From The Dispatch:
“12 Years a Slave” almost seems like a never ending parade of human atrocities, and indeed it is almost unrelenting in its depiction of perhaps the darkest period of American history. It is brutal, unblinking, unsparing, almost to the point of being oppressive. But therein lies its brilliance. Northup went on to write the book on which the film is based, but for those 12 years had no respite from the cruelty of his plight, and so McQueen in turn allows his audience no room to breathe, even when he finds beauty in the turning of a riverboat wheel or the slow spread of blackberry juice on a dirty metal plate. The effect is painful, jarring, and ultimately heartbreaking.Click here to read my full review.