Angel Studios’ Sound of Freedom, starring Jim Caviezel, is defying all odds and becoming one of this year’s biggest box office surprises. But while it tells a tale of righteousness tale of freedom, the new action thriller (which is based on a true story) has recently come under fire from movie critics. A select few have not only gone after the audience watching the film but also the main actor. Thankfully, the actor and the filmmakers had an amazing response to the criticism.
Sound of Freedom, which stars The Passion of the Christ actor Jim Caviezel as the film’s lead, tells an incredible tale based on a true story about a federal agent who saves a young boy from ruthless child traffickers. Learning that the boy’s sister is still in danger, he quits his job and journeys to the Columbian jungle to save her from more child traffickers. As the short synopsis reads: “Sound of Freedom, based on the incredible true story, shines a light on even the darkest places.”
The indie movie, which has grossed over $45 million worldwide so far, was directed by Alejandro Monteverde and written by him and Rodd Barr. The stunning cast of the film consists of Bill Camp as Vampiro, Carlos Gutiérrez as Adolfo, Cristal Aparicio as Rocío, Eduardo Verástegui as Pablo, Gary Basaraba as Earl Backman, Gerardo Taracena as El Alacrán, Gustavo Sánchez Parra as El Calacas, Hector Lucumi as Doberman, Javier Godino as Jorge, Jim Caviezel as Tim Ballard, José Zúñiga as Roberto, Kris Avedisian as Oshinsky, Kurt Fuller as John Bryant, Lucás Ávila as Miguel, Manny Perez as Fuego, Mauricio Cujar as Carne, Mira Sorvino as Katherine, Samuel Livingston as Simba, Scott Haze as Chris, Valerie Domínguez as Tanya, and Yessica Borroto Perryman as Katy / Giselle.
Sound of Freedom recently came under fire at the hand of Miles Klee at Rolling Stones. After seeing the film in theatres, he spoke about his experience, as well as the theme of the movie.
Many had an issue with the fact that his criticism not only went after the film itself but also the actor playing the main character, Tim Ballard, and the audience. Calling the audience “mostly white-haired” and commenting on the occasional “nasty coughing fit”, the main discussion of the criticism was the “righteous fury” of the audience, especially when the main character says, “God’s children are not for sale.”
From his own account, the audience was entranced, and nothing could break the spell, so it’s a wonder why he was attempting to tear down the film in the first place. The criticism also called the movie implausible, saying that Sound of Freedom strayed from the true events and “invents a finale” (which is a common thing with historical movies, as sometimes viewers just want a happy ending when we never got one in real life). Klee then went on to attack the main actor of Sound of Freedom with the comment, “One wonders if it was extreme enough for [Jim] Caviezel’s liking.”
Appearing alongside director Alejandro Monteverde, Jim Caviezel spoke with Angel Studios Chief Content Officer Jeff Harmon in a Q&A session about Sound of Freedom, where the trio discussed the criticism.
When asked what he thought of the criticism directed at the film, Caviezel responded that he wasn’t surprised about the backlash from critics because the public responded so well: “listening to their hearts”.
“They [the critics] are scared. Quaking in their boots.”
Speaking on the fire on the righteous aspect of the movie, he also said, “When there is evil, real evil in the world, and when love is in your heart, boy, evil is just a coward to God.”
The film’s director commented that they made the film for the audience, and the fact that the audience had an amazing response to the film was a victory and not a problem. Harmon agreed.
As far as the “personal attack” on Caviezel is concerned, he also had a wonderful response, saying that it’s unnecessary to bring “his” politics into the criticism because his politics are nothing but the Constitution of the United States and promoting freedom for all.