12 Years a Slave (2013) - Rotten Tomatoes

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, Rovimore
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


Chiwetel Ejiofor
as Solomon Northup
Sarah Paulson
as Mrs. Epps
Paul Dano
as Tibeats
Alfre Woodard
as Mistress Shaw
Dwight Henry
as Uncle Abram
Bryan Batt
as Judge Turner
Kelsey Scott
as Anne Northup
Quvenzhane Wallis
as Margaret Northup
Tony Bentley
as Mr. Moon
Taran Killam
as Hamilton
Bill Camp
as Radburn
Chris Chalk
as Clemens
John McConnell
as Jonus Ray
Richard Holden
as Fitzgerald
Liza J. Bennett
as Mistress Ford
Andy Dylan
as Treach
Andre Shanks
as Victim 1
Scott M. Jefferson
as Master Shaw
Topsy Chapman
as Slave Spiritual Sing...
Devin Maurice Evans
as Slave Spiritual Sing...
Jay Huguley
as Sheriff
Willo Jean-Baptiste
as Margaret's Husband
Cameron Zeigler
as Alonzo Northup
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for 12 Years a Slave

Critic Reviews for 12 Years a Slave

All Critics (291) | 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

12 Years a Slave puts things straight -- and some. Anchored by Chiwetel Ejiofor's performance of contained fortitude as Solomon, the film depicts almost unrelenting institutional brutality.

Full Review… | December 12, 2015
The Big Issue

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

Audience Reviews for 12 Years a Slave

It's not really clear what McQueen intended with this unflinching but detached story of survival, as he throws together scenes of brutal realism with theatrical dialogue, cartoonish villains and a plot that seems more interested in the torture than offering any new insight into the subject.

Carlos Magalh„es

Super Reviewer

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

12 Years a Slave Quotes

– Submitted by David E (22 months ago)
– Submitted by David E (22 months ago)
– Submitted by David E (22 months ago)
– Submitted by David E (22 months ago)

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