"Jake Mahaffy's Free In Deed...is one of the most remarkable motion picture experiences of the year."
-Brandon Harris, The New Republic
"A visionary achievement... the first in recent memory to confront the issue of Faith so eloquently through the prism of Race and Class... David Harewood, in a performance that is truly, undeniably, for the ages... there is that select, elite class of performer, a regimen of artist belonging to a Higher Academy, who have the ability to leave you with chills not only throughout their performance’s duration, but long after. David Harewood, in Free in Deed, is one of these."
- Evan Louison, Hammer to Nail
"Free in Deed is without question one of the most accomplished and vital independent dramas of recent memory."
- Michael Tully, Hammer to Nail
"Free in Deed is a fever pitch of prayer, praise, torment, and attempted healings... The end credits rolled to an audibibly stunned audience."
- J. Ryan Parker, Patheos
"Jake Mahaffy’s film dares, like France’s great director, Robert Bressson, to raise the most fundamental of spiritual questions…"
- Gerald Peary, Artsfuse
"Mahaffy’s film offers an illuminating immersion into the rarely-depicted world of storefront churches... A deserving winner of top honors in Venice’s Horizons strand, this jagged, productively provocative work needs every such plaudit to convince skittish distributors of its conversation-piece potential."
- Guy Lodge, Variety
"The gripping drama finds experimental filmmaker Jake Mahaffy… maintaining a distinctive aesthetic slant, at once pensive and visceral. With its immersive textures and refusal to wrap-up a charged and complex subject in tidy messages, it could make art-house inroads in the hands of a sensitive distributor."
- Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter
"Filmed in an observational cinéma vérité style, there is a verisimilitude to "Free in Deed" that the audience gets lost in, so much that one forgets that what you're watching is actually a scripted fictionalized account realized by actors... delivering wonderfully subtle and effective performances..."
- Tambay Obenson, Shadow and Act
"A devastating true life story becomes a devastating film in Jake Mahaffy‘s chilling, even-handed yet desperately wrenching “Free In Deed.” ...the film is brimming with compassion and humanity, and seeks to make even the most atheist of viewers understand the social context that could give rise to such an incident. Marked by extraordinarily strong performances across the board (Edwina Findley from “Middle of Nowhere” plays the mother, British actor David Harewood is riveting as the outsider who believes he has healing powers and astonishing newcomer RaJay Chandler plays the afflicted child)..."
- Jessica Kiang, The Playlist
"Jake Mahaffy's impressionistic and distressing "Free in Deed" tells the story of a single mother... who's willing to do anything she can to help her son. Immersive to the extreme, Mahaffy's film takes viewers inside a world where tragedy and hope blur together into a cacophony of desperation."
- David Ehrlich, Indiewire
"If Bresson had set “Diary of a Country Priest” in an Africa-American storefront church in Memphis, it might have turned out like Jake Mahaffy’s challenging spiritual odyssey. Through its oblique, impressionistic, and intense narrative, Mahaffy’s film is a cathartic rite in itself."
- Ty Burr/Peter Keogh, The Boston Globe