12 Years a Slave ★★★★½

86

I don't say this lightly but this has to be one of the most meticulously crafted, viciously composed, delicately stitched, and tenderly made films in the 21st Century. McQueen's camera captures reality -no blindfolds provided or attempts to look away- and it's one of the most viciously unflinching films I've probably ever seen; McQueen spares no one, once again retreating to the sinister, bleak, and terrifying parts of humanity and its brokenness, displaying one of the most horrifying things in United States history, shown how it was: deplorable, violent, despicable, and shattering. True craftsmanship, from the little dirt patches on the lawns, to the flickering of the wax candle, representing both the burning of light and the stripping of life, one gesture at a time.

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