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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 Rated Movies #183 | Won 3 Oscars. Another 230 wins & 305 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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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:

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Country:

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Release Date:

8 November 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Twelve Years a Slave  »

Filming Locations:

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

12 Years a Slave is the first film from a black director to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Second film in a row, following Argo (2012) to win Best Picture and a screenplay Oscar without the Best Director Oscar. Fifth film with a numbered-title to win Best Picture, following It Happened One Night (1934), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), The Godfather: Part II (1974) and Around the World in Eighty Days (1956). Twelfth movie to win Best Picture with only three Oscars. A list that includes Casablanca (1942), Midnight Cowboy (1969), The Godfather (1972), Rocky (1976), Crash (2004) & Argo (2012). See more »

Goofs

When Soloman is drinking wine with the Hamilton and Brown, Hamilton drinks all of his glass and then tops off Soloman's. In the next shot Hamilton's glass is half-filled and they have a toast. See more »

Quotes

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

Referenced in Chelsea Lately: Episode #8.14 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Roll Jordan Roll
Written by Nicholas Britell
Performed by Topsy Chapman (uncredited) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (uncredited)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
And the Oscar goes to...
19 October 2013 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

chitchens fan • 2 hours ago △ ▽



Well, to begin, I cannot remember the last time I could not get up at the end of a movie. I literally could not rise up from my seat. My body felt as though it were being weighed down by something considerably larger and heavier than myself... History had it's way with me( I am an African American woman). Thank you Mr. McQueen, Mr. Ejiofor, Ms. Nyong'o, Ms. Paulson and others, and yes, even Mr. Fassbender. I am not a film critic nor a movie hobbyist, although I try to stay current, but what I am is a human being trying to understand the various problems and issues within our country. This movie is a potent reminder of why we are where we are as a society today. How man can be so unflinchingly cruel to his fellow man, especially if he looks, speaks or behaves differently, I will never understand.


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Message Boards

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There is no sense of time through the movie stewartgrove
*beep* movies like this dmorkunas1
so... basically the US were worse than the Third Reich? Uwinator
No wonder Blacks hate Whites Tidlefriction
Good film, but the direction/editing kept it from being great for me Goosfrabah
Why didn't Solomon mail the letter himself next time he went into town? alanwald-1
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