as one of the finest films of the year.

If you want to see a performance by Reese Witherspoon that makes all her subsequent roles, including Ring of Fire, look like high school plays, then please give this DVD a try. It isn't the cute, cuddly, predictable Reese of recent times, but an infinitely more entertaining, gun-toting, butt-kicking, foul-mouthed wild woman who doesn't take kindly to those who dare to treat her with disrespect. Like Kill Bill and True Romance, this movie features strong women in situations where attempted victimization by men inevitably leads to mayhem....and a lot of dead, disfigured men.

This is a very special movie that will appeal to those who enjoy the gritty action and dark comedic aspects of movies like Pulp Fiction, True Romance, and Kill Bill. Matthew Bright hit a major home run on his first time up to bat and has, unfortunately, struck out since. His DVD commentary track will help you understand and appreciate the intricacies of this truly great movie and the personal, somewhat bizarre eccentricities of the director who made it all happen."
Who's afraid of big bad Keifer?
D. Roberts | Battle Creek, Michigan United States | 09/18/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Well, if you were ever curious about what a psychotic retelling of the LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD fairy tale would look like, here's your chance to quench your imaginative appetite. I was not exactly sure what I was getting into when I bought this flick but don't worry: you won't know what you're in for, either.

In this case Little Red Riding Hood is played by Reese Witherspoon. Unfortunately, she comes from a Dysfunctional family (with a capital "D"). With no place to go except foster care (gasp!) she decides to go visit grandma.

Along her way she's picked up by the big bad wolf (portrayed by Keifer Sutherland). They have a rather bizarre ride and then things really get interesting. What does all this have to do with the children's story? You'll have to watch to find out!

There is a Brooke Shields sighting as she plays Mrs. Big Bad Wolf. All of the actors in the film seem to have fun with the movie; you could tell in their acting that they had a good time making this macabre, twisted adult fairy tale.

If you're in the mood for something "different" this movie might be for you. A word of caution, however: FREEWAY is not for the squeamish. It does not score very high on the scale of good taste, and it's obvious they meant it to be that way. If, however, you choose to take the next exit and get on the FREEWAY, hang on for the ride of your life!"