1997 R 2h 35m DVD


1997 R 2h 35m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
An African-born slave leads a mutiny against his brutal captors, but because the ship is in American waters, a U.S. court must decide the slaves' fates. In an eloquent courtroom speech, ex-president John Quincy Adams argues for the Africans' freedom.
Morgan Freeman, Nigel Hawthorne, Anthony Hopkins, Djimon Hounsou, Matthew McConaughey, David Paymer, Pete Postlethwaite, Stellan Skarsgård, Razaaq Adoti, Abu Bakaar Fofanah, Anna Paquin, Tomás Milián, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Steven Spielberg
Widescreen Anamorphic 1.85:1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
R - Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.
age 15+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 15+
age 15+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that Amistad is a 1997 Oscar-nominated Steven Spielberg movie about West Africans on a slave ship who revolt against their captors but still must fight for their freedom in the courtrooms of America. The opening scene, showing the slave revolt on board the Amistad, is very violent, with blood and death from swords, axes, and muskets. Later in the movie, the horrors of slavery are shown in graphic detail: Men and women are forced to suffer the grave indignities of being treated like cargo, and there's male and female nudity, flogging, and implied rape. Overall, this movie demonstrates tremendous leadership, integrity, fortitude, and courage in both the revolt and in the courtroom, where much of the movie takes place. These traits are shared by both the West Africans and those abolitionists and lawyers who defend them, including former President John Quincy Adams.

Sexual Content

Male and female nudity in scenes depicting slaves on a ship.


Very violent opening scene depicting a slave uprising: killing with swords, guns, hatchets, and muskets. The brutal treatment of slaves on a ship is graphically shown through flogging, strongly implied rape, and slaves tied to rocks and thrown off the boat to drown at sea.



Social Behavior

West Africans recently kidnapped from their homes fight back against their captors on a slave ship, fighting for their freedom and the right to control their own destiny. Abolitionists take up their cause and display conviction and integrity in their fight for what was then a controversial cause.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Not applicable

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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