‘Freedom’s Path’ Review: An Overlong But Interesting Take on the Civil War Tale

Freddoms Path Review

The Civil War, more than any other war in the history of the United States of America, has been the war that has marked the country at its core. The USA has been one of those countries that constantly participate in warfare, but the one that occurred on the ground managed to transform their essence as people in ways no other event ever could. We are feeling the ripples of that war even today. The war on drugs, terrorism, and communism have all come and gone in waves, but the fight for Freedom is still being fought, even today. ‘Freedom’s Path’ is a new film that tackles this mythical conflict.

‘Freedom’s Path’ is a war drama directed by Brett Smith and starring Gerran Howell, RJ Cyler, Ewen Bremner, and Carol Sutton. The film tells the story of William, a young soldier fighting for the Union during the Civil War. However, after a series of events, William is put on the path by a young black man named Kitch, who also wants to join the fight.

The movie is Brett Smith’s feature-length debut as a director and deals with many topics, both current and of the times, as we follow this odd couple and their relationship for some time.

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‘Freedom’s Path’ is one of those movies that uses the famous enemy mine trope, putting two main characters with very different perspectives on life and making them see each other for the first time. This kind of story often works as it taps into the audience’s decency and sense of reconciliation.

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Most people just want to live a normal, simple life, and they would expect that many of the world’s issues could be resolved easily. So, while the movie is certainly dramatic, too much at times, it also goes for that feeling-good sentiment, so people can leave the theater feeling like they can change the world by themselves.


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Brett Smith makes a very solid debut as a feature-length director. The movie is an indie project, yet it manages to have solid production values, a great cast of actors, and just to look great. Yes, sometimes the digital cinematography makes things look a bit too modern and clean, and it might take you out of the immersion as everything is clearly happening in a movie set.

But that is a compromise that probably could not be avoided. Outside of that, there are some fantastic night scenes, and the story’s setting is very well represented.

Smith also luckily gets RJ Cyler on one of the major roles. The young actor has proven time and time again to be the best in every project he has ever worked on. We have seen the actor be amazing in supporting roles in movies like Power Rangers, Emergency, and White Boy Ricky, and he always comes on top even when facing the film’s leads.

His role in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl put him on the map, but he never really exploded. This is a shame because the actor shows that he is just amazingly talented and has every possible skill to become even greater in the industry. ‘Freedom’s Path’ might not be the project that will send him to the next level, but he elevates without a doubt.

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Gerran Howell and the rest of the cast also do a fantastic job. However, Howell’s role is a lot more difficult, especially today, and because of it, the actor has a hard time overcoming the obstacle that the role places upon him. He almost manages to overcome this obstacle by the end, but even when his character changes, the event doesn’t seem to click for some reason. At least not completely. Nevertheless, the actor needs to be applauded for taking on such a hard role and doing his best to do it justice.

The movie seems to stumble a bit when it comes to the story. Not because the story is not interesting, not at all. It is a unique and interesting take on the Civil War era. However, the movie takes its themes and becomes too expository. It sometimes feels like the characters are having the same conversation repeatedly. This could be a choice to say that someone’s mind will not change during an evening. However, the arguments used feel static.

It would have been better if each of the many conversations had tackled the subject from more different angles, so there could be a better sense of progression for the characters’ arcs.

Outside of the lack of subtlety in developing its themes, the movie’s pacing is also affected. The reiteration of many of the thematic points makes some scenes feel too long and some others unnecessary.

The movie is just too long, and it could have done the same amount of character and thematic work in a shorter span of time. There are also a couple of characters that are having their own storyline tangential to our main characters, and each time the movie cuts to them, it feels like a waste of time. Understandably, Smith is trying to build to something, but the payoff is unsatisfying, and the time spent on it doesn’t feel warranted.


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‘Freedom’s Path’ is a very solid feature film debut for Brett Smith. The film looks great, even if the digital cinematography can sometimes take you out of the setting. The actors all do a fantastic job, especially RJ Cyler, who is one of his generation’s best. The thematic resonance of the movie makes it a good movie to watch nowadays, but the plot and the way that the themes are developed could have used a bit more polishing. It might not be the most inspiring or entertaining movie, but its heart is in the right place and deserves a watch.

SCORE: 7/10