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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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Language:

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

In the movie, Ford purchased Solomon Northup and Eliza for $1000 and $700 respectively. Calculating inflation between 1841 and 2014, the equivalent dollar amount would be $27,000 and $19,000 respectively. See more »

Goofs

In the opening shots, a violin is being played and tuned. The light passes completely through the strings revealing they are not made of any natural product or twining, but plastic or nylon. 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 The Neighbors: Man, Actually (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Awake on Foreign Shores
Written and Performed by Colin Stetson
Courtesy of Constellation
By Arrangement with Third Side Music Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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


80 of 155 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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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