Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave is slowly doing the rounds at international film festivals before it begins to officially open in cinemas worldwide. For those countries that have not had the privilege of the Shame director's new movie just yet, all the emphatic reviews and Oscar talk swirl around the drama movie like a tornado of excitement about to arrive.

12 Years A Slave Chiwetel Ejiofor
No Critic Has A Bad Word To Say About Chiwetel Ejiofor's Performance.

The move's looking incredibly ripe on reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes with a current impressive score of 95%. With Chiwetel Ejiofor ('Kinky Boots') in the main character seat, 12 Years A Slave looks at slavery in the 19th century through an unrelenting lens. Ejiofor plays Solomon Northrup in the true story, who is enjoying life with his family in upstate New York as a free black man until he is kidnapped and sold into slavery.

Watch The '12 Years A Slave' Trailer:

Northrup spends 12 brutal years on a Louisiana plantation under the watch of abusive master Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender). However, Ejiofor's friendship with the kind-hearted Samuel Bass (Michael Fassbender) turns his life around and gives him hope again.

12 Years A Slave Paul Dano
The Ever-Watchable Paul Dano Is Praised.

Critical reception for the movie so far has been exceptionally strong, with many praising McQueen's decision to make his depiction of slavery as brutal, horrifying and hellish as possible to shame America's historical blight. Chiwetel is joined by Paul Dano, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alfre Woodard, Paul Giamatti, and Dwight Henry on what is by all counts a box office sandstorm success of a movie.

Michael Fassbender
Michael Fassbender's Slave Owner Is Hateful.

The New York Post is exultant in its review, saying 12 Years is "a brutally powerful and emotionally devastating film that takes great pains to rip any lingering vestiges of romanticism from America's most shameful institution," rendering 2012's Django Unchained a "lurid" and "cartoonish Tarantino fantasy."

Brad Pitt 12 Years A Slave
Brad Pitt's Kindly Carpenter Befriends Solomon.

Ejiofor's Northrup is described as "unforgettable" and Paul Dano's performance as an especially harsh overseer is "striking." Though regarded as "essential viewing," it is to be warned that the film can be "Unavoidably melodramatic and extremely violent at times because of its fidelity to Northup's life [...] this film can certainly be difficult to watch."

Benedict Cumberbatch
There's Oscar Talk For Benedict Cumberbatch's Supporting Role.

USA Today lauds the "deeply evocative, and brilliantly acted drama," describing Ejiofor as a consistently dignified presence whose performance must certainly figure into the Oscar running. America's bloody past may never be changed but searing portrayals of injustice and man's cruelty in time gone by can help the world learn not to repeat the horrifying mistakes of the past.