- Jim Caviezel, Bill Camp, José Zúñiga
- Alejandro Monteverde
- Action, Biography, Drama
- Release date
- July 4, 2023
After watching Sound of Freedom, you cannot/must not be the person you were when you walked into the theater. I entreat all who watch to join hands with those around them, fall to their knees, and implore the Creator of All Things to speak to you. And when he answers, listen.
“Because God’s children are not for sale.” – Tim Ballard
Every 40 seconds, a child goes missing in The United States of America. Of those taken, millions are sold into sex slavery. The average life expectancy of a child sold into sex slavery in the United States is 7 – 10 years of age, and The United States of America is one of the top destinations for human trafficking and is among the largest consumers of child sex.
**STOP** Before you read any further, click this link to pre-purchase your ticket as well as Pay it Forward, and purchase a ticket for another. This cannot be another “conservative” film that does “well for independent films.” It must and can be a blockbuster, but it takes all of us DOING something about it. Buy your tickets now, and help to spread the word.
Sound of Freedom
How often have we heard some moronic actor and filmmaker say that their piece of garbage propaganda piece posing as a film is “important?”
Well, here is one that actually is, not because it’s excellent (it is), not because it’s gripping (it is), nor because it will haunt you long after the curtain falls (it will), but because its message is so very necessary and it’s goals so very attainable.
Sound of Freedom follows the early missions of the real-life Tim Ballard, played by Jim Caviezel, as he hears God’s calling to rescue children sold into slavery worldwide.
Simply put, Sound of Freedom is nearly perfect. Its gripping story is bolstered by superb performances, a crisp screenplay with economical yet powerful dialogue, and scenes of such terror as to give you nightmares, and even though it is the stuff of the most twisted horror films that will have you sweating and checking in on your sleeping children, it’s not graphic.
Much like how 1999’s Fight Club used the atmosphere and the reactions of those ancillary to the surrounding horrors to elicit the audience’s emotional investment, Director Alejandro Monteverde masterfully allows our imaginations room to breathe and us the freedom to fill in the monstrous blanks ourselves.
Very often in films with multiple children and most certainly in low-budget independent films, it’s a matter of course to have several performers who are not up to the level of its leads or the material. However, from the “smallest” role and up, God’s hands unquestionably guided everyone’s performance, with each delivering impressive and unprecedented emotional presentness. Even the child extras were pitch-perfect, a movie miracle.
Yet, in a movie full of exceptional performances, Jim Caviezel’s genius was laid bare for all to see. Undoubtedly, Jesus has a special place set at his Heavenly table for men like Tim Ballard, and in Sound of Freedom, Jim Caviezel shows us exactly why. In The Passion of The Christ, Caviezel captured what was certainly only a fraction of the otherworldly love of Christ, limited as Caviezel was by virtue of being only a man. Still, it was enough to transport the audience back 2,000 years to the side of our Lord and Savior. In Sound of Freedom, he expertly displays Ballard’s haunting sincerity and righteously obsessive drive in a complex performance worthy of every accolade.
Not to be forgotten is a sometimes funny, sometimes moving, and consistently superb performance by Bill Camp, who plays a one-time criminal turned figurative saint. Camp’s larger-than-life presence provides the film’s few but much-needed moments of levity without ever compromising the film’s emotional core. He is the perfect sidekick to Caviezel’s determined Ballard.
Although the child actors were already mentioned, no review would be complete without exhorting the nuanced and moving performances of the children who play brother and sister kidnap victims, Miguel and Alanna. It would have been easily forgiven had these two young performers been wooden or melodramatic. However, both were touching and compelling and will undoubtedly bring you to tears more than once.
Of course, no movie is flawless, and Sound of Freedom is no exception. The first act’s last few minutes suffer from minor pacing problems, and the cinematography, while mostly excellent, tends toward the utilitarian when something slightly more dramatic would better serve the narrative. Finally, there is a very brief scene set in the remote jungles of South America, in which Caviezel’s Ballard is texting with his wife on what appears to be a standard cell phone. It’s a nitpick, to be sure, but it was a momentary distraction in an otherwise laser-focused movie.
When all is said and done, Sound of Freedom is a must-see movie for everyone over the age of 15 and older (depending on your child’s level of sensitivity – I would let my 13-year-old daughter watch it and pray that it helps to keep her safe). It is most definitely Worth it.
Sound of Freedom ROLE MODELS
We’ve recently added the Role Models section to our site. The purpose of this is to highlight movies, regardless of overall quality, that possess characters with traits worthy of adoration and emulation. For instance, in the movie Air, Viola Davis plays Deloris Jordan, a strong (but not mannish) woman and mother. She’s an ardent and wise steward of a son whose future excellence she recognizes and helps to foster.
Sound of Freedom is replete with male role models who are self-sacrificing, determined, and possess the potential for just danger, which they righteously visit upon the wicked.
That being said, Oscar-winning Mira Sorvino plays Tim Ballard’s wife Katherine, and even though she is only on screen for fewer than five minutes, the real-life Katherine is as much of a hero as her husband. Knowing that she could end up raising their six children alone and that she would be doing so without the aid of Tim’s pension, she encourages him to quit his job ten months before he can access it so that he can put his life on the line to save the most innocent and precious among us in a venture that begins with no financial backing and virtually no real plan.
Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.)
“Tim Ballard spent more than a decade working as a Special Agent for the Department of Homeland Security, where he was assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force and deployed as an undercover operative for the U.S. Child Sex Tourism Jump Team.
He has worked in that role and since in every type of case in the fight to dismantle child trafficking rings. He’s worked in the United States and in multiple foreign countries to infiltrate child trafficking organizations. He has successfully dismantled dozens of these organizations and rescued children from slavery and exploitation.
While working for the government, Ballard saw how much more is needed in the fight against child trafficking and exploitation across the world. In 2013, he and a team of former government operatives left the security of their careers to accomplish the work of rescuing children as a private foundation – Operation Underground Railroad. At O.U.R., Tim has created a team that can work in any jurisdiction and in conjunction with law enforcement to rescue children directly. That team exists today and operates all over the world.” – O.U.R.
To donate to O.U.R.
James Carrick is a passionate film enthusiast with a degree in theater and philosophy. James approaches dramatic criticism from a philosophic foundation grounded in aesthetics and ethics, offering insight and analysis that reveals layers of cinematic narrative with a touch of irreverence and a dash of snark.