8.1/10
465,712
713 user 601 critic

12 Years a Slave (2013)

Trailer
2:26 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (based on "Twelve Years a Slave" by)
Reviews
Popularity
368 ( 70)
Top Rated Movies #202 | Won 3 Oscars. Another 234 wins & 312 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

After John Nash, a brilliant but asocial mathematician, accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn for the nightmarish.

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The story of King George VI of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it.

Director: Tom Hooper
Stars: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A determined woman works with a hardened boxing trainer to become a professional.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Illustrated upon the progress of his latest Broadway play, a former popular actor's struggle to cope with his current life as a wasted actor is shown.

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Stars: Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton
Biography | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stock-broker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous hotel from the fictional Republic of Zubrowka between the first and second World Wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.

Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A Mumbai teen reflects on his upbringing in the slums when he is accused of cheating on the Indian Version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?"

Directors: Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tandan
Stars: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Saurabh Shukla
Argo (2012)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1980.

Director: Ben Affleck
Stars: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

With the help of a German bounty hunter, a freed slave sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner.

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio
Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a plan to assassinate Nazi leaders by a group of Jewish U.S. soldiers coincides with a theatre owner's vengeful plans for the same.

Directors: Quentin Tarantino, Eli Roth
Stars: Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth
Spotlight I (2015)
Crime | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.

Director: Tom McCarthy
Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams
Biography | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

During World War II, mathematician Alan Turing tries to crack the enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians.

Director: Morten Tyldum
Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Dickie Gravois ...
Overseer
...
...
Anna
...
...
Cameron Zeigler ...
...
...
...
...
...
Mister Mackey Jr. ...
Randall
...
Edit

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, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty personified by a malevolent slave owner, 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 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:

 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

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 McQueen was struggling with the script until 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

There are water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), an invasive aquatic plant native to South America, floating in the swamp. Water hyacinth were not introduced to North America until 1884, when they were exhibited (and subsequently released) during the World's Fair in New Orleans' Audubon Park. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Spoofed in Fifty Shades of Black (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

My Lord, Sunshine
Written by Nicholas Britell
Performed by Roosevelt Credit and David Hughey
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.


125 of 205 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Still fighting for civil rights in America today DeadlyBaazigar
There is no sense of time through the movie stewartgrove
so... basically the US were worse than the Third Reich? Uwinator
No wonder Blacks hate Whites Tidlefriction
I'm not White or American and this movie made me really ashamed bobloblah
Good film, but the direction/editing kept it from being great for me Goosfrabah
Discuss 12 Years a Slave (2013) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?