Amazing Grace (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

Amazing Grace (2007)

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Critic Consensus: Amazing Grace is your quintessential historical biopic: stately, noble, and with plenty of electrifying performances.

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Movie Info

One man's role in the long battle to outlaw slavery in the United Kingdom sets the stage for this historical drama from director Michael Apted. In 1784, 21-year-old William Wilberforce (Ioan Gruffudd) was elected to the British House of Commons, and soon established himself as a politician with a conscience. Several years later, his close friend William Pitt (Benedict Cumberbatch) became prime minister, and together they made a bold plan to introduce a bill banning slavery before the English legislature. Wilberforce was aided by anti-slavery activists Olaudah Equiano (Youssou N'Dour) and Thomas Clarkson (Rufus Sewell); however, pro-slavery hard-liners Lord Tarleton (Ciarán Hinds) and the Duke of Clarence (Toby Jones) spearheaded a hard-fought opposition to the legislation, and despite Wilberforce's best efforts, his bill went down in defeat. In 1797, Wilberforce left politics due to poor health and a battered spirit; staying at the country home of his friends Henry and Marianne Thornton (Nicholas Farrell and Sylvestra Le Touzel), he became acquainted with Barbara Spooner (Romola Garai), a beautiful woman with progressive views. Spooner became deeply infatuated with Wilberforce, and she encouraged him not to give up on his noble goals; with her help, Wilberforce launched a second campaign to persuade England's lawmakers to end the slave trade. Amazing Grace made its North American premiere as the closing-night gala attraction at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Rating:
PG (for thematic material involving slavery, and some mild language)
Genre:
Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Box Office:
$21,156,133.00
Runtime:
Studio:

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Cast

Ioan Gruffudd
as William Wilberforce
Romola Garai
as Barbara Spooner
Michael Gambon
as Lord Charles Fox
Benedict Cumberbatch
as William Pitt
Albert Finney
as John Newton
Youssou N'Dour
as Olaudah Equiano
Rufus Sewell
as Thomas Clarkson
Ciarán Hinds
as Lord Tarleton
Toby Jones
as Duke of Clarence
Nicholas Farrell
as Henry Thornton
Sylvestra Le Touzel
as Marianne Thornton
Jeremy Swift
as Richard the Butler
Stephen Campbell Moore
as James Stephen
Bill Paterson
as Lord Dundas
Tom Fisher
as John Ramsay
Richard Ridings
as Speaker of the House
Adam Woodroffe
as Parliamentary Clerk
Neville Phillips
as Old Parliamentary Official
Eki Maria
as Young African Woman
Joseph Traynor
as Newton's Secretary
Daniel Naprous
as Delivery Coach Driver
Simon Delaney
as Young Parliamentary Officer
Harry Audley
as Edward Hope
Chris Barnes
as Michael Shaw
Tom Knight
as Physician
Peter White
as Delivery Assistant
Nicholas Day
as Sir William Dolben
Georgie Glen
as Hannah More
David Hunt
as Lord Camden
David Toole
as Beggar
Angie Wallis
as Marjorie
Philip Dunbar
as Camber
Alex Blake
as Heckler
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News & Interviews for Amazing Grace

Critic Reviews for Amazing Grace

All Critics (123) | Top Critics (37)

Apted's unexpected crowd-pleaser is inspirational, but also surprisingly entertaining.

Full Review… | September 22, 2007
AV Club
Top Critic

It's neither amazing nor graceful.

Full Review… | September 22, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic

A good -- and important -- story, not always well told.

Full Review… | September 22, 2007
Seattle Times
Top Critic

It is to be hoped that Amazing Grace is not the only, or the last, cinematic celebration of 200th anniversary of abolition, for there are more stories to tell, more imaginatively.

Full Review… | March 23, 2007
Toronto Star
Top Critic

So much to admire and so little to amaze.

Full Review… | March 23, 2007
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Grufudd is fine, passionate and single-minded, though overly Romantic, and quietly upstaged by the extraordinary Benedict Cumberbatch.

Full Review… | March 23, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Amazing Grace

This average biopic has the perfect material to be made into a quintessential modern classic, but it sadly lacks soul and intensity, resulting in a rather dull experience that doesn't quite live up to the importance of its real-life character.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

½

Not as memorable as you'd think but a good film nonetheless. Full review later.

Thomas Bowler
Thomas Bowler

Super Reviewer

½

A chapter from history which is APTly supported by great performances from the actors involved, but not fluently adAPTed for the screen by Michael Apted.

familiar stranger
familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

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