Amazing Grace Reviews

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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
Top Critic
February 21, 2007

Apted is without a doubt one of the foremost documentarians working today. His Up Series represents a cinematic hallmark. His feature credits are less certain.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic
February 22, 2007

Steven Knight's ponderous script is front-loaded with expository deep background and stuffed into an awkward structure that lumbers back and forth between Wilberforce the early idealist and Wilberforce the broken man.

Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic
February 22, 2007

The rhythms [director Michael Apted and editor Rick Shaine] establish are jumpy and unsteady, afraid of allowing a scene to breathe and flow naturally. If the script were more alive, these matters of visual technique would matter less. But not much less.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic
September 13, 2006

The political maneuverings are of some historical interest, but modern relevancy is hard to find.

Edward Douglas
ComingSoon.net
February 22, 2007

Gruffudd and the amazing cast give performances that would make this film more useful in teaching drama school than in teaching social studies.

Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
February 22, 2007

How could Michael Apted, who directed those towering pillars of truth the 7 Up documentaries, make a movie as bogus as Amazing Grace?

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Matthew Pejkovic
Matt's Movie Reviews
July 6, 2010

Amazing Grace proves to be an invaluable history lesson, but a rather boring film.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Heather Huntington
ReelzChannel.com
August 21, 2008

I'm not sure what was a bigger problem for me, though--that the story jumped around so much, or that the tone did, too.

Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
Joe Lozito
Big Picture Big Sound
September 22, 2007

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Julia Buckley
thelondonpaper
March 30, 2007

Gruffudd's Wilberforce lacks charisma and the House of Commons scenes are interminable. Worthy shouldn't mean dull. What a waste.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Thomas Peyser
Style Weekly (Richmond, VA)
March 7, 2007

History as one might wish it to be taught to an earnest child.

Jim Hemphill
Reel.com
February 23, 2007

Characters are so imprisoned by the movie's need to drive home its antislavery message that they become utterly lifeless. Pretty pictures abound in Amazing Grace, but they don't serve to illustrate any ideas or emotions worth wrestling with.

| Original Score: 2/4
Josh Rosenblatt
Austin Chronicle
February 22, 2007

What makes William Wilberforce a great man is also what makes him a bore: He's possessed of such intractable single-mindedness and confidence in the rightness of his ideals that we can't help but wish he would lay aside saving the world for a while.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Kevin Carr
7M Pictures
March 12, 2008

There's a lot of good intentions behind Amazing Grace, but the movie's a bore, swirling into the minutia of antiquated British law.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
Top Critic
February 22, 2007

As written by Steven Knight, it seems so taken with Wilberforce's moral magnificence, it forgets to involve the audience, too.

Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
Top Critic
February 22, 2007

Like Steven Spielberg's glossy Amistad before it, Amazing Grace shies away from the texture and complexity of color, scurrying instead for the safer platitudes of black and white -- good and evil.

| Original Score: 2.5/4
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
Top Critic
February 23, 2007

It's a doughty movie, stuck halfway between Masterpiece Theatre and Classics Illustrated.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Jules Brenner
Cinema Signals
February 15, 2007

TV in vision, structure and execution. To think feature film as a delivery vehicle for it is more ambitious than this telling of a worthy, under-appreciated story justifies.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Gregory Kirschling
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
February 21, 2007

It leaves the blood unstirred.

Full Review | Original Score: C+
Thomas Delapa
Boulder Weekly
February 26, 2007

Chimes in for freedom, but rarely hits the high notes.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
John Powers
NPR.org
October 18, 2008

Justine Elias
Boston Phoenix
April 23, 2009


Irish Times
September 22, 2007


St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic
September 22, 2007

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