|Screenplay By||Rod Barr, Alejandro Monteverde|
|Based On||The life of Tim Ballard|
|Date Released (In Theaters)||July 4, 2023|
|Genre(s)||Action, Adventure, Crime, Drama, Horror, Thriller, Non-English (Spanish)|
|Film Length||2 Hour 11 Minutes|
|Content Rating||Rated PG-13|
|Noted Characters and Cast|
|Tim Ballard||Jim Caviezel|
|Katy||Yessica Borroto Perryman|
What Is “Sound Of Freedom” Rated And Why?
“Sound Of Freedom” is Rated PG-13 because:
- Dialog: There is creepy talk about men who like children
- Violence: There is gun violence, but no blood, and a lot of violence against children in terms of them being smacked, shot at, and it being clear some are being tortured
- Sexual Content: It’s verbalized that the kids we see were sexually abused, but visually they cut things off, thankfully, just as you know what’s about to happen
- Miscellaneous: There is drinking and smoking
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Tim Ballard works for homeland security and spends his days and nights, when not with his rather large family, taking down pedophiles Stateside and having to log many hours of their collections. Something about this gets to Tim, as he realizes he isn’t stopping anything but the end user, not the original crime. So after getting to save a kid named Miguel, he makes it his mission to also save his older sister Rocio, who was put into slavery thanks to a woman named Katy tricking their father.
However, with neither child being American, Tim has to risk his career, work with potentially shady characters like Vampiro, and sometimes rub elbows with Cartagena’s underbelly to hopefully save not just Rocio, but dozens, if not hundreds, of kids.
Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.
Months away from having a vested pension, Tim has spent too long focusing on the end result of his work, taking out child predators. But, after a conversation with a colleague, he decides, even if his boss and department won’t back him, to work up the chain and save kids rather than just focus on the consumers. This puts a tax on his wife and 6+ kids, but everyone seems to understand what Tim needs to do and wholeheartedly supports him.
Miguel is an 8-year-old who is kidnapped via Katy and was in the system for at least three months.
Rocio is 11 years old, and she is the one who originally caught Katy’s eye since Rocio seems to want to be a singer. However, she ends up going through a much harder life than she would have as a child star.
At one time, Vampiro was the leader of a cartel, making a lot of money, having sex with a lot of women, and even after going to jail, he made an effort to pick right up where he left off. However, after having sex with a prostitute he thought was 25 but was underage, he realized he can’t continue to live as he does. He can still smoke a cigar, drink, and have fun, but he needs to dedicate his life to something more purposeful, so now he makes an effort to save whatever child he can and give them the safety needed to grow up.
- The actor is also known for their role in “Native Son” and their role in “Love and Mercy.”
Katy, aka Giselle, was Ms. Caratagena many years ago, but something seemingly happened. Now, she lures children to be trafficked by taking advantage of her past and the naivety of parents who don’t know a thing about getting their kids into the entertainment industry.
Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)
It Doesn’t Go Too Far In The Depiction Of The Violence Or Sex
I think we all can agree there is no need for the depiction of a child in a vulnerable situation when it is clear from the start what is being done to them. Even if done to the extent of Dakota Fanning’s film “Hounddog.” This is why I loved that “Sound of Freedom” may have shown the predators, sometimes in the room with the kid or even guiding them somewhere, but that’s it.
Yes, kids get smacked or hit, especially as they are transported. But “Sound of Freedom” shields you from the worst, for it knows just giving you an idea of what happens to these children is enough.
It Allows You See Become Become Good Or Become Bad
No one is a perfect saint or absolute sinner, but you can choose which you strive to be, and that is shown through two characters: Vampiro and Katy. Vampiro is a former cartel leader who now buys children and gets them into safe havens when he can. Mind you, this came after accidentally having sex with an underage prostitute, but the point is, he made the effort to become a better man.
This isn’t the case for Katy. She was a model and then used her notoriety and beauty to trick parents and lore children. By showing us people make an active choice on whether to be good or bad, and that it isn’t just sleazy-looking men but beautiful women also helps keep the machine well-oiled.
It Is A Drama With Action Elements Rather Than An action Movie With Dramatic Moments
Are there shootouts? Absolutely. However, you can tell “Sound of Freedom” wants to try to maintain the balance between providing entertainment and reminding you that the film is about kids like Miguel and Rocio, who are part of the human trafficking slavery industry. So for every action scene, there is a reminder that those two could be anyone’s children, and even if the child isn’t American, that shouldn’t stop someone from doing something.
On top of that, it acknowledges the limitations that allow trafficking to continue from lack of resources to people who, understandably, value their own lives more. It’s unfortunate, but as shown by one of Tim’s associates, it’s fine to be brazen and desire to save people and be a hero, but if you become a martyr, that doesn’t only mean someone doesn’t get saved, but also someone will lose a husband and a father.
On The Fence
Generally, it can be understood that a lack of morals and desire for money is the reason most are in the business of human trafficking. However, while many strange men easily lend themselves to this assumption, Katy is different. She has a clear record and notable wins in modeling, so why do such a job? Why lure kids in, do the photoshoots that go on the dark web, and cause so much trauma?
Money is the easiest answer, but sometimes it is hard to wish “Sound of Freedom” didn’t always push you towards having a knee-jerk reaction and damn near draw a line in the sand between good and evil.
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Answers to some questions you may have regarding this movie:
The Reason The Movie Is Named “Sound of Freedom”
It is noted when Tim saves nearly 50 kids, the sound of freedom is children getting to be children and play hand games, giggle, and have some sense of levity.
Does “Sound of Freedom” Setup A Sequel or Prequel?
No. The film’s epilogue features information on what the real Tim Ballard inspired and makes it clear work still needs to be done, but I can’t imagine them bringing on a new family in need of his services, backed by the US Government. As for a prequel? How Tim got into that arm of Homeland Security that goes after pedophiles, human traffickers, and sex trafficking could be done.
Does “Sound of Freedom” Have A Mid-Credit or End Credit Scene?
There is a mid-credit scene from Caviezel asking people to market the film and pay for others to see it, and there are subtle accusations regarding people in power being part of what keeps the child sex trade going.
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- Plot and Dialog - /100
- Character Development and Performances - /100
- Visuals and Sound - /100
- Pacing - /100
- Value For Intended Audience - /100