User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 46 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 46
  2. Negative: 2 out of 46
Watch On

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Aug 25, 2014
    0
    This movie was a bore from start to finish. Although good performances from Ioan Gruffuid and Michael Gambon made me like it a bit, it has a very dull plot
  2. JanC.
    Mar 5, 2007
    10
    Words cannot expess what kind of feeling I had inside after seeing this movie. As a Christian, it touches your heart and turns a " light" on inside about conviction, compassion, hope, humility and most of all faith.
  3. John
    Jul 5, 2008
    8
    Not perfect-but a really good story well told. Inspiring, uplifting and well acted and directed. Highly recommend.
  4. CyntchaD.
    Feb 24, 2007
    9
    Timely movie about the power of good and the courage to speak out, ultimately hopeful and grace-filled. beautiful scenery and background of the "good life" juxtaposed w/the darkness of injustice. Reminded me of Ghandi's quote that ultimately goodness wins. Go see it!
  5. GuyF.
    Feb 25, 2007
    9
    One of the better movies from the Christian genre since Chariots of Fire? Movie with a powerful message.
  6. DouglasG.
    Feb 26, 2007
    10
    One of the best movies I have seen. It does not overglamorize conviction put into action, and is therefore accessible to each individual in their own lives. Further, it does not gloss over the Christian source of Willburforces's conviction, compassion, and action. It is an exciting movie, because it excites the viewer who understands the context and shares the Christian foundation to One of the best movies I have seen. It does not overglamorize conviction put into action, and is therefore accessible to each individual in their own lives. Further, it does not gloss over the Christian source of Willburforces's conviction, compassion, and action. It is an exciting movie, because it excites the viewer who understands the context and shares the Christian foundation to action, hope, and humility. Expand
  7. ChadS.
    Mar 16, 2007
    5
    As William Wilberforce(Ioan Gruffudd) lectures from aboard the slave-ship Madagascar, his floating audience(they're in an adjacent rowboat) cover their noses with handkerchiefs. Wilberforce instructs them to remove their cloths and breathe in "the smell of death". "Amazing Grace", however, holds its own nose to the historical stench of forced labor by largely keeping slavery As William Wilberforce(Ioan Gruffudd) lectures from aboard the slave-ship Madagascar, his floating audience(they're in an adjacent rowboat) cover their noses with handkerchiefs. Wilberforce instructs them to remove their cloths and breathe in "the smell of death". "Amazing Grace", however, holds its own nose to the historical stench of forced labor by largely keeping slavery off-screen. The only major black character, Oloudaqh(Youssou N'Dour), doesn't even get to speak. In a film about his ancestry, N'Dour is almost a token. He doesn't even get to sing the title song(at least Mahalia Jackson sings in Douglas Sirk's "Imitation of Life"). Worst yet, Oloudaqh is a profiteer(his slave narrative sells 50,000 copies). He has no rousing "give me free" moment(Djimon Honsou in "Amistad"), just a few silent tears rolling down his cheek. So we're largely stuck with the do-gooder Wilberforce, who is undoubtedly a great man; but as written in this well-meaning film, this earnest samaritan is more symbol than man. It's flaws that brings a character to life. Oskar Schindler was a womanizer. Wilberforce had bad stomach aches. He also says irritating things like, "How can we live in houses like this, while they live in boxes." "Amazing Grace" has one very effective flashback that shows how ugly institutionalized racism is; but it's not enough, not if you're going to canonize Wilberforce with a standing ovation as the musical score swells into histrionics. After all, Wilberforce never actually had to wear those manacles and leg braces. Expand
