Steven Spielberg (1997)

15 Certificate
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Our Score
Steven Spielberg's lengthy historical courtroom drama has its moments of pure visual poetry, but it fails to ignite the same moral outrage that Schindler's List so poignantly evoked. In 1839, a shipload of men from Sierra Leone who are destined to become slaves overpower their captors, killing all but two crew members needed to navigate them back to Africa. Betrayed, intercepted in American waters and charged with murder, the men's only hope for justice lies with the Abolitionist movement and an inexperienced lawyer. Anthony Hopkins and Matthew McConaughey lead the all-star cast, and there's an amazing debut by Djimon Hounsou as the leader of the captives. Although flawed, this chilling movie further reveals Spielberg's skill as an expert film-maker unafraid of tackling heavy political issues.


African slaves seize control of the vessel transporting them to Spain in 1839. Two surviving Spanish crewmen steer the ship to America, where the slaves are imprisoned for killing their captors - but an abolitionist lawyer argues the case for granting them their freedom. Steven Spielberg's historical drama, starring Anthony Hopkins, Morgan Freeman, Matthew McConaughey, Djimon Hounsou, Nigel Hawthorne and Pete Postlethwaite.

Cast & Crew

John Quincy Adams Anthony Hopkins
Theodore Joadson Morgan Freeman
Roger S Baldwin Matthew McConaughey
Sengbe Pieh, `Cinque' Djimon Hounsou
Martin Van Buren Nigel Hawthorne
Holabird Pete Postlethwaite
Lewis Tappan Stellan Skarsgard
Yamba Razaaq Adoti
Fala Abu Bakaar Fofanah
Director Steven Spielberg
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: U.I.P. (UK)Guidance: Violence and brief nudity. Available on: video and DVD