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Amazing Grace Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… no extraneous Schindler's List-y explicit sex scenes … Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    It's earnest, solemn stuff. The movie sings an old tune -- Albert Finney is the blind minister who wrote the title ditty -- and it leaves the blood unstirred.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    A case of good works done well.

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 11+

Earnest drama about fervent English abolitionist.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that a former slave and a former slave ship captain describe slavery in direct, no-holds-barred language. Flashbacks and dream sequences also involve slavery. A horse is beaten in an early scene. Instruments of physical abuse -- chains, restraints, clamps -- appear on screen. Men smoke pipes, and several characters drink liquor at parties and sometimes alone. Wilberforce suffers from colitis and takes opium-based medicine to treat it. Mild language ("hell" and "damn"), plus one very pointed use of the "N" word.

  • Families can talk about how Wilberforce connects his religious calling with his political career. How is his work inspired by his faith? What is the significance of the song "Amazing Grace," both for the early (and lengthy) abolitionist movement, and, later, during the Civil Rights movement in the United States? Do you think the politicians that Wilberforce was up against liked slavery? If not, why did they continue to support the practice? How is the political lobbying and dealmaking of Wilberforce and his gang similar to what goes on in politics today? How is it different?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: Wilberforce is a good man struggling to abolish slavery; his political opponents describe slavery as "good business," even though the film repeatedly demonstrates the dehumanization and violence such "business" entails. Plenty of political wrangling and deal-making.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: In the first scene, two men beat a horse (Wilberforce stops them); much discussion of slavery and physical abuse; Equiano shows a brand on his chest; metal torture and restraint devices inspire Wilberforce to work harder at abolition; flashback scene shows a child knocked by an explosion; Wilberforce and others describe or imagine slaves in chains and under duress. Wilberforce's poor health leads to some tense scenes.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Wilberforce dreams of a scene in which fully clothed couples embrace and cavort in a theater; minor flirting and kissing between Wilberforce and Barbara; she shows cleavage several times.

  • language false2

    Language: An overtly "bad" character uses the "N" word; other profanity is mild, including "ass," "hell," and "damn."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Pipe smoking; several scenes show social drinking (Wilberforce disparages drinking as a sign of low morals); Wilberforce takes an opium-based medicine (laudanum).