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12 Years A Slave | The Railway Man | Delivery Man | After Tiller | 1: Life On The Limit | Exposed: Beyond Burlesque

12 Years A Slave (15)

(Steve McQueen, 2013, Us/UK) Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong'o, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano. 134 mins

What with the acclaim, the awards buzz and the harrowing subject matter, finally seeing McQueen's slavery drama now feels like a duty. But this is an "issue movie" unlike any other, both in its deliberate formalism and its under-represented history. Along with Ejiofor's abductee, we're fully immersed in a slavery system so brutally oppressive even the expression of suffering is forbidden. McQueen gives us a study of institutionalised cruelty, the forces propping it up and its innumerable victims.

The Railway Man (15)

(Jonathan Teplitzky, 2013, Aus/UK) Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman. 116 mins

Middle-aged romance is rapidly derailed by events of the past in this earnest bio-drama, as Kidman spurs Scotsman Firth to revisit his Asian prisoner-of-war days, »

- Steve Rose

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