Another staple of our movie-watching around here is the inspirational, heart-warming, based-on-a-true-story film about the teacher with offbeat methods who bands his or her classroom of misfits together so that everybody learns something from everybody else. I know, that description sounds a little sarcastic, and that’s not really my intent. When done well, these movies are very effective, and FREEDOM WRITERS certainly falls into that category. Hilary Swank, who’s done a fine job in just about everything I’ve seen here in, is very good here as the teacher, although the script doesn’t require much of her except to be earnest and dedicated. The young actors who play the high school students are all good, and there are some well-staged action scenes of gang violence. And it’s good to see Scott Glenn, who plays the father of Swank’s character, again, although he sure has gotten old. (Sort of like the rest of us, I guess.) One of my all-time favorite films is SILVERADO, and Glenn really carries that movie, more so than the better-known actors around him. There’s more than a touch of by-the-numbers about FREEDOM WRITERS, but I enjoyed it as a perfectly acceptable way to spend a couple of hours.