12 Years a Slave (2013)



Critic Consensus: It's far from comfortable viewing, but 12 Years a Slave's unflinchingly brutal look at American slavery is also brilliant -- and quite possibly essential -- cinema.

Movie Info

Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as Solomon Northup, the New York State citizen who was kidnapped and made to work on a plantation in New Orleans in the 1800s. Steve McQueen (Hunger) directs from a script he co-wrote with John Ridley, based in part by Northup's memoir. Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sarah Paulson, and Paul Giamatti co-star. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi

Rating: R (for violence/cruelty, some nudity and brief sexuality)
Genre: Drama, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: John Ridley
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 4, 2014
Box Office: $56.7M
Fox Searchlight - Official Site


as Solomon Northup

as Edwin Epps

as Mistress Epps

as Tibeats

as Mistress Shaw

as Uncle Abram

as Judge Turner

as Anne Northup

as Margaret Northup (ad...

as Mr. Moon

as Hamilton

as Radburn

as Clemens

as Captain

as Fitzgerald

as Mistress Ford

as Treach

as Victim 1

as Master Shaw

as Slave Spiritual Sing...

as Slave Spiritual Sing...

as Sheriff

as Margaret's Husband

as Alonzo Northup

as Jonus Ray
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for 12 Years a Slave

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Critic Reviews for 12 Years a Slave

All Critics (290) | Top Critics (50)

It speaks to the courage and resilience of one man, the savagery of many, and the potential, for both good and for ill, in us all.

Full Review… | January 13, 2015
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

McQueen approaches the narrative straight on and sober, with long, long takes bearing the weight of cruelty.

Full Review… | July 14, 2015

We've seen movies about the horrors of slavery before. This one is about the mechanics.

Full Review… | May 12, 2015
The Improper Bostonian

It is so fluent and so certain -- both in its humanism and its depiction of institutionalised savagery.

Full Review… | January 13, 2015
The Age (Australia)

We are surely watching one of the transcendent performances of the year in Ejiofor's sensitive, moving portrayal of the miserably oppressed Solomon.

Full Review… | January 13, 2015
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Given the subject matter of the film, it's unsurprising to say that 12 Years a Slave is moving, but it's a testament to the filmmaking just how devastating the experience of watching it actually is.

Full Review… | January 13, 2015
Columbus Alive

Audience Reviews for 12 Years a Slave

One of the best films of 2013. Nominated for an impressive nine Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Winner of four Golden Globes including Best Picture and Best Actor and was victorious in capturing three Oscars including Best Supported Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay and winning the Best Picture Oscar of 2013.

Mister Caple

Super Reviewer


So far, the best of the Academy Award contenders I've seen. Next would be The Wolf of Wall Street. 12 Years a Slave is a must-see.

Lanning : )

Super Reviewer

A worthy best picture winner based on the excellent performances and the importance of the subject matter, but this is not an easy movie to watch. If you can't handle graphic torture scenes, stay far away. There's quite of few of them and they are brutal. I admire that the actors and actresses were willing to put themselves through it. The movie itself is a great redemption story and emotionally compelling (especially the ending), but it can be slow at times. It's not something I would probably want to watch again, but absolutely worth it at least once if you can stomach it. The average film-goer that grabs this for a watch based on its awards will not like it more than likely because it is not a mainstream audience movie, but that is not something that should take away its accomplishments on and off the film.

Josh Lewis

Super Reviewer

12 Years a Slave Quotes

– Submitted by David E (17 months ago)
– Submitted by David E (17 months ago)
– Submitted by David E (17 months ago)
– Submitted by David E (17 months ago)

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