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      Cry Freedom

      PG Released Nov 6, 1987 2 hr. 36 min. History Drama Biography List
      74% 27 Reviews Tomatometer 87% 5,000+ Ratings Audience Score Set in apartheid-torn South Africa. Donald Woods is the editor of the East London Daily Express and Steve Biko is a young black leader struggling to improve life in the townships. The two form an unlikely friendship but when Biko is taken into police custody and then murdered, Woods is placed under house arrest. Fearing for his family's safety, he decides to smuggle them over the border. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Premiered May 14 Buy Now

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      Cry Freedom

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      Audience Reviews

      View All (396) audience reviews
      Green G Reasonably good movie that's pretty much two different movies blended successfully into one, meaning it is quite long. I like both halves of Cry Freedom for different reasons. The first half is interesting, while the second half is suspenseful and exciting. Some great performances as well. Overall, not bad, and worth a look. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 06/28/21 Full Review dave s Cry Freedom tells the story of newspaper editor Donald Woods (Kevin Kline) and his relationship with activist Stephen Biko (Denzel Washington) at the height of apartheid in 1970s South Africa. The first half of the film is an insightful and powerful examination of the horrific policies implemented by South Africa's government and Biko's attempts to bring justice and equality to the victims of the racist laws. However, the second half of the film pivots unexpectedly into a Sound of Music-like story, minus the annoying songs, where Woods and his family try to escape from South Africa. The film is worth watching for the first half and if getting two movies for the price of one sounds like a bargain, feel free to slog through the second half. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member An inspiring movie. Denzel Washington does a great job portraying Steve Biko. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/03/23 Full Review Audience Member Spoilers: Richard Attenborough explores the story of Steve Biko, a South African activist who fought against apartheid and a name I was embarrassingly unfamiliar with, and his relationship with editor Donald Woods, who also wrote the book this film was based on. Attenborough presents his dual biopic on a pretty grand scale and, aided by two solid performances from Washington and Kline, is definitely a story that resonates well today. It does end up running way too long for me, concentrating on the plight of Woods in the final third, turning what for me was an inspiring story of a young man fighting for equality against the Goliath sized apparatus put in place by his country to stop him, into an escape thriller that had me immediately conjuring images of the Von Trapp family. It almost felt like there were two movies here and unfortunately trying to end the film with Woods' heroics, aside from stretching it to almost 160 minutes, muddles and even lessens the important themes and messages taken from the first two hours. It is even evident Attenborough may have realized this by throwing in that final scene depicting the massacre at Soweto, and while surely emotionally stirring, it just felt out of place and a way of making sure the audience didn't forget about the real victims after watching the would be consultants of this film heroically escape to a much better life abroad. Overall a more than worthwhile film as I definitely gained some knowledge and perspective but unfortunately felt potential for this to be REALLY good so was disappointed when it started to drag and change tones late. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/20/23 Full Review steve d Washington is so good it hurts the film. When he is not on screen everything else feels anticlimactic. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review ashley h Cry Freedom is an excellent film. It is about South African journalist Donald Woods who is forced to flee the country after attempting to investigate the death in custody of his friend, the black activist Steve Biko. Kevin Kline and Denzel Washington give amazing performances. The screenplay is well written. Richard Attenborough did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the drama. Cry Freedom is a must see. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Cry Freedom

      Cry Freedom: Official Clip - Detained, Denied and Banned Cry Freedom: Official Clip - Detained, Denied and Banned 2:45 Cry Freedom: Official Clip - Steve Biko's Day in Court Cry Freedom: Official Clip - Steve Biko's Day in Court 4:15 Cry Freedom: Official Clip - Soccer Game Speech Cry Freedom: Official Clip - Soccer Game Speech 2:07 Cry Freedom: Official Clip - Escaping South Africa Cry Freedom: Official Clip - Escaping South Africa 3:29 Cry Freedom: Official Clip - The Poisoned T-Shirts Cry Freedom: Official Clip - The Poisoned T-Shirts 1:58 Cry Freedom: Official Clip - Beaten to Death by the Cops Cry Freedom: Official Clip - Beaten to Death by the Cops 3:34 Cry Freedom: Official Clip - Flying out of South Africa Cry Freedom: Official Clip - Flying out of South Africa 3:31 Cry Freedom: Official Clip - Biko's Funeral Cry Freedom: Official Clip - Biko's Funeral 3:19 Cry Freedom: Official Clip - We Want to Live as Africans Cry Freedom: Official Clip - We Want to Live as Africans 3:01 Cry Freedom: Official Clip - The Soweto Youth Uprising Cry Freedom: Official Clip - The Soweto Youth Uprising 2:42 View more videos

      Critics Reviews

      View All (27) Critics Reviews
      Kurt Jacobsen Chicago Reader Nonetheless, this more than slightly askew epic merits a look, and one hopes that other films, which match some of the superb plays and novels by South African authors, will be encouraged by Cry Freedom’s box office. Rated: 2/4 May 10, 2022 Full Review Bob Thomas Associated Press Attenborough maintains firm control of the narrative, and Cry Freedom is a triumph of dedication. Rated: 4/4 Jul 17, 2019 Full Review Variety Staff Variety Washington does a remarkable job of transforming himself into the articulte and mesmerizing black nationalist leader, whose refusal to keep silent led to his death in police custody and a subsequent coverup. Jun 19, 2008 Full Review Rene Jordan El Nuevo Herald (Miami) Becomes a type of escape melodrama in the vain of a very lazy Hitchcock. [Full review in Spanish] Jun 28, 2022 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy For a superior picture about the horrors of apartheid, see 1989's A Dry White Season instead. Rated: 2.5/4 Aug 16, 2020 Full Review Ángel Fernández-Santos El Pais (Spain) [Richard] Attenborough manages to skillfully balance entertainment with didacticism. [Full Review in Spanish] Apr 17, 2020 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Set in apartheid-torn South Africa. Donald Woods is the editor of the East London Daily Express and Steve Biko is a young black leader struggling to improve life in the townships. The two form an unlikely friendship but when Biko is taken into police custody and then murdered, Woods is placed under house arrest. Fearing for his family's safety, he decides to smuggle them over the border.
      Director
      Richard Attenborough
      Distributor
      Universal Pictures
      Production Co
      Universal/Universal Int
      Rating
      PG
      Genre
      History, Drama, Biography
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Nov 6, 1987, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Sep 11, 2015
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      $4.9M
      Sound Mix
      Surround
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