  8. AndrewK.
    Mar 31, 2007
    6
    I thought this was a pretty average film. Not bad, not great (I guess that would leave "good" as a description, but I wouldn't exactly call it required viewing). I think most people have either given this film way too good of a review, or have been way too harsh. It's really straight down the middle. Most of the movies out right now are utter crap, so if you want to see I thought this was a pretty average film. Not bad, not great (I guess that would leave "good" as a description, but I wouldn't exactly call it required viewing). I think most people have either given this film way too good of a review, or have been way too harsh. It's really straight down the middle. Most of the movies out right now are utter crap, so if you want to see something that is worth your time, this would be a good one to see. Some good points have been made about the lack of actual slaves in the film, and it struck me as odd that I barely noticed. I think it may have had something to do with the fact that I believed these characters to be very far away from the subject which they were addressing. I don't know if it's historically accurate, but I think their absense helped enforce the feeling that many of the men in parliament COULD be incredibly detached from the lives of those they were impacting. An inspiring film? I guess. If you haven't seen a lot of films like this before. Or if you are inspired by every single movie that sets out to inspire. It's nothing new. It IS a story that I was unfamiliar with, and I'm glad to have learned something about it, if not in great detail. All of the acting was superb. Nothing to complain about there. Sometimes the dialogue was a little too precious, but not often enough to make me gag. I thought it was interesting how they chose to end the film with Amazing Grace being played by...a band? I'm not sure what term to use. Anyway, it was different. You first see clips of all of the actors with their name and their character's names, and then you're actually watching the...band...play in front of...I think it was Westminster Abbey. And I wasn't too sure whether they were supposed to be within the context of the film, or if it was present day. But it didn't really matter. Anyway, I could take it or leave it. You should too. Expand
  9. SteveS.
    Apr 2, 2007
    8
    It may not suffice as entertainment in the anti-intellectual culture of the 21st Century, but it is an important movie for its messages. I explicitly said messages, because there is a great myth-breaking expose being revealed along with its anti-slavery message. This true story helps illuminate the relationship between evangelical Christianity and the great progressive triumphs of the It may not suffice as entertainment in the anti-intellectual culture of the 21st Century, but it is an important movie for its messages. I explicitly said messages, because there is a great myth-breaking expose being revealed along with its anti-slavery message. This true story helps illuminate the relationship between evangelical Christianity and the great progressive triumphs of the 18th and 19th centuries and hopefully dispels some of the ignorant assumptions held today about religion and social change. Wilberforce, along with John Wesley, John Newton and many others were able to eradicate much evil in their societies because of their faith in God and I applaud the filmakers for honestly portraying this. Expand
  10. JaredB.
    Nov 20, 2007
    10
    I have been hearing nothing but good things about this movie since it came out. Now that I've seen it, I can tell you that all these things are true. This is a wonderful story. As a Christian, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of time the film spent mentioning God. I especially loved when John Newton made the comment, "I am a great sinner, and Christ is a great savior." This I have been hearing nothing but good things about this movie since it came out. Now that I've seen it, I can tell you that all these things are true. This is a wonderful story. As a Christian, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of time the film spent mentioning God. I especially loved when John Newton made the comment, "I am a great sinner, and Christ is a great savior." This was a very powerful film. Finally, I have a note for the academy. In my opinion, this film deserves no less than two nominations: first as Best Picture and also Albert Finney as Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of John Newton. Go pick this film up as soon as possible. Expand
  11. TimV.
    Dec 26, 2007
    3
    I expected so much more from this film. what a fascinating story. but the process of ending slavery in a bloodless manner free of economic ruin was simply glossed over in favor of dwelling on already-overwrought relationships. there are hints at political drama, but it always comes back to running around in frilly shirts. the passage of time is unclear, and the eight arduous years I expected so much more from this film. what a fascinating story. but the process of ending slavery in a bloodless manner free of economic ruin was simply glossed over in favor of dwelling on already-overwrought relationships. there are hints at political drama, but it always comes back to running around in frilly shirts. the passage of time is unclear, and the eight arduous years wilberforce endures are underemphasized. entertaining performances can't redeem this mess of a movie. Expand
  12. BobW.
    Feb 23, 2007
    10
    OUTSTANDING film!!! I left the screening inspired and recharged!!!
