12 Years a Slave Reviews

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February 27, 2021
Any understanding of slavery as a historical phenomenon is absent, despite the occasional reference to slaves as property.
February 24, 2021
Masterful filmmaking.
February 16, 2021
In 12 Years a Slave, Solomon Northup's story is tragic and infuriating, but only because slavery itself was tragic and infuriating. Beyond that, the story feels generic.
January 31, 2021
A harrowing, stark movie that is equal parts educational and devastating.
January 20, 2021
Director McQueen, drawing on the visual aesthetic of his previous works Shame and Hunger, never shies away from frames that capture the ways that beauty exists in the most painful situations.
December 3, 2020
The subject matter lends itself to compelling stories, but the characters that suffer the worst injustices aren't the primary focus and receive no closure.
September 24, 2020
It seems impossible to think of anyone turning in as fine a performance as Ejiofor does here.
August 26, 2020
It may have taken its time to daunder down under, garnering plenty of awards buzz behind it, but late January finally saw Steve McQueen's impeccably crafted slavery epic hit our shores, and boy was the eventual Best Picture Oscar-winner worth the wait.
July 23, 2020
An incredible story of a man who clung to the hope of returning to his family, and used it to push away the horrible world he was forced into.
July 15, 2020
I only have one word to describe 12 Years a Slave - masterpiece.
June 25, 2020
The dramatic power of this film is an explicitly graphic and emotional material, in addition to working as an allegory towards racism and slavery, a cinema that is not afraid to express the shameful past of a nation. [Full review in Spanish]
June 19, 2020
As McQueen's observant camera reminds us, we are all, in some insidious way, kin under the skin.
November 26, 2019
Overall, 12 Years a Slave is a brave piece of filmmaking and one to last through the ages in terms of acting and storytelling.
August 27, 2019
12 Years a Slave occupies that sparsely inhabited place beyond Oscar statues and Tomatometer scores, in the upper stratosphere of movies that act as time machine and history professor. It is, for want of a better word, important.
August 8, 2019
The film itself is beautiful. Each shot is pure artwork. Each note of music is pure emotion. Every cut is perfectly pieced together. Steve McQueen has assembled something that is great.
July 31, 2019
Exquisitely built, so expertly acted and so fearlessly directed.
July 16, 2019
It's an exhausting journey through one man's experiences being denied his humanity, a decade living as property. There's no lesson to be learned. If you need a movie to tell you that slavery is wrong, well, this movie isn't for you. No movie is.
June 9, 2019
Too often have [slavery's] horrors been whitewashed in popular culture, but here at last McQueen lays them bare through the eyes and words of a man who experienced the unthinkable.
June 7, 2019
12 Years A Slave is such a powerful film that it leaves you overwhelmed by the horror of its truth. It's a faithful adaptation of the real-life memoir of Solomon Northup.
June 7, 2019
The definitive film on its subject matter.
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