Best Film of all Time? Sound of Freedom Movie Review

July 22, 2023

by Tremain Hayhoe

Sound of Freedom is the true story about Tim Ballard, a former government agent turned vigilante who embarks on a dangerous mission to rescue hundreds of children from sex traffickers. The movie stars Jim Caviezel (The Count of Monte Cristo, Passion of the Christ), Bill Camp (Queen’s Gambit, Joker), and Mira Sorvino (Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion, Crime Story), and is co-written and directed by Alejandro Monteverde (Little Boy, Bella). The cast is mainly comprised of character actors that look seemingly familiar but don’t exactly stand out in any particular way; but this movie isn’t about the stars or the glitz and glamour of being a hero. It’s about the horrific reality that plagues this world; child sex trafficking and pedophilia.

The film starts off at the home of a father and two children as they get a knock on the door from a curious yet beautiful female stranger. The stranger says that the kids look great and could potentially get a career in the entertainment industry. Selling the sizzle and the dream of being rich and famous, she coaxes the father to bring his two kids, one boy and one girl, to go to another town for a professional photoshoot. When the father drops off the children, he is told he’s not allowed to go in with the his kids, which should have been an extremely massive red flag, but is assured that he can pick them back up by 7pm sharp. 7pm rolls around, the father comes to pick up his kids and low and behold they are nowhere to be found.

This sets the tone and the stage for the rest of the film. A father being duped into letting his kids go is something that many of us could say “how on earth could he be tricked by that?” yet simultaneously we can see this as easily being able to happen; and this is just one example of how it actually does.

In walks our hero Tim Ballard, played by a charismatically stoic Jim Caviezel, in the middle of a sting operation to capture a pedophile. At this point in his career Tim’s job isn’t to rescue the children; it’s to capture the monsters that prey on them.  They capture the predator and he feels proud of it, but a conversation with a coworker questions his reality that even though he has captured many child predators, he’s never in fact rescued any children. This sets Tim’s character off on a mission to actually find and discover underground child sex trafficking organizations with the sole purpose to rescue as many children as possible.

When hearing about Sound of Freedom being a Christian movie, I was half expecting it to be an overly preachy and for lack of a better word cheesy movie that plays out more like a soap opera than an “actual movie.” This is my wariness with some of these films, and even as a Catholic / Christian man myself, I am a bit jaded when it comes to some faith-based movies. Even if a movie has a powerful message of faith, family, growth, understanding, etc., it can get lost in poor acting or an overly preachy storyline.

I’m happy to say this movie is none of those things. This movie is first and foremost a suspense thriller. This is a film with real heroes, real villains, and real high stakes involved. Who doesn’t love a good undercover sting operation film?

This movie blends the tropes of film noir, a suspense thriller, a spy thriller, with elements of horror and even humor. This movie reminded me of a real-life Mission: Impossible, except in Mission: Impossible we know it’s fiction and going to be over the top so we suspend our disbelief quite a bit in order to have fun with an enjoyable movie. With this film it’s a gripping edge-of-your-seat masterclass in suspense as we know the stakes are about as real as real gets. Tim Ballard goes undercover as one of the monsters he’s hunting and all the time I was saying to myself “ohmygosh please don’t get caught please don’t get caught.”

I love movies when the person playing the undercover agent is in the belly of the beast and is going along with all of these bad guys that he has to take down. So much can go wrong, so quickly, and if any little thing goes wrong, not only does the whole mission go up in smoke, the children don’t get rescued and are doomed to continue their lives as sex slaves.

A highlight of the movie is Vampiro, played by Bill Camp, a cigar-smoking flamingo shirt wearing (no joke I have that same exact flamingo shirt he wore in the movie!!) panama hat wearing whiskey-drinking guy who adds a bit of levity to a serious film that needs just a little. Yet he also adds quite a bit of gravitas. This is a guy who as an audience member I’m thinking “oh this is a guy who’s been there, done that, got the T-shirt, probably 50 times.” His character is someone who lived in the belly of the beast doing some of the most heinous things known to man, went to jail for it, came out, went back to his old life, but eventually turned over a new leaf and is now on the side of the good guys. “When God tells you what to do, you cannot hesitate” he says while telling Tim the story of his life and how he let go of his bad side and followed what he believes God wanted him to do. When Vampiro asks Tim why he’s doing this, Tim says because “God’s children are not for sale.” That’s probably the most memorable and epic movie quote of any film in the 21st century.

As serious and quite frankly depressing as the subject matter is, this film has an overall message of hope. No matter how deep and dark situations may be, there are people out there willing to risk their lives for the greater good. What can we do to help? I hardly thing any of us are going to go into the deep dark pedophile jungles anytime soon, but I think it just starts with spreading awareness and with more people aware of this the more we call can keep our eyes peeled for victims of these heinous crimes.

This is a film that I will remember for the rest of my life. I haven’t had an experience quite like this in the theater, and I am eager to see it again. It’s very rare for a film like this to make such a physical and emotional impact on me, judging by the box office numbers I’m not alone in this. Being against pedophiles and child sex trafficking is something all of us can get behind, and whether we are rich or poor, republican or democrat, Kings fan or Lakers fan, we can all do our part to help bring awareness and hopefully one day end the horrors that is child sex trafficking. Right now Angel Studios, the studio behind the film, is giving away free tickets. Get yours at

This is the best film I’ve seen in my entire life. I highly recommend heading to see it in the theater as soon as possible. 11/10

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