12 Years a Slave (2013) - Rotten Tomatoes

12 Years a Slave (2013)

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Critic 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.

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Movie Info

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 by Northup's memoir. Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sarah Paulson, and Paul Giamatti co-star. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi

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Cast

Chiwetel Ejiofor
as Solomon Northup
Sarah Paulson
as Mrs. Epps
Paul Dano
as Tibeats
Alfre Woodard
as Mistress Shaw
Dwight Henry
as Uncle Abram
Bryan Batt
as Judge Turner
Kelsey Scott
as Anne Northup
Quvenzhane Wallis
as Margaret Northup
Tony Bentley
as Mr. Moon
Taran Killam
as Hamilton
Bill Camp
as Radburn
Chris Chalk
as Clemens
John McConnell
as Jonus Ray
Richard Holden
as Fitzgerald
Liza J. Bennett
as Mistress Ford
Andy Dylan
as Treach
Andre Shanks
as Victim 1
Scott M. Jefferson
as Master Shaw
Topsy Chapman
as Slave Spiritual Singer 1
Devin Maurice Evans
as Slave Spiritual Singer 2
Jay Huguley
as Sheriff
Willo Jean-Baptiste
as Margaret's Husband
Cameron Zeigler
as Alonzo Northup
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News & Interviews for 12 Years a Slave

Critic Reviews for 12 Years a Slave

All Critics (359) | Top Critics (64)

It speaks to the courage and resilience of one man, the savagery of many, and the potential, for both good and for ill, in us all.

January 13, 2015 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

McQueen depicts the horrific experiences of Solomon Northup, the free man kidnapped and sold into slