12 Years a Slave
Director Steve McQueen brings us the true story of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man in New York who's tricked and sold into slavery. He spends years away from his family in the possession of different slave owners — the worst being Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender). McQueen gives us a powerful and unflinchingly brutal portrayal of slavery and Solomon's treatment, forcing you to experience every injustice inflicted on the enslaved man. Ejiofor deserves much of the credit for the movie's strength — his performance is phenomenal, while Fassbender is also frighteningly good.