• Released
  • October 18, 2013
  • (Limited)
  • R , 2 hr 14 min
  • Drama
  • 6,042 Fan Ratings
Synopsis: Free black New Yorker Solomon Northup is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South.

Movie Reviews

Critic Ratings


Chicago Tribune

By Michael Phillips
While this is very much a McQueen picture, with visual flourishes and motifs unmistakably his, the historical urgency and staggering...
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New York Daily News

By Joe Neumaier
McQueen has made a film comparable to “Schindler’s List” — art that may be hard to watch, but which is an essential look at man’s...
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New York Observer

By Rex Reed
If the best films hold you in a captive vise, entertain you, keep you spellbound and teach you something at the same time, then 12 Years a...
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Time Out New York

By David Fear
Though McQueen continues to work his themes of suffering and spiritual transcendence, this unflinching, unforgiving drama is not about a...
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Movie Nation

By Roger Moore
McQueen and his stellar cast take us on a difficult journey, an odyssey that will make you want to avert your eyes. It is to their great...
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By Richard Corliss
A document that is raw, eloquent, horrifying and essential.
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USA Today

By Claudia Puig
The harrowing 12 Years a Slave is a mesmerizing period drama for the ages.
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By Peter Debruge
Though the film brims with memorable characters, the show ultimately belongs to Ejiofor, who upholds the character’s dignity throughout.
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Wall Street Journal

By Joe Morgenstern
Movie audiences have never been presented with anything quite like the intertwined beauty and savagery of 12 Years a Slave.
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Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
Proving himself a world-class director, McQueen basically makes slaves of us all. It hurts to watch it. You won't be able to tuck this...
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12 Years a Slave

By joycehannula
This is a powerful story of a free man who is captured and sold into slavery. He is moved from owner to owner, some more just than others. Beautifully filmed. I saw it last night and have thought...

One of the Best Movie I have seen in a long time.

By smssh2012
This movie made me cry, it made me mad and it made me appreciate my freedom. I cannot imagine the pain these people went through. This movie will hit you real hard. I absolutely loved it and will...

Absolutley is movie of the year !

By baileybar
Heart wrenching and emotional this absolutely deserved the Oscar for movie of the year. The acting was superb by all the actors. Hard to watch, but a history lesson for all of us....

This is what cinema was made for

By cazzamccarthy
Perhaps one of the best movies of all time. Powerful, unnerving and intense. The performances are amazing. If you see one film this year it should be this one....

Best Film of the Year? YES!

By itneverrains
It is truly heart-wrenching and heart-breaking. But one of the best "team" effort films to ever come out of Hollywood. No detail is overlooked in bringing this horrible time in American history to...

More Info

Rated R | For violence/cruelty, some nudity and brief sexuality
What Parents Need to Know
Common Sense Media says Pause for kids 14 & under Imperfect but must-see epic drama with major cruelty.
Read the Common Sense Media Review