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12 Years a Slave (2013)

8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 263,991 users   Metascore: 97/100
Reviews: 583 user | 558 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 #166 | Won 3 Oscars. Another 220 wins & 211 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

Director Steve McQueen had been toying with the idea of writing a script about slavery featuring a black man who had been born free and was later forced into slavery but was struggling with the script when his wife found Solomon Northup's biography and gave it to him. Shocked that he had never heard of Northup before he decided to adapt the book instead. See more »

Goofs

When "Platt" is explaining how to bring the logs down the river, the overseer scornfully asks him where he became an expert in engineering and "terraforming." This a word coined by science fiction author Jack Williamson in 1942, almost exactly 100 years after the scene takes place. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Film 2014: Episode dated 5 February 2014 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Apache Blessing Song
Written and Performed by Chesley Wilson
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Fantastic Performances, everything else overrated.
13 December 2013 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I honestly think this film is overrated. Don't get me wrong. Fantastic acting. Definitely I think Chiwetel and Michael Fassbender are Oscar worthy. Would be surprised to not see them nominated. I even really enjoyed Paul Dano's small part in the film. Lupito was also good, but I wasn't as wowed with her as I was with the others. Plus, I think Brad Pitt was the worst of the bunch. I've liked him in other movies, but he was the weak link here and felt out of place.

I also didn't care much for Steve McQueen's directing choice. Like, he would use these really long shots of Chitwetel's face or example. Not doing anything but breathing. Some people might like that artsy stuff...but I just wanted to get on with the program already. Also the film just feels really long. Its only around 2 hours and 10 min long. But it felt like 3. And I realize that slavery was absolutely brutal but I just personally felt like the film was trying to much to make you cry and grab you by the heart. And I just didn't feel that way. And I'm not some robot. I cry a lot at movies. Last thing I didn't like, "aging" Solomon (Chiwetel). They add some grey to his hair to signify that 12 years had past. But did absolutely nothing else. He still looked the same. Plus, I don't even feel like the movie adequately showed that 12 years had gone by (except for the title, and at the end of the movie, his kids are grown up). I felt like there was no sense of time in the movie. It seemed like the events only took place over a year. None of the other characters "aged" either.

But those were my main problems with it. Otherwise, its a pretty decent flick and should be checked out at least for the performances.


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