Amistad (1998)


African slaves overpower their captors and head home, but are soon arrested, taken to America and charged with murder. Their trial becomes a cause célèbre…

Seen before? No.

Best performance: In the second half of the film, Anthony Hopkins gets plenty of fruity screen time playing former president John Quincy Adams. Peter Firth is also worth mentioning for his small but enjoyably deadpan role as a Royal Navy officer.

Best scene/moment/sequence: The opening five minutes – Cinqué and others breaking free and taking over the slave ship – is the movie’s most cinematic sequence. Set at night, with little dialogue, it grabs your attention straight away.

Review: Involving stuff – part historical epic, part courtroom drama. The religious symbolism perhaps gets a bit heavy-handed at times, but on the whole it’s a very entertaining movie.

Eight Matthew McConaugheys out of 10.

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