Average Rating: 6.9/10
Reviews Counted: 59
Fresh: 45 | Rotten: 14
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Average Rating: 6.3/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 5
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Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 49,807
This Steven Spielberg-directed exploration into a long-ago episode in African-American history recounts the trial that followed the 1839 rebellion aboard the Spanish slave ship Amistad and captures the complex political maneuverings set in motion by the event. Filmed in New England and Puerto Rico, the 152-minute drama opens with a pre-credit sequence showing Cinque (Djimon Hounsou) and the other Africans in a violent takeover of the Amistad. Captured, they are imprisoned in New England where
Dec 12, 1997 Wide
Apr 19, 1999
Dreamworks Distribution LLC
John Quincy Adams
Martin Van Buren
John C. Calhoun
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In Amistad, an admirable but disappointing effort...[Speilberg] veers between stoic political correctness and mushy Hollywood platitudes.
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.
What is most valuable about Amistad is the way it provides faces and names for its African characters, whom the movies so often make into faceless victims.
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.
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.
Fortunately, the dry, courtroom banter is interjected with powerful accounts of the violent, inhumane atrocities inflicted on the slaves by Spanish merchants.
Amistad is the telling of an interesting event in American history, but doesn't draw its audience in to the heart of the story.
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.
As with Schindler’s List, Spielberg allows his subjects to be remote and somewhat unknowable human beings, creating an air of documentary-like authenticity.
Amistad is the kind of movie that makes a tired topic seem fresh and entertaining again.
Just when you thought you had seen the best movie there is about a historic seagoing vessel, along comes Amistad.
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...
Steven Spielberg's engaging, heartfelt and well-made drama delves into a critical incident in the history of slavery in America.
Despite its occasional imperfections...Amistad must be regarded as a monumentally impressive achievement and further proof of Spielberg's ongoing maturation as an artist.
The essential commitment to freedom is so much a part of the story that, at least in this one brief moment, justice triumphed.
Celebrates the holy grail of freedom and how the quest for justice is supported by the spirits of ancestors .
The whole historical untouchability of a Very Important Film & the incredibly dry nature of the facts was what made this production a lose-lose proposition for Spielberg.
Brief moments of visceral fire allow glimpses into the rousing movie this could have been.
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