12 Years a Slave
Chiwetel Ejiofor stars in this biopic as Solomon Northup, a free man from the Northern US who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the antebellum South. Lupita Nyong'o, Michael Fassbender, and Benedict Cumberbatch co-star; Steve McQueen directs. Read our full review here.

McQueen's drama spans 12 years and a wide range of experiences into one ambitious epic. For more life stories on a grand scale, check out these heralded dramas, like the story of a simple man who changed history, a love-sick girl who unlocked the mystery of Titanic, and the last of the Mohicans.

Forrest Gump (1994) Tom Hanks stars as the Forrest Gump, a sweet but simple-minded man whose life takes him on an incredibly journey, from a crippled childhood, to an All-American football player, soldier embattled in Vietnam, and unexpectedly brilliant entrepreneur. But through all his highs and lows, the thing that matters most is the girl he's loved his whole life. Robin Wright and Gary Sinise co-star; Robert Zemeckis directs.

Titanic (1997) James Cameron presents the grandeur and tragedy of the Titanic in this sweeping love story between two star-crossed lovers. Kate Winslet stars as a beautiful young aristocrat whose dismal engagement to a pompous but affluent businessman (Billy Zane) is forgotten when she finds true love with a blue-collar boy (Leonard DiCaprio) on the world's most luxurious ocean liner. Cameron directs.

The Last of the Mohicans (1992) In this historical epic set during the 1757 French and Indian War, Daniel Day-Lewis stars as Nathaniel Hawkeye, a white man raised by Mohicans. When the British army is gathering forces to fight off the French who are attempting to lay claim in America, they turn to the Hawkeye and his tribe. But his loyalties are challenged when this misfit falls for the daughter of a British officer. Madeline Stowe co-stars; Michael Mann directs.

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