The Playlist

Telluride Review: Steve McQueen's '12 Years A Slave' Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender & More

  • By Chris Willman
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  • August 31, 2013 10:55 AM
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  • 17 Comments
12 Years A Slave
Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” instantly establishes itself as the most unflinching of all slave dramas, which is to say, there is plenty of flinching, not to mention cowering and recoiling and passing out, thanks to beatings and whippings that arrive at roughly 10-to-15-minute intervals throughout a 133-minute running time. “Amistad,” meet the Marquis de Sade, in the form of slavemaster Michael Fassbender, who puts his victims through more tortures than Mel Gibson ever could have imagined for Jesus.

Review: 'Savannah' Starring Jim Caviezel & Chiwetel Ejiofor

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 21, 2013 1:06 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Savannah Chiwetel Ejiofor Jim Caviezel
Let's say you're a filmmaker, and you're given the opportunity to tell the true life story of two people: Ward Allen, an Oxford-educated Southerner, who defies expectations and makes a career as hunter, rabble-rouser and good ol' boy, and Christmas Moultrie, a man born into slavery, who becomes a free man and enters a business partnership with Ward. Whose life do you think would serve as the most interesting prism though which to tell a dramatic narrative? Whose life would offer the greatest perspective on the changing mores not just of the South but the nation as a whole? If you picked Ward Allen, then you must be co-writer and director Annette Haywood-Carter. "Savannah" does attempt to tell the story of the friendship of those two accomplished men, but does so in a manner that is so astonishingly tone deaf, confused and narrowly focused that it leaves you almost amazed at the lack of vision behind the entire enterprise.

Exclusive: Chiwetel Ejiofor & Jim Caviezel Go To Court In Clip From 'Savannah'

  • By Edward Davis
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  • August 19, 2013 3:02 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Savannah Chiwetel Ejiofor Jim Caviezel
Before Chiwetel Ejiofor shows off his awards season stuff this fall in "12 Years A Slave" he'll take a supporting role in this month's "Savannah," with Jim Caviezel in the lead. The tale of Southern life is based on a true story and today we have an exclusive clip from the movie to give you a little preview of what's to come.

Watch: Promo Reel For TIFF Flick 'Half Of A Yellow Sun' Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor & Thandie Newton Plus New Pics

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 23, 2013 2:50 PM
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  • 15 Comments
There's going to be a lot of Chiwetel Ejiofor coming your way by the end of the year. Next month he'll star in the drama "Savannah" opposite Jim Caviezel which opens in limited release, and of course he's the lead in the Oscar touted "12 Years A Slave" which is headed to TIFF. But the actor has another film coming to Toronto as well, and instead of more images, a full length trailer has arrived.

Watch: First Trailer For Steve McQueen's '12 Years A Slave' Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 15, 2013 6:34 PM
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  • 30 Comments
12 Years A Slave Trailer
While it may not be a movie that appeals to the general public on the scale of "Iron Man 3" or "Man Of Steel," to the more cinephile-oriented viewers, there are few movies coming in 2013 as exciting as Steven McQueen's slavery drama "12 Years A Slave." Earlier this month we got the first images from the film, but for those familiar with the filmmaker's previous films "Hunger" and "Shame," that's only telling not even half the story. McQueen anchors his movie heavily on performances, mood and controlled tone, and does he do it again here?

Still Waiting For '12 Years A Slave'? Watch The Trailer For Chiwetel Ejiofor's Other Freed Slave Movie 'Savannah'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 12, 2013 8:49 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Savannah Chiwetel Ejiofor Jim Caviezel
Bet you forgot about this movie didn't you? First announced back in 2011 and shot the same year, it seems we're going to get a double dose of Chiwetel Ejiofor playing a freed slave in 2013. Of course, he's set to lead the hugely anticipated "12 Years A Slave," but he's also got a co-starring role in the forthcoming indie "Savannah," and the first trailer has arrived to give you a peek at another tale dealing with America's slavery past.

Chiwetel Ejiofor To Direct Adaptation Of William Kankwamba Autobiography 'The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind'

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • July 8, 2013 10:22 AM
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  • 0 Comments
A talented presence mostly absent from this past cinematic year, Chiwetel Ejiofor is thankfully set for not one but two centerpiece roles soon: first this fall in Steve McQueen's “Twelve Years a Slave,” and later in Craig Zobel's thriller “Z for Zachariah.” And another dramatic project has captured Ejiofor's attention, but it's one that will find him instead in two new creative roles -- writer and director.

First Look: Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch & Chiwetel Ejiofor In '12 Years A Slave'

  • By Edward Davis
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  • June 18, 2013 8:43 PM
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  • 44 Comments
12 Years A Slave
A movie by U.K. helmer Steve McQueen is always cause for celebration, but this one sounds like it's going to be his most brutal. And it's not like "Hunger" or "Shame" were easy walks in the park either. Based in a true story, McQueen's latest, "12 Years A Slave," is just what it sounds like, a harsh slave drama set in the South. In fact, someone on Twitter the other day says a friend saw it and described it as "Django Unchained" without the comedy. Sounds like a bundle of laughs, right? Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, the actor plays Solomon Northup, a free man tricked, captured and sold into slavery in the film based off of Northup's autobiography. The rest of the cast is rather stellar too and features Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano, Sarah Paulson and Alfre Woodard.

Amanda Seyfried, Chiwetel Ejiofor & Chris Pine To Star In 'Z For Zachariah' For 'Compliance' Helmer Craig Zobel

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 15, 2013 9:00 PM
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  • 0 Comments
The apocalypse is terrifying at the best of times, but when the concept of oblivion hits you through young adult literature -- as the teens of today are finding out through "The Hunger Games," "Divergent," "The Knife Of Never Letting Go" et al -- it's almost guaranteed to lead to some sleepless nights. For a certain generation, that fear of radiation poisoning came from "Z For Zachariah," the 1974 novel by Robert C. O'Brien (who died before the book was completed).

Watch: First Clip From 'Half Of A Yellow Sun' Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor & Thandie Newton

  • By Kieran McMahon
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  • April 13, 2013 10:01 AM
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  • 30 Comments
Timed to coincide with the forthcoming release of "Americanah," the third novel from heavy-hitting Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the first look at the adaptation of her prize-winning second novel "Half of a Yellow Sun" has arrived, and a handsome fellow it is too.

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