Amistad is a 1997 historical drama film based on the true story of the mutiny aboard slave ship called La Amistad which was sailing from Cuba to the U.S. in 1839.

Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Djimon Hounsou, Morgan Freeman, Anthony Hopkins, Matthew McConaughey

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Full synopsis:
In 1839, the slave ship Amistad set sail from Cuba to America. During the long trip, Cinque (Djimon Hounsou) leads the slaves in an unprecedented uprising. They are then held prisoner in Connecticut, and their release becomes the subject of heated debate. Freed slave Theodore Joadson (Morgan Freeman) wants Cinque and the others exonerated and recruits property lawyer Roger Baldwin (Matthew McConaughey) to help his case. Eventually, John Quincy Adams (Anthony Hopkins) also becomes an ally.

Peter T. Chattaway (Patheos) Amistad promotes a pluralist vision of cooperation between different ethnic and religious groups and in doing so acknowledges, in part, the historical role of Christians. Full Review
Nell Minow (Common Sense Media) Powerful story for mid-teens and up. Full Review
Geoff Andrew (Time Out) In short, a wordy courtroom drama which seldom progresses beyond ciphers, stereotypes and salutary slogans. Full Review
Jeffrey M. Anderson (Combustible Celluloid) Amistad is worth seeing just for people to know about this important story, this moment in history. But from the world’s most powerful, successful and famous director, we expect more. Full Review
Emanuel Levy (EmanuelLevy.Com) Aiming to instruct and entertain, and often struggling to reconcile these goals, Amistad lacks the subtlety of tone and simplicity of form that made Schindler’s List one of Spielberg’s very best; here, however, every idea and image are too explicit. Full Review
Tom Meek (Film Threat) Fortunately, the dry, courtroom banter is interjected with powerful accounts of the violent, inhumane atrocities inflicted on the slaves by Spanish merchants. Full Review
Robin Clifford (Reeling Reviews) Amistad is the telling of an interesting event in American history, but doesn’t draw its audience in to the heart of the story. Full Review
Jeffrey Overstreet (Looking Closer) This is the most straightforward, understated, and powerful big-screen representation of the gospel in recent movie history. And for that, Amistad should be recommended to everyone. Full Review
Steven D. Greydanus (Decent Films Guide) As with Schindler’s List, Spielberg allows his subjects to be remote and somewhat unknowable human beings, creating an air of documentary-like authenticity. Full Review
Eugene Novikov (Film Blather) Amistad is the kind of movie that makes a tired topic seem fresh and entertaining again. Full Review
John R. McEwen (Film Quips Online) Just when you thought you had seen the best movie there is about a historic seagoing vessel, along comes Amistad. Full Review
Nick Davis (Nick’s Flick Picks) Spielberg’s films never lack a certain degree of narrative and visual force, but his tendency toward sentimentality, a strictly antipodal, Good-vs.-Bad conception of character, and an insensitivity to structure have consistently marred his work… Full Review
Margaret A. McGurk (Cincinnati Enquirer) Steven Spielberg’s engaging, heartfelt and well-made drama delves into a critical incident in the history of slavery in America. Full Review
Edward Guthmann (San Francisco Chronicle) In Amistad, an admirable but disappointing effort…[Speilberg] veers between stoic political correctness and mushy Hollywood platitudes. Full Review
(Boxoffice Magazine) Despite its occasional imperfections…Amistad must be regarded as a monumentally impressive achievement and further proof of Spielberg’s ongoing maturation as an artist. Full Review
Pablo Villaça (Cinema em Cena) Falta alma ao filme. Full Review
Nell Minow (Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies) The essential commitment to freedom is so much a part of the story that, at least in this one brief moment, justice triumphed.
Rick Groen (Globe and Mail) Spielberg seems to be dividing his filmmaking output into two distinct halves: in the summer months cranking out no-brainer dinosaur flicks…in the winter season unveiling his serious artistic stuff to edify the adults and woo the Oscar crowd. Full Review
Peter Keough (Boston Phoenix) Good-to-middling courtroom drama, period playacting, and civics lesson, animated by perhaps two Oscar-noteworthy performances. Full Review
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat (Spirituality and Practice) Celebrates the holy grail of freedom and how the quest for justice is supported by the spirits of ancestors . Full Review

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