The Free World

Following his release from a brutal stretch in prison for crimes he didn't commit, Mo is struggling to adapt to life on the outside. When his world collides with Doris, a mysterious woman with a violent past, he decides to risk his newfound freedom to keep her in his life.


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  • ★★★½ review by Dawson Joyce on Letterboxd

    It often slips on the ice of melodrama, but The Free World makes for an engaging and beautifully shot directorial debut from Restless writer Jason Lew featuring two spectacular lead performances from Boyd Holbrook and Elisabeth Moss.

  • ★★★★ review by Stuart on Letterboxd

    The Free World is far from a perfect movie. It's over dramatic, it's tone shifts wildly fairly fast, there's a decent amount of secondary characters that are severely underused and yet, Holbrook and Moss are so mesmerizing in their roles that you won't be able to take your eyes off the screen. Just watching them talk to each other is so dangerously close to two real people actually falling in love in front of your eyes that'd you'd swear they were a real life couple. They are simply that good. They carry this entire film on their more than capable shoulders and I wish I could live in the moment of pure art that is the last minute of this film before the credits role. It's truly something.

    Unfortunately the incredible performances are weighed down by mediocre to straight up bad camera work, (why are we using dutch angles down a symmetrical hallway?) and a script that doesn't quite know what it wants to be. Side characters that would normally seem to have some sort of impact on the story are completely forgotten and in the end have no meaningful contribution to add. However, I really enjoyed watching The Free World on my night off if just for the performances alone. I may even come back to it. Definitely worth a watch.

  • ★★★½ review by NancyW on Letterboxd

    The Free World is an enjoyable visceral film of emotion, two people get a second chance at living their lives. The guy Mo played by Boyd Holbrook an ex con now working in an animal shelter tries to start his new life. Linda the boss at the animal shelter, played by Octavia Spencer plays her part very believably and Doris, played by Elizabeth Moss, the wife of an abusive policeman. The story unfolds when a dog is dropped off at the shelter which has been beaten up by the policeman, Linda's husband. The story is very interesting it seems slow and there is some violence in the third act, I found it quite an interesting script and liked the twist at the end, I could watch this one again.

  • ★★★★ review by Eleana on Letterboxd

    So happy Netflix added this film!!!! 😊

  • ★★★½ review by mick culleton on Letterboxd

    A ex-con finds himself pulled back into the violent underworld, When he rescues & helps a battered woman , Dark thriller with a strong cast

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