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4. '12 Years a Slave'
Release date: Oct. 18
Director: Steve McQueen
Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti
One reason it's a must see: Steve McQueen's unflinching biopic of free-born slave Solomon Northrup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) won raves in its Telluride debut, with Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender (as sadistic plantation owner Edwin Epps), director Steve McQueen and the film itself shaping up as major Oscar contenders.
- Chris Eggertsen