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12 Years a Slave (2013)

8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 315,765 users   Metascore: 97/100
Reviews: 613 user | 576 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 #178 | Won 3 Oscars. Another 235 wins & 219 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:

| |  »

Country:

|

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

Michael Kenneth Williams had an emotional breakdown while filming what eventually became a deleted scene in the movie, as he related on the The Arsenio Hall Show (2013). The stress of recreating such painful material caused him to collapse to the ground after a take, where he screamed and cried for an extended period as one of the stunt coordinators comforted him. See more »

Goofs

After Platt is left hanging by his neck, barely standing on his toes, for about 5 minutes, for the rest of the movie he has no scarring on his neck. 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 The Cinema Snob: Black Rage (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Yarney's Waltz
Written by Nicholas Britell
Performed by Tim Fain and Caitlin Sullivan
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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Message Boards

Recent Posts
I'm a sociology PhD candidate and I can easily say slavery still exists! aykutsgn
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
so... basically the US were worse than the Third Reich? Uwinator
I dont know if they ever explain this uriel_zuno
No wonder Blacks hate Whites Tidlefriction
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