Freebie and the Bean

Freebie and the Bean ★★★

Freebie and the Bean needs a feature-length content warning. It’s gleefully racist, homophobic, transphobic, and sexist. There are no lines of decency that this movie doesn’t cross and just keep going. It’s also...fascist? Or at least it delights in the casual fascism of cops who don’t play by the rules. It’s easily your worst uncle’s favorite movie. 

But it’s also frequently excellent. It’s the urtext for the buddy cop genre, and the stunts and car chases are some of the most visceral and exciting I have ever seen. It’s also funny. It’s an incredibly entertaining movie filled with vile, hateful shit. 

The most generous read of this movie is that this is what 1974 considered “edgy” and “gritty,” rather than hateful, which is what it is. I can’t in good conscience recommend this movie to anyone, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t work in spite of...well, it’s a whole lot of things.