  13. SteveT.
    Feb 23, 2007
    9
    Earnest but moving portrait of reformer parliamentarians in late 18th Century England and their campaign to outlaw slavery.
  14. StelP.
    Feb 26, 2007
    8
    Better than I expected. Yes, there are some slow spots, but the cinematography and period costumes pull it through. The casting seemed to fit the roles quite well. More historical than I thought it'd be. Overall, very solid.
  15. D.L.B.
    Mar 11, 2007
    9
    Wonderful history with a message. As a historian, I was pleased that the producers and director chose not to over-dramatize a story that stands on its own.
  16. DeWayneP.
    Mar 10, 2007
    5
    I must admit it was a disappointment. There were so many things wrong about this film that simple corrections could have jolted this film back to life... 1) The film wasn't put into any global historical context. When the dates flash upon the screen setting each English period, most of those dates and events overlapped and coexisted with America's ongoing conflict and debates on I must admit it was a disappointment. There were so many things wrong about this film that simple corrections could have jolted this film back to life... 1) The film wasn't put into any global historical context. When the dates flash upon the screen setting each English period, most of those dates and events overlapped and coexisted with America's ongoing conflict and debates on slavery. They could have descreetly noted these events along with the dates, without changing tone of this English based film. Some of these references could have pointed out the beginnings of the American revolutionary conflict with England, which would have been beneficial for British and American audiences who really don't understand our histories and problems were intertwined at that period. And for American audiences, I think it would have been especially important to note these historical overlaps, as well as incorporate how these cases challenged America's legal system to see slavery ultimately as a immoral instititutiion. 2) If the movie was trying to show us that the English were in such a moral upheaval about slavery, then why wasn't there any blacks and slaves present in the film??? Even slaves actively walking the streets??? The movie basically only show two??? Hiistorically, black slaves were all over England during this period, slaves were everywhere, because they were used to build England's financial instititutions, so how could none be seen in this film? Because this was done, logically it became consistant...the question then is asked, why would the British be so upset and go out of their way to ban it if it's not something they don't see on a day-to-day basis??? The truth of the matter is they were so upset about slavery because slavery was everywhere, and it had permeated itself in all walks of British life that it appalled them, and forced them to address it's morality implications of owning people... In addition, when England outlawed slavery and the American Revolution was in full bloom, England enticed American slaves and free blacks to fight along side England, aganist a rouge American government that still supported slavery. The one black that was depicted 'Olaudah Equiano,' in England at that time, he was so popular that today he would have been compared to Barack Obama in popularity, people travelled far and wide to hear him speak, but alas he was depicted as playing in a subpar supporting role crying!!?? How were you going to reach a black audience by telling that story? And by doing so, the film ending up distorts the truth in history itself... Should I go on??? PS: Oh, btw the acting was excellent! Expand
  17. Steve&BettyS.
    Mar 19, 2007
    9
    Well done! The dark side and light side of this movie could have both been overdone, but they weren't. We were thoroughly engrossed by it. Ioan Gruffudd was up to the task of carrying the load of the story. The society of the time was an essential character, and the filmmakers handled its complexities well. My one quibble is with Romola Garai: while she was good, she was a little too Well done! The dark side and light side of this movie could have both been overdone, but they weren't. We were thoroughly engrossed by it. Ioan Gruffudd was up to the task of carrying the load of the story. The society of the time was an essential character, and the filmmakers handled its complexities well. My one quibble is with Romola Garai: while she was good, she was a little too precious about it, and you could see her acting (as opposed to seeing Mrs. Wilberforce). Expand
  18. JackieS
    Mar 5, 2007
    9
    Movie is well done. Refreshing to see a movie that is intelligent, captivating and moving all at the same time. Very thought provoking.
  19. ArnaS.
    Nov 20, 2007
    10
    Great movie, Great message!! One that we all should watch!! Loved it!
  20. MarkD.
    Feb 23, 2007
    10
    Loved the movie. Great story that too few people know about. Very well executed.
  21. PaulF.
    Feb 27, 2007
    9
    I just saw the movie Amazing Grace about William Wilburforce's leadership to end slavery. Wilburforce is a real activist's activist. If you don't want to immediate go out and fight whatever cause you hold dear (in my case ending abortion) with a renewed heart to the last of your day's, then I'm afraid you fell asleep. It took Wilburforce years and years of I just saw the movie Amazing Grace about William Wilburforce's leadership to end slavery. Wilburforce is a real activist's activist. If you don't want to immediate go out and fight whatever cause you hold dear (in my case ending abortion) with a renewed heart to the last of your day's, then I'm afraid you fell asleep. It took Wilburforce years and years of countless and pain ridden efforts, but they were not in vain. His empathy, sense of moral justice, and unending endurance spurred on by his passion were played out almost to a T. The movie touched on a spiritual nerve that I feel would be a healthy enlivenment for those who chose to be receptive to such. In any case just trust me and go see it. It's a great piece of historical fiction. Expand
  22. BobN.
    Dec 6, 2008
    8
    As a historical lesson it is an okay film. As your typical historical bio-pick/hero-saves-the-day film, it fails. Rightfully so. What makes this film outstanding, and different from most films of this nature out there, is the constant crisis-of-conscience which is present throughout. William is physically and spiritually sick since so many are dying each day within and without the ships. As a historical lesson it is an okay film. As your typical historical bio-pick/hero-saves-the-day film, it fails. Rightfully so. What makes this film outstanding, and different from most films of this nature out there, is the constant crisis-of-conscience which is present throughout. William is physically and spiritually sick since so many are dying each day within and without the ships. Newton is torn by the 20,000 ghosts of those he shipped into slavery and death. As a look into the tormented souls of these men, this is an outstanding film as one fills in the subtle gaps and emotions. This film is a Christian one, and it is very good. As a look into slave-trade, there are better ones out there, but as a look into conscience in a dangerous and new time in history, this film is outstanding. Newton was, in fact, a tormented man. Wilberforce was, in fact, a tormented man. This film, if nothing else, does a great job in focusing on this. That alone makes this different and good. Expand
  23. nana
    Apr 13, 2008
    10
    It was an AMAZING movie! A true story of a man who fought against all odds to bring FREEDOM to African slaves.
  24. Del&Sharon
    Nov 18, 2007
    9
    This is one of the most outstanding films I've viewed in a long time. The story of what it took one man and his growing band of supporters to change a culture and slave based industry, is insightful and inspiring too. The drama and developement of strength of character in Mr,Wilberforce is profound in it's contrast to todays politics of self centered and pathetic compromising as This is one of the most outstanding films I've viewed in a long time. The story of what it took one man and his growing band of supporters to change a culture and slave based industry, is insightful and inspiring too. The drama and developement of strength of character in Mr,Wilberforce is profound in it's contrast to todays politics of self centered and pathetic compromising as well as echoing of and pandering to the code of 'real dealism' Expand
  25. Aug 12, 2010
    10
    Great movie. It's hard to believe that people like that exist. It prompted me to read up on some history, get out John Newton's auto-biography. I'm so grateful for such movies.
  26. Sep 17, 2011
    9
    I thought this movie was great. It's been a little while since I've seen it, but I remember really enjoying it. There was a lot happening so I lost the story from time to time but eventually figured out what was going on. A movie everyone should see at least once.
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Michael Apted's Amazing Grace is a beautifully chiseled blunt instrument. No, it's not subtle, but how subtle was slavery?
  2. Reviewed by: Eddie Cockrell
    70
    Picture reflects the no-nonsense storytelling skills of prolific helmer Michael Apted, whose career-long mix of feature and documentary work holds him in good stead once more.
  3. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    50
    Morally irreproachable and flat as a pancake.