Praise: “It seems certain to transcend the movie realm and become a new reference point in contemporary culture — a defining vision of what slavery looked like, and felt like, in the U.S. before the Civil War.” — Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
Skepticism: “The movie nails all this, and it’s smashingly effective as melodrama. But (Steve) McQueen’s directorial voice — cold, stark, deterministic — keeps it from attaining the kind of grace that marks the voice of a true film artist.” — David Edelstein, New York Magazine’s Vulture
Note: This list is limited to films released in theaters Dec. 3 or prior. Percentages are the cumulative average of Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes scores. Compiled by Maane Khatchatourian and Allegra Tepper.