I'm sorry I waited 20 years to watch this film. It's a vivid re-creation of a chilling and important chapter in American history, one I knew too little about. I'll leave criticism of the historical treatment to people who know more. I particularly enjoyed watching Anthony Hopkins play crusty old John Quincy Adams, a placeholder in my sketchy historical ledger. And of particular interest--right now in Minneapolis--is the role played in this story by Sen. John C. Calhoun, for whom our central Lake is named. Calhoun, a staunch supporter of slavery, is portrayed in a harsh light. Just on the basis of this history, I say: change the name of Lake Calhoun to Bde Maka Ska.
With three out of five stars, this movie should definitely be seen by everyone. For one thing, it accurately depicts the horrors inflicted on enslaved peoples. Although, gory this is a necessary lesson as a deterrent against the practice or support of slavery. The movie also presents a number of important lessons for the modern world, chief of which is the inalienability of human rights. Whilst the Mende characters are never considered as equal human beings for most of the movie –their case is argued as one under the jurisdiction of real estate– Adams’ speech reinforces some of the underlying principles of modern society. A good attempt at capturing history by Hollywood.
- @TheEccentric of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library
Since I know it's hard to watch sometimes, this is a very excellent movie. I kinda recognized the main song and I still remember it very clearly to this day where I get to see the whole entire thing for the first time. It is very dramatic in a good way, it's part of Black History Month (in which I kinda celebrate in my own way by watching it for extra credit on Inclusive Leadership as a review). I did not even know Mr. Spielberg directed the film when I saw the DVD cover. Overall, this is one of the best films I've seen in my entire life. Definitely recommended for history buffs and film critics!
Outstanding movie with an excellent cast that brings home the achievement of President John Quincy Adams concerning slavery. Our American History is served well when stories like "Amistad" are shown to a completely new generation. I hope the film is watched for many generations to come!
Excellent movie. A slave ship revolt that results in the slaves being tried for piracy and mutiny. Great story well worth the watch even if it were less praiseworthy than it actually is.
Great "good against evil" movie.
Very well done movie. A pleasure to watch. I would recommend this movie for all to see. No fast forwarding on this one. No falling asleep on this DVD!!!!!
Something important to note:this movie is better described as a period legal drama than a depiction of the harrowing suffering of enslavement like "12 years a slave" was (although there are scenes of what happened to Cinque,Djimon Housou's charater after being captured).
Before knowing about this I didn't know that Djimon Housou had been working in the mid-90's nor that HBO released movie productions back then. Anthony Hopkins as a teensy bit curmudgeonly John Quincy Adams does a compelling monologue delivery around the end.
It interesting to see that (being based on real life events) ,some ppl thought it was worth getting involved into a deep rooted legal battle for lives of enthralled Mende tribe ppl,in the early 1800's .U.S. before the American civil war made sure that slavery never had anymore legal clearance.
Rare for Spielberg, Amistad somehow manages to be completely unengaging in almost every way possible. Nothing in his direction indicates he every really had a coherent idea of what the visual style of this story was meant to be, using different evocative lighting scene by scene and failing to craft a coherent visual style. The actors feel compulsory in indicating the film's hackneyed message (slaves are people too!) rather than being allowed to create characters. An Oscar-nominated Anthony Hopkins is a total ham as John Quincy Adams. It all just feels like Spielberg lost interest about three days into shooting, and was left with nice costumes, sets, and even an interesting John Williams score but little passion.
natalie_marrujo2014 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over
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