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12 Years a Slave (2013)

8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 239,233 users   Metascore: 97/100
Reviews: 558 user | 546 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 #156 | Won 3 Oscars. Another 206 wins & 202 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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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:

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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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Before filming their more brutal scenes together, Lupita Nyong'o and Michael Fassbender performed a ritual of "making nice". According to Nyong'o: "We wouldn't say anything to each other, just a look in the eye and a grasping of hands. Our characters are in such opposition, but we as actors needed each other in order to be able to go the distance." 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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Jim Parsons/Beck (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Run Nigger Run
Collected, Adapted and Arranged by John A. Lomax and Alan Lomax
Performed by Paul Dano (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Astonishing and heartbreaking
18 October 2013 | by (London, United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I just saw this at LFF. It is a brilliant piece of cinema. Clearly it's central theme is slavery, and the depravity human nature can so easily reach; but it has many other small moments that trigger thoughts about wider issues - the role of religion being one for example. It is violent, and in some respects awful to watch, but this is the story of Solomon Northup told truthfully. There is nothing saccharine about the way Steve McQueen presents this and that is what makes it so astonishing. You cry because what you witness is truly terrible, not because the violins are out and the director's tugging on your heart strings. All the acting is first rate, as is the score by Hans Zimmer. This really should be essential viewing for everyone old enough to understand it.


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No wonder Blacks hate Whites Tidlefriction
Why so many Europeans involved in making ? Tidlefriction
Yeah, Uh Huh, Did Not Deserve Oscar!!! pilotridge101
By making this film, rich, white men still profiting from slavery... ellelit
living conditions for the slaves seemed better in the movie than book JumeirahSun
Violence Greatly Overstated by Reviewers! userwithnoname
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