12 Years a Slave (2013)
Critic Consensus: It's far from comfortable viewing, but 12 Years a Slave's unflinchingly brutal look at American slavery is also brilliant -- and quite possibly essential -- cinema.
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as Solomon Northup
as Mrs. Epps
as Mistress Shaw
as Uncle Abram
as Judge Turner
as Anne Northup
as Margaret Northup
as Mr. Moon
as Mulatto Woman
as Jonus Ray
as Mistress Ford
as Victim 1
as Victim 2
as Master Shaw
as Slave Spiritual Singer 1
as Slave Spiritual Singer 2
as Margaret's Husband
as Alonzo Northup
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Critic Reviews for 12 Years a Slave
It speaks to the courage and resilience of one man, the savagery of many, and the potential, for both good and for ill, in us all.
McQueen depicts the horrific experiences of Solomon Northup, the free man kidnapped and sold into slavery, in utterly unflinching fashion. The film's strength lies in its frankness and avoidance of either sentimentality or Quentin Tarantino-style irony.
In its own saintly manner, it's as exploitative as anything critics accused Django Unchained of being, minus Tarantino's eye for idiosyncrasy and sense of humor.
The film tells an irresistibly powerful story, in a way that does not shirk the horror. It is unbearable to watch at times, but that is as it should be.
A film that, despite its surface simplicity, proves to be riven with contradictions to the point of incoherence.
Audience Reviews for 12 Years a Slave
It is not very clear what McQueen wants with this unflinching but detached story of survival, as he throws together scenes of brutal realism with theatrical dialogue, cartoonish villains and a plot that seems more interested in the torture than offering any new insight into the subject.
One of the best films of 2013. Nominated for an impressive nine Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Winner of four Golden Globes including Best Picture and Best Actor and was victorious in capturing three Oscars including Best Supported Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay and winning the Best Picture Oscar of 2013.
So far, the best of the Academy Award contenders I've seen. Next would be The Wolf of Wall Street. 12 Years a Slave is a must-see.
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