12 Years a Slave Reviews

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January 13, 2015
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.
January 13, 2015
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.
January 13, 2015
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.
January 13, 2015
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.
January 13, 2015
A film that, despite its surface simplicity, proves to be riven with contradictions to the point of incoherence.
January 10, 2014
Ejiofor projects extraordinary integrity, even nobility - and he holds the camera magnificently. It's a deeply inward, deeply felt performance, surely a cert for one of the many Oscars this film must win.
January 9, 2014
12 Years a Slave isn't simply a masterpiece, it's a milestone. This, at last, really is history written with lightning.
January 9, 2014
The whole film breathes with reality, even while the bayou landscapes are infernalised, surrealised, by a terrible beauty of vision.
January 9, 2014
One of Britain's greatest living filmmakers offers an outraged, intense and artful examination of American slavery.
January 9, 2014
McQueen's previous films were called Hunger and Shame; there is plenty of both in this almost unwatchably shocking and violent film.
January 7, 2014
The cumulative emotional effect is devastating: the final scenes are as angry, as memorable, as overwhelming as anything modern cinema has to offer.
December 31, 2013
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.
December 31, 2013
Every scene of 12 Years a Slave, and almost every shot, conveys some penetrating truth about America's original sin.
December 10, 2013
The power of McQueen's movie is in its declaratory style: This happened. That is all, and that is everything.
November 25, 2013
It is a film that necessity and education demand seeing.
October 31, 2013
It provokes recognition in us of the very heart of darkness. It makes the unimaginable imaginable.
October 31, 2013
"12 Years a Slave" isn't easy to watch, and it shouldn't be; it's one man's tragedy, but it's also the tragedy of countless thousands of souls beaten down, literally and metaphorically.
October 31, 2013
Slavery is revealed for the unrelenting horror that it was. About time.
October 31, 2013
One of the best and most courageous films of the year.
October 31, 2013
12 Years a Slave is at times difficult to watch but always impossible to turn away from.
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