The Sound of Freedom, which opens in theaters Tuesday, has received a 92 percent "fresh" rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 100 percent rating from audiences who have seen the film ahead of opening day.
In a review for Variety, Owen Gleiberman said that "you needn’t hold extreme beliefs to experience 'Sound of Freedom' as a compelling movie that shines an authentic light on one of the crucial criminal horrors of our time, one that Hollywood has mostly shied away from."
Gleiberman wrote that modern media shows drug trafficking in excess, but "Child sex trafficking, by contrast, isn’t a subject that lends itself to 'entertainment.’"
"But as 'Sound of Freedom' informs us, it’s the fastest growing international criminal network the world has ever seen. A closing title states — accurately — that there are more people enslaved now, by sex trafficking, than there were when slavery was legal. And the nightmare lived by captured children is unspeakable, unimaginable…and all too real. Let’s be clear: This matters more than the cocaine or opioids industry," Gleiberman wrote.
The Pauline Center for Media Studies, a project of the Daughters of St. Paul, wrote that "Sound of Freedom plays like an action thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat at the same time as being a drama about Tim's first foray into rescuing trafficked kids. Caviezel's acting is spot on as he expresses Tim's horror at the reality these victims have endured and his determination to liberate them.
"Lucas Avila as Miguel is magnificent at conveying the intense emotion of a trafficking victim coupled with the innocence of a child who just wants his sister back. A troubling aspect of the film, though, is that it makes integration back into 'normal' life after being exploited look too easy."
The high ratings come as the film has surpassed $10 million in presales, with over one million tickets sold.
The film is based on the actions of Tim Ballard, who left his position at the Department of Homeland Security and started Operation Underground Railroad in 2013 to rescue children who had been trafficked around the globe, and stars Jim Caviezel as the lead.
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