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12 Years a Slave (2013)

8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 282,831 users   Metascore: 97/100
Reviews: 594 user | 561 critic | 48 from Metacritic.com

In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.

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(screenplay), (based on "Twelve Years a Slave" by)
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Top 250 #174 | Won 3 Oscars. Another 221 wins & 212 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Uncle Abram
Dickie Gravois ...
Overseer
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Judge Turner
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Anna
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Mr. Moon
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Mister Mackey Jr. ...
Randall
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Storyline

Based on an incredible true story of one man's fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender), as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon's chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt) will forever alter his life. Written by Fox Searchlight

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The extraordinary true story of Solomon Northup


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence/cruelty, some nudity and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

8 November 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Twelve Years a Slave  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$923,715 (USA) (18 October 2013)

Gross:

$56,667,870 (USA) (2 May 2014)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Steve McQueen disclosed on The Colbert Report (2005) that when Solomon Northup's autobiography, "12 Years a Slave" was first published in 1853, it sold terribly due to other, more popular books released around the same time. He also said that the interest that the film has generated has put the book back on the bestseller list. See more »

Goofs

After Epps has been wallowing through the pig pen, in the next shot his clothes are clean with no evidence that he had fallen. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Overseer: Alright now, y'all fresh niggers. Y'all gonna be in the cuttin' gang.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Film 2014: Episode dated 26 February 2014 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Yarney's Waltz
Written by Nicholas Britell
Performed by Tim Fain and Caitlin Sullivan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Masterpiece.... o_o;;
19 October 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

so incredible.... the trailers don't do any justice to the film. it's so powerful lingering unconventional it presents so many variables to that system one might not consider. the situations they show linger and you get the full effect of them too. you really get the sense that it is based on an account. characters will appear and vanish. they will not have little arcs and get give the audience satisfaction. it just is what it is. nothing is edited to bits either. this film is the work of a genius!

and about the musical selection, good lord. there are long bouts of silence and parts where it just freaks you out. it was really effective and hypnotizing. I was surprised to see Hans Zimmerman did the music. this is far beyond anything I've heard from him. Not the usual inception foghorns or military hum drum. also a great deal of real folksongs incorporated into it. I love when films incorporate the actually used folksongs. period pieces should be filled with music. when there were no modern devices people would sing!

people can't say that this is unrealistic either as it's an actual account. glad McQueen brought it to the public eye and in such an untethered fashion. I'll probably watch this on repeat when it comes out. I'll have to check out McQueen's other films. haven't seen them yet for some reason


74 of 137 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Good film, but the direction/editing kept it from being great for me Goosfrabah
so... basically the US were worse than the Third Reich? Uwinator
I dont know if they ever explain this uriel_zuno
Wasn't it obvious to them? Despenjaporcs
Was Mistress Shaw actually the Plantation owner's wife? rrusa
No wonder Blacks hate Whites Tidlefriction
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