3. 12 Years A Slave (2013)
12 Years A Slave is one of the most beautiful, riveting, and emotional movies I have seen in the past 10 years, but it’s so taxing, brutal, and harrowing that I will probably never watch again despite how much I loved my first viewing. This is mostly due to the fact that the film is one of the most accurate and horrifying portrayals of slavery in recent years and should probably been seen by everyone, but man, it’s a tough film.
We only see Cumberbatch’s portrayal of plantation owner William Ford for a short time in the 12-year struggle by Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), and during that time, we see as tender of a performance as we can see from a slave owner. Compared to what comes later in the form of Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender), Ford comes off as a conflicted and complicated man on his time that is capable of seeing the error of his ways. This especially seen in the scene where Ford gifts the classically trained musician a violin. But then again, he does sell Northup to Epps after an incident with an overseer on the plantation.