1997 Certificate: 15


In 1839, African captives broke free of their shackles to take control of the Spanish slave ship La Amistad. But on reaching America, they were put on trial for piracy and murder. Steven Spielberg's absorbing account of this thorny episode from US history stars Matthew McConaughey and Morgan Freeman as abolitionist lawyers and Anthony Hopkins as ex-president John Quincey Adams. But it's Djimon Hounsou who catches the eye in his breakthrough role as the leader of the slave revolt.


  • Steven Spielberg


  • Anthony Hopkins

  • Morgan Freeman

  • Matthew McConaughey

  • Djimon Hounsou

  • Nigel Hawthorne


Steven Spielberg made this stirring epic legal drama just before his Oscar-winning Saving Private Ryan.

It tells the true story of an African slave uprising aboard a Spanish ship on its way to America in 1839. But the rebel slaves (led by Djimon Hounsou) are tricked and end up in jail, setting in motion a long-running courtroom battle.

Anthony Hopkins gives a marvellous turn as the liberal ex-President John Quincy Adams, but it's Hounsou who gives this powerful stuff its heart.