Amazing Grace
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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)… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's neither amazing nor graceful."
‑ David Fear, Time Out New York
"So much to admire and so little to amaze."
‑ Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
"Earnest drama about fervent English abolitionist."
‑ Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
"There's a lot of good intentions behind Amazing Grace, but the movie's a bore, swirling into the minutia of antiquated British law."
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"Impressively directed, politically relevant and occasionally inspirational, this is an enjoyable, engaging drama with strong performances from its talented cast."
‑ Matthew Turner, ViewLondon
"A good -- and important -- story, not always well told."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"Grufudd is fine, passionate and single-minded, though overly Romantic, and quietly upstaged by the extraordinary Benedict Cumberbatch."
‑ Wally Hammond, Time Out
"Amazing Grace proves to be an invaluable history lesson, but a rather boring film."
‑ Matthew Pejkovic, Matt's Movie Reviews
"Who'd have thought that the most compelling and thoughtful film to be presented during Black History Month would be a formal British import set in 18th century England with men running around in wigs?"
‑ Brandon Fibbs,
"Apted's unexpected crowd-pleaser is inspirational, but also surprisingly entertaining."
‑ Nathan Rabin, AV Club
"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."
‑ Susan Walker, Toronto Star
"As square as this movie is, it has been made with eloquence and jaunty high spirits, and it tells a good story that is virtually unknown here."
‑ David Denby, New Yorker
"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."
‑ Heather Huntington,
"Skilfully written and directed, the film is an involving drama, even if it's overly worthy and sentimental."
‑ Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
"A very decent contribution to the present bicentennial celebrations of the parliamentary bill that outlawed the slave trade in the British empire."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
More reviews for Amazing Grace on Rotten Tomatoes

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