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At Theaters: 12/12/1997 On Video: 6/9/1998
Rated: R Length: 2 hr. 33 min.
Internet: Web Site Movie ID: 129707
Studio: DreamWorks Pictures
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Storyline Heading
In 1839, fifty­three African captives take over the slave ship Amistad. After failing in their attempt to sail home, they find themselves strangers in a strange land and at the mercy of the American justice system. Based on a true story.
DETAILED STORYLINE
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Movie Type (Genre) Heading
Drama - AMISTAD is a serious, issue-oriented drama in the vein of Spielberg's SCHINDLER'S LIST, though not nearly as powerful. The historical detail and production are excellent, as is the lead performance of Djimon Hounsou. The subject matter may be too intense for some viewers, however, while others may be disappointed in the incomplete characterizations.
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Cast and Crew Heading
Morgan Freeman (Kiss the Girls, Seven)
Nigel Hawthorne (Gandhi, Richard III)
Anthony Hopkins (Nixon, The Silence of the Lamb)
Djimon Hounsou (Stargate, Unlawful Entry)
Matthew McConaughey (Contact, A Time to Kill)
David Paymer (City Hall, Nixon)
Pete Postlethwaite (The Lost World: Jurassic Park)
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Production Notes Heading
Echoes of a Forgotten Past
Casting History
Culture Clash
Resurrecting the Past
La Amistad Sails Again
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Content Heading
PROFANITY: Mild and very infrequent.
SEX/NUDITY: Male and female nudity with no sexual content.
VIOLENCE: Frequent and somewhat intense.
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: A small amount of alcohol.
ACTION: Very little.
COMEDY: A small amount of character-based humor.
DETAILED CONTENT
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Pictures © DreamWorks Pictures ®
All Rights Reserved.

Critic's Review Heading
Good
AMISTAD is no SCHINDLER'S LIST. It may be unfair to make such comparisons, but Steven Spielberg has raised expectations now for his "serious" films. This one is a beautifully produced effort with a few powerful moments which feels somewhat incomplete and unfocused. Screenwriter David Franzoni keeps letting the narrative wander away from the plight of the Africans, particularly Djimon Hounsou in a magnetic lead performance. Too often, the supporting characters intrude to provide the impression that the film is about them. When AMISTAD attends to the graphic realities of slavery, it's a strong piece of work. Otherwise...well, it's no SCHINDLER'S LIST.
DETAILED CRITIC'S REVIEW
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Opinion Heading

Based on an Exit Polling of 193 Moviegoers

Ages Age Group
How
Many
Your Probability of
Enjoying This Movie
*
Would
Recommend
Movie To Friends
13-19Teens (M/F)
19
High
100%%
20-29Yg Adults (M)
13
Very High
100%%
20-29Yg Adults (F)
26
Very High
100%%
30+Adults (M)
53
High
98%%
30+Adults (F)
82
High
99%%
*Possible Ratings: Very High, High, Fairly High, About 50/50, Fairly Low, Low, Very Low.

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The positive and negative comments made by moviegoers are very
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OPINION GRAPH


D ETAILED S TORYLINE

Based on a true story, "Amistad" is the saga of a rebellion on board a Spanish slave ship and the trial that resulted. In the summer of 1839, fifty­three African captives, led by CINQUE (Djimon Hounsou), broke free and took over the slave ship Amistad. Captured off the eastern seaboard after failing in a desperate attempt to sail home, they find themselves strangers in a strange land and at the mercy of the American justice system.

Fighting for the Africans are abolitionist THEODORE JOADSON (Morgan Freeman) and young lawyer ROGER BALDWIN (Matthew McConaughey). However, seeking re­election, President MARTIN VAN BUREN (Nigel Hawthorne) is willing to sacrifice the Africans to appease the pro­slavery South. The case takes on historic proportions when former President JOHN QUINCY ADAMS (Anthony Hopkins) comes out of retirement to take the Africans' cause all the way to the United States Supreme Court in a trial that challenges the very foundation of the American legal system.

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