• Released
  • October 18, 2013
  • (Limited)
  • R , 2 hr 14 min
  • Drama
  • Be the first to Rate!
12 Years a Slave Synopsis
Free black New Yorker Solomon Northup is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South.
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Movie Reviews

Critic Ratings

97
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100

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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100

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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100

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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100

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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100

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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100

Time

By Richard Corliss
A document that is raw, eloquent, horrifying and essential.
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100

USA Today

By Claudia Puig
The harrowing 12 Years a Slave is a mesmerizing period drama for the ages.
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100

Variety

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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100

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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100

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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Fan Reviews

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More Info

Rated R | For violence/cruelty, some nudity and brief sexuality
What Parents Need to Know
Common Sense Media says Imperfect but must-see epic drama with major cruelty.
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POSITIVE MESSAGES
POSITIVE ROLE MODELS
VIOLENCE & SCARINESS
LANGUAGE
DRINKING & DRUGS
SEXY STUFF