• Amistad (1997)


Release Date: December 10th, 1997

DVD Release Date: May 4th, 1999

R |2 hr 32 min

Plot Summary

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.

Cast: Morgan Freeman, Anthony Hopkins, Matthew McConaughey, Nigel Hawthorne, Djimon Hounsou, David Paymer, Pete Postlethwaite, Stellan Skarsgård

Director: Steven Spielberg

Genres: Historical drama

Production Co: DreamWorks SKG, Home Box Office (HBO)

Distributors: United International Pictures, DreamWorks SKG

Keywords: Gripping, Underdog, Escape, Suspenseful, Judge

Ratings & Reviews

  • 88
    James BerardinelliReelViews

    Thematically rich, impeccably crafted, and intellectually stimulating, the only area where this movie falls a little short is in its emotional impact. show more

  • 75
    Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

    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. show more

  • 88
    Susan WloszczynaUSA Today

    Sheer power, moral and otherwise. It possesses a massively majestic hero. [10 Dec 1997, p.D1]

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com

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Nominated Best Motion Picture - Drama
Nominated Best Performance By an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
Nominated Costume Design
Nominated Best Director - Motion Picture
Nominated Cinematography
Nominated Music (Original Dramatic Score)