"12 Years A Slave" is all the more compelling because it is based on a true story, a book written before the Civil War.
The real story of Solomon Northup, who spent "12 Years A Slave" is so painful, the actor who plays him so well wondered if he had the talent to do it.
He could and he did, and now there's already talk of an Oscar nomination for Chewitel Ejifor.
Michael Fassbender gives us evil in three dimensions; the most terrifying scenes are opposite newcomer Lupita Nyong'o playing a slave named "Patsy," who he rapes repeatedly.
Honoring this true tale was a mission that everyone embraced.
Brad Pitt played a small part in the film but a major role behind-the-scenes getting such tough subject matter to the big screen, and realizing the vision of director Steve McQueen.
"12 Years A Slave" is that rare film which is essential: you must see it. If I had my way, every American would watch this movie. If you saw "Django Unchained," that picture is a cartoon compared to the reality shown here.