12 Years a Slave
12 Years a Slave (2013)

Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as Solomon Northup, the New York State citizen who was kidnapped and made to work on a plantation in New Orleans in the 1800s. Steve McQueen (Hunger) directs from a script he co-wrote with John Ridley, based in part… More

Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: March 4, 2014
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Critic Score: 97% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: It's far from comfortable viewing, but 12 Years a Slave's unflinchingly brutal look at American slavery is also brilliant -- and quite possibly essential -- cinema.

Tom Huddleston
Time Out

The cumulative emotional effect is devastating: the final scenes are as angry, as memorable, as overwhelming as anything modern cinema has to offer.

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Wesley Morris

The power of McQueen's movie is in its declaratory style: This happened. That is all, and that is everything.

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Graham Young
Birmingham Mail

As with Schindler's List, you won't want to be munching a bucket of popcorn through this.

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Dana Stevens

So overpowering is this film's simple, horrible, and almost entirely true story that it's hard to get enough distance on 12 Years a Slave to poke at its inner workings.

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David Thomson
The New Republic

It is a film that necessity and education demand seeing.

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Shawn Hazelett
Under the Radar

Screenwriter John Ridley takes a story that's episodic in nature and crafts a narrative that manages to build in intensity and emotion for over two hours.

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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News

Every scene of 12 Years a Slave, and almost every shot, conveys some penetrating truth about America's original sin.

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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle

It provokes recognition in us of the very heart of darkness. It makes the unimaginable imaginable.

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Mark Hughes

Driven by the best performances of the year, bold directing, and a compelling true story that reminds us of our nation's shameful, inhumane past, it is a film destined to enjoy a reputation as one of the greatest films ever produced about slavery.

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More reviews for 12 Years a Slave

Flixster Audience Score: 90% Flixster User Reviews
Lanning : )
So far, the best of the Academy Award contenders I've seen. Next would be The Wolf of Wall Street. 12 Years a Slave is a must-see.
Sanjaya 丘耀文
An Oscar winning movie? I definitely agree with the critics and audiences that root for this movie to take home the biggest prize of that night.. Not only that… More
Josh Lewis
A worthy best picture winner based on the excellent performances and the importance of the subject matter, but this is not an easy movie to watch. If you… More
Spencer S.
There hasn't been a film that broaches the area of slavery with such candor and honesty since the television miniseries "Roots."… More
Al S
This is the crowing work of 2013. An instant classic. A true emotional powerhouse of a film. A triumphant masterpiece of the highest kind. An extremely… More
Albert Kim
Solomon Northup -- once a free man, next is detained as a slave. Steve McQueen, with his third directorial outing, crafts a powerful social commentary/biopic… More