Stephen Spielberg directed this 1997 film about a largely true story: an 1839 slave revolt on the ship "Amistad" in the Caribbean and the subsequent trials of the leaders of the revolt on U.S. soil. Hounsou is magnificent as Cinque, the instigator of the slave revolt; Hopkins is just as good or better as former President John Quincy Adams, who takes over the defense at the higher court levels from attorney Roger Baldwin (McConnaughey) and citizen intermediary Theodore Joadson (Freeman). Larger issues -- the British opposition to slavery, Queen Isabel of Spain's demand that the ship and its cargo (the slaves) be returned to her -- are touched on, and the film features some graphic violence and nudity in its attempt to depict the brutalities of the slave trade. Somewhat slow and stately (152 minutes), but an impressive piece of work. Peter Firth and Jeremy Northam may be glimpsed among the cast, as well as former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun sitting in as historic U.S. Supreme Court Justice Story.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus