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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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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)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vera Farmiga auditioned for Mistress Epps but Sarah Paulson was cast. Farmiga admitted that she wanted the role so much but was happy for Paulson. 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.
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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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Roll out the same old barrel......
11 January 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I was hoping for much more - sadly,we've seen It all before. Since the brilliant and awe-Inspiring 'Roots',nothing In this genre has been at all special and '12 years a slave' Is no exception. As unexciting as It Is predictable,this Movie gives us nothing new and Just re-treads old ground. We've seen enough of pre-emancipation stories. We KNOW what a terrible time slaves In America had without constant reminders like this. Black folk have enough reason to hate White folk without stirring up hackneyed old stories. If you can watch this the whole way through without falling asleep waiting for something exciting to happen then good for you. Giving this Movie 'top marks' just because of feelings of guilt(If you are white) or because of solidarity and mutual hatred of the Slavers (If you are black) Is a naive decision. This boring piece of Americana will soon be forgotten. As the song goes..."Tell me the same old story....".


86 of 166 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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