8.1/10
436,874
696 user 597 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
565 ( 16)
Top Rated Movies #190 | Won 3 Oscars. Another 233 wins & 312 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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

In 1985 Dallas, electrician and hustler Ron Woodroof works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he is diagnosed with the disease.

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto
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
Braveheart (1995)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

When his secret bride is executed for assaulting an English soldier who tried to rape her, William Wallace begins a revolt against King Edward I of England.

Director: Mel Gibson
Stars: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 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
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Dickie Gravois ...
Overseer
...
Judge Turner
...
Anna
...
...
Cameron Zeigler ...
...
Mr. Moon
...
...
...
...
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 (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:

 »
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

In an October 2013 interview with NPR, Steve McQueen mentioned that Solomon Northup's 1853 book reminded him of "The Diary of Anne Frank" from nearly a century earlier. McQueen noted that he lives in Amsterdam and that Anne Frank is a national hero in his home country; when Northup's book resonated the same way with him, he then resolved he would not rest until he had turned it into a movie. See more »

Goofs

When Solomon Northup was playing the violin in the early scenes, the violin strings were made from synthetic material. The material at the time would have been catgut. 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 Cat Run 2 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Trio in B-flat, D471
Written by Franz Schubert
Arranged by Nicholas Britell and Tim Fain
Performed by Tim Fain and Caitlin Sullivan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
As high as cinema can go
12 January 2014 | by (london uk) – See all my reviews

It's rare that a movie lives up to its hype, even rarer that the hype is transcended by the actual achievement. 12 YEARS A SLAVE does both. Aided by powerful performances and cinematography, director McQueen exposes the barbarity of dehumanisation, of treating people as property. Reviews focus on the brutality on display, and it's true that the film is not easy to watch, with its powerful juxtaposition of sublime scenery and human degradation. But to me the final scene is the most powerful of all: we are party to the kind of raw emotion that in the hands of lesser artists could easily descend into tawdriness or sentimentality. Here, as in the rest of the film, it is raised up high, as high as cinematic art can go.


15 of 23 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
so... basically the US were worse than the Third Reich? Uwinator
Faith in humanity...lost. Qsera
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:
?