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The Conservative Critic

Is Sound of Freedom Just A Cult Phenom? Or Is It For Real?



To say that Sound of Freedom has been a sensation would be the understatement of the year. The film grossed over $100 million at the domestic box office despite being released by an independent distributor (Angel). To put that into perspective, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny raked in a domestic gross of around $230 million and that was with the full weight of Disney and a $295 million budget. They only broke even because of international sales. Sound of Freedom had a $14 million budget, was released independently and Hollywood was dead set against its success before it even began. The mainstream critics did everything they could to stop audiences from attending. They called it boring, they called it cheesy, and (without a shred of irony) they called it exploitative

And yet it still prevailed. 

However, to their credit, conservatives are very loyal to the missions they find important and the values they believe in. Is the hype around Sound of Freedom a product only of its important message and conservative fervor? Are the mainstream critics right? Or is it actually great?

The Conservative Critic Meter Check: Sound of Freedom 

Overall Rating: Extremely good

Sound of Freedom is objectively good. The critical battering it received is at best extremely subjective nitpicking not commonly applied to other films and at worst intentionally false and intellectually dishonest. Sound of Freedom set out to achieve shock, horror, and sense of duty as well as to shed a cursory light on the evil of child trafficking which – without any debate – exists closer to home than we might like to think. It achieves all of its goals with skill and artistry.

The movie follows the story of an American law enforcement official who works on child trafficking crimes and wants to do more to save the children who are impacted. Through the course of events in his attempts to go deeper, he ends up searching for siblings and uncovering and rectifying horrific realities with the help of like-minded heroes along the way. The story is loosely inspired by Tim Ballard, a real-life former Homeland Security official who was involved in a major human trafficking bust along with several anti-human trafficking organizations.

Sound of Freedom primarily relies on shocking imagery to create a horrifying emotional experience for viewers to make its point and it does it well. One critic compared it to Heart of Darkness which was a thoughtful and accurate comparison but then called it “dull” which honestly chills me to my bones. For someone to think the film was boring, they would have to be an actual monster. Or lying. It would have been a more credible (albeit still inaccurate) criticism to call the film over the top. Boring? That is truly sick.

Is it entertaining? 

Rating: Apprehending

“Entertaining” of course is the wrong word for what Sound of Freedom is. What it actually does is totally apprehend viewers from the minute it begins until the very end. It’s a hard watch, intentionally so. It is meant to shock you. Because despite the desperate attempts by leftist media to discredit the film overall, all of them have to admit that it is actually extremely true both in premise and, at times, in fact. Sound of Freedom will make you hold your breath and tighten every muscle in your body. In recent films, I cannot recall another movie that is more discomforting (on purpose). The chicken scene in Nightmare Alley had nothing on this film. And that was pure fiction.

The film walks the important line of being gratuitously emotional but never crossing into gratuitously visual. The makers understood what is and is not exploitative despite absolutely untrue claims by members of the media. 

Does it have artistic/intellectual value? 

Rating: Very well made 

The movie is well done. It makes the wise choice of being very low on dialogue. It, for the most part, trusts its viewers to understand what’s happening without extreme exposition. There are a few painful lines and moments of the film I’d wish they’d left out including unlikely coincidences and over purifying their primary hero. But those very small problems are far outweighed by the beautiful screen work and the stellar performances. 

Jim Caviezel as Tim Ballard is spot on and leads the movie with a ton of credibility. Bill Camp as a reformed cartel lord and rapist, Vampiro, is perhaps the best performance of the film. Mainstream media has put a lot of effort into discrediting the truth of the story by nit picking the specifics of the characters. Sound of Freedom never claims to be a documentary. But the premise of the story is inarguable as well as many of the hard facts. It is unimportant to the story that the real Vampiro’s back story is slightly (barely) different. 

The film is on par with mainstream studio work and does not suffer at any moments from quality control or exaggeration of premise. Multiple mainstream outlets called the film a “QAnon conspiracy theory” which is not only false, the facts and premise are verifiably true by multiple credible sources including the United States government, but also impossible considering that QAnon was not even a thing (I’m not entirely convinced it’s a thing now) until the film wrapped (which was many years ago – more on this below). 

Is it liberal propaganda? 

Rating: 100% conservative agenda

In order to understand the politics of the film, one must be familiar with the extensive context.

Sound of Freedom  was never intended to be political and it is only the absolute shame of the left that it has become political. Director and co-writer Alejandro Monteverde set out on his plans to create Sound of Freedom in 2017 after becoming exposed to the horrors of child sex trafficking. He became connected with Tim Ballard after seeing his 2014 raid of a sex trafficking island (a true story featured in the film) and due to Ballard’s desire to shop his story for his organization, O.U.R. The entire film was wrapped by 2019, funded independently primarily by Mexican investors. The film was set to be distributed by 21st Century Fox but was dropped when Disney bought the platform. Many are quick to defend Disney because to be fair many many films were dropped at the time of this acquisition. 

But here’s where it gets interesting. For some reason at the exact same moment that 21st Century Fox dropped the film (re: right as big time producers became aware of it whereas they were not before), a lot of journalists backed by major media started investigating Ballard’s organization and running hit pieces on them. Vice ran a full series on O.U.R. trying to take them down. Their reports claim that O.U.R. exaggerates images and self aggrandizes in an effort to primarily fundraise. However, even in their hit pieces, when you get past the big bold discrediting headline, the best Vice can do is say their stories aren’t “completely” true and they may have made false claims in order to harvest donors (far from unusual in the political and charitable space). They make no claim that the money given to O.U.R. is inappropriately used. Their main beef is that Ballard and members of O.U.R. perpetuate a theory (which they call a conspiracy theory) that elitists in America and the western world are a big part of the child sex trafficking industry in the world. Considering it has been proven that Harvey Weinstein was routinely assaulting women and most of Hollywood was totally complicit in his actions plus the proven involvement of Jeffrey Epstien in child sex trafficking: I’m not really sure how that claim can be called a “conspiracy.” 

My question (as well as Ballard’s and Monteverde’s and beyond) is why? Why, if O.U.R. was using money to fund credible law enforcement operations which are stopping human trafficking (there don’t appear to be any claims to the contrary) would leftist media be concerned with taking the organization down? And even more importantly: why would they wish to discredit the idea that child sex trafficking is not only globally prevalent but heavily funded by rich white American elites? When was the last time you saw the leftist media defending rich white American men (other than Hunter Biden)? The timing is all pretty damning. 

The film in and of itself, should be void of politics. The premise is true and salient facts are true and the point of shocking viewers into seeing these hard truths is objectively admirable.  In the film, children are trafficked across the American border. Liberals like to pretend that border policies of separating adults and children are “separating families.” They scream it from the rooftops. The truth is that adults come over the border with children to sell and of course, claim to be their parents and upon separation, it is learned that they absolutely are not their parents. Tim Ballard rescuing his first child at the border is not fiction. But because of the eye-opening context outside of the letter of the film, it is clear that the leftist media sought to make this film controversial from the moment they laid eyes on it when a major studio had it in its hands for distribution. 

This film is conservative propaganda because tragically, the left is in complete denial (at best) about the rampant abuses that our elite class is capable of perpetuating despite them being routinely proven. Particularly Hollywood. It’s truly ironic that in this moment of SAG and WGA walkouts because the studios are, according to leftist media, so unethical and greedy, that there is no notion that it is of course both possible and plausible that those greedy people are capable of so much more.


Sound of Freedom is objectively good and foundationally accurate. It is a worthwhile film that should be seen with some caution due to the extremely disturbing imagery.