Amistad (1997)

In the summer of 1839, on a stormy night off the coast of Cuba, 53 Africans held captive in the cramped cargo holds of the Spanish slave ship La Amistad break free of their shackles. Led by Cinque, they arm themselves, take control of the… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: December 12, 1997
DVD Release Date: April 19, 1999
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Critic Score: 76% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Heartfelt without resorting to preachiness, Amistad tells an important story with engaging sensitivity and absorbing skill.

Geoff Andrew
Time Out

In short, a wordy courtroom drama which seldom progresses beyond ciphers, stereotypes and salutary slogans.

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Janet Maslin
New York Times

The best parts of Amistad are those that simply bring their pride, fear and outrage to life.

Jason Bailey

'Amistad' may not be the first, or fifth, or tenth film people talk about when Spielberg's name comes up. But it has more moments that will put your hair on end than other filmmakers' best works, and that says something.

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Edward Guthmann
San Francisco Chronicle

In Amistad, an admirable but disappointing effort...[Speilberg] veers between stoic political correctness and mushy Hollywood platitudes.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago 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.

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Nell Minow
Common Sense Media

Powerful story for mid-teens and up.

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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail

Spielberg seems to be dividing his filmmaking output into two distinct halves: in the summer months cranking out no-brainer dinosaur the winter season unveiling his serious artistic stuff to edify the adults and woo the Oscar crowd.

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Charles Taylor

Amistad is prestige filmmaking bereft of inspiration -- sometimes even of the nuts and bolts of craft.

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Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

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.

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More reviews for Amistad

Flixster Audience Score: 79% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalhães
Although technically competent and with wonderful performances by Hopkins and Hounsou (who should have been nominated for an Oscar too), this is a bloated and… More
Alex roy
Steven Spielberg crafts a good historical drama. However it's not without its flaws. The problem with Amistad is that it takes a terrific aspect of… More
jay nixon
More of an interesting history lesson than a compelling film despite good performances.
Matthew Slaven
A good handful of poignant scenes and numerous others in-between centered around logistics -- just how does a western lawyer in the 1840s connect with African… More
Chris Weber
This is, like a lot of Spielberg, pretty sentimental and schmaltzy, but it had some good intentions, even if the pretentions and pandering can't be totally… More
Kevin M. Williams
Slaves rebel aboard the ship taking them to market, setting off Speilberg's telling of the true story that eventually inveighed an ex-President of the… More

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