By Gregory Kirschling
Updated February 21, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST

Do British middle schoolers get to watch movies during classes, the way American kids do when their teachers burn off two days by showing a video? If they do, the unrigorous history lesson Amazing Grace will soon be waiting for them during their slavery unit. Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four) plays the abolitionist who pushed Parliament to free Britain’s slaves 200 years ago. 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. C+