12 Years a Slave - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

12 Years a Slave Reviews

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Sonny Bunch
Washington Free Beacon
July 14, 2016
12 Years a Slave is more of an important film than a great one.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Jason Bailey
June 18, 2016
Movies can do a great many things - they can make us laugh, or incite our heroism, or frighten us, or make us cry. '12 Years a Slave' makes us feel, deeply and urgently.
Kaori Shoji
Japan Times
June 13, 2016
There's real rage in this film, the type that can never be assuaged by time or blunted by forgiveness.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Mark Jackson
Epoch Times
June 7, 2016
See this film. Pay homage to the healing truth. A landmark film; would that it could reduce the lag time between genocides and our real-time grasp of their horrifying reality.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
J. Olson
April 8, 2016
The end result, while uneven, is appropriately stark, mournful, and gripping, making a deep impression on the landscape of American history on film.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Alfred Joyner
International Business Times
February 24, 2016
It's a difficult watch, but I heartily recommend you go see 12 Years a Slave, one of the best and most important films you'll see all year.
Tom Meek
Cambridge Day
February 24, 2016
The power of "Slave" is not so much its rote plea to "not forget," but its invitation to understand.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Scott Renshaw
Salt Lake City Weekly
February 24, 2016
12 Years a Slave has too many unforgettable elements, even in its less effective second half for it not to deliver a visceral impact.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Kristian M. Lin
Fort Worth Weekly
February 24, 2016
This movie touches something deep and uncomfortable in our nation's history, something that all of us need to apprehend to truly understand our American heritage.
Ken Eisner
Georgia Straight
February 23, 2016
It's Ejiofor who commands our attention, less because of his inherently noble bearing than for his ability to convey the voice of the ordinary man forced to endure inhumanity that left -- and still leaves -- far too many silent.
Molly Laich
Missoula Independent
February 23, 2016
12 Years a Slave is an expertly crafted, eerily beautiful film with a clear message and a lot of violence.
Edward Lawrenson
The Big Issue
December 12, 2015
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.
Rob Gonsalves
July 14, 2015
McQueen approaches the narrative straight on and sober, with long, long takes bearing the weight of cruelty.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Sean Burns
The Improper Bostonian
May 12, 2015
We've seen movies about the horrors of slavery before. This one is about the mechanics.
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
January 13, 2015
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 | Original Score: 4/4
Craig Mathieson
The Sunday Age
January 13, 2015
It is so fluent and so certain -- both in its humanism and its depiction of institutionalised savagery.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Piers Marchant
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
January 13, 2015
We are surely watching one of the transcendent performances of the year in Ejiofor's sensitive, moving portrayal of the miserably oppressed Solomon.
Brad Keefe
Columbus Alive
January 13, 2015
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
Brian D. Johnson
Maclean's Magazine
January 13, 2015
The film belongs to Chiwetel and the remarkable ensemble that surrounds him. With McQueen, they've created a landmark picture of devastating power.
David Edwards
Daily Mirror (UK)
January 13, 2015
12 Years A Slave is a powerful, moving and intelligently unsentimental tale that is engrossing and memorable.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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