What's it about? Sadly, exactly what the title implies. This is the heartbreaking, brutal, and core-shaking story of Solomon Northrup, a free black man (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who is kidnapped from the north and sold into Southern slavery in the years before the Civil War. It is difficult to watch, with horrific physical and emotional degradation especially wrecking because it happened on the soil of the country we celebrate this weekend. But it is also an incredible cinematic accomplishment by director Steve McQueen, and boasts first-rate performances by Eijiofor, Michael Fassbender (a maniacal slaveowner) and Lupita Nyong'o (another slave).
Who's in it? Chiewetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong'o, Brad Pitt, Sarah Paulson, Paul Giamatti
Who should see it? Now in more theaters than ever before, this is probably your best bet to see 12 Years A Slave. It is a hard R, and is intended to leave a mark on its audience, but it's also an important movie, so if you're up for a difficult post-holiday viewing that will educate, this is a good bet. Just bring tissues.
Verdict: Definitely see it.