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
as Jonus Ray
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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.
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 cumulative emotional effect is devastating: the final scenes are as angry, as memorable, as overwhelming as anything modern cinema has to offer.
So overpowering is this film's simple, horrible, and almost entirely true story that it's hard to get enough distance on 12 Years a Slave to poke at its inner workings.
Every scene of 12 Years a Slave, and almost every shot, conveys some penetrating truth about America's original sin.
Audience Reviews for 12 Years a Slave
It's not really clear what McQueen intended 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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