This is one of the crucial American stories, and everyone should watch it.
Harriet Tubman is one of the few black women taught about in schools. Her story is a bit santized there, without the visceral experience a movie can bring. While this is drama and not straight history, it does give a real feeling of the time. The characters are quite understandable–all of them.
The actress playing Harriet is strong, with much presence. Her story was even more badass than taught in K-12.
Despite Harriet herself being a wild-eyed true believer in religion, the film works. Handling sensitive topics is key so that it never becomes preachy.
There was, of course, much dramatic license taken in parts, but it holds up due to the sheer magnitude of her life. Live free or die trying. This is a story for right now.