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In this postmodern exploitation flick loosely based on "Little Red Riding Hood," the uneducated daughter of a drug-addicted prostitute flees the foster-care system in search of her long-lost grandmother but meets up instead with a serial killer. Vanessa (Reese Witherspoon), a nearly illiterate firebug and serial shoplifter, desperately clings to normalcy even though her mother turns tricks, does drugs, and manages to ignore the fact that the girl's stepfather Michael T. Weiss has been abusing her for years. When both of her parents get arrested, Vanessa steals the car of her… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"There's not much edification in store, and [director] Bright cruises over some bumpy plot holes, but the teen's perspective does put a black comic spotlight on wider social hypocrisies."
‑ , Time Out
"Rude in the way the truth is rude -- only funnier."
‑ Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"Darkly humorous, witty and nasty, Freeway is an original take on the Red Riding Hood fairytale, featuring a wonderful performance by the teenage Reese Witherspoon, before she became a star"
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"It's just the sort of thing Oliver Stone strove so hard to achieve in Natural Born Killers, and [writer/director Matthew] Bright pulls it off effortlessly."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"I didn't particularly want to like Freeway, but I couldn't help myself. Reese Witherspoon made me."
‑ Margaret A. McGurk, Cincinnati Enquirer
"Freeway glints here and there with dark humor amounting to a knowing wink that undercuts the cautionary tale at its heart and the seriousness of its graphic sociology."
‑ Lawrence Van Gelder, New York Times
"It's too drawn-out, too talky and, at the most crucial moment, needlessly implausible, to sustain its humor and large dose of violence."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"[The] characters are crisp and fascinating, and the movie has a great anything-can-happen B-movie excitement feel to it."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Freeway somehow manages to be hip, imaginative and hilarious. Road film, comedy, prison drama and Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers all rolled into one."
‑ Jeanne Aufmuth, Palo Alto Weekly
"'Little Red Riding Hood,' my, how you've grown..."
‑ James Sanford, Kalamazoo Gazette
"Cynical, stylish and witty."
‑ Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail
"Alive with the luscious turn-ons of sex and danger, Freeway is the most impressive debut film I've seen all year."
‑ Charles Taylor,
"One of the most stubbornly original and electrifying films not only of 1996, but of the '90s, period."
‑ Rob Gonsalves,
"Shockingly dark and nasty take on the Red Riding Hood tale."
‑ Scott Weinberg,
"The great cast brings light-hearted humor and credibility to what could otherwise have been seen as a sickly exploitative (though well-written and directed) script."
‑ Christine James, Boxoffice Magazine
More reviews for Freeway on Rotten Tomatoes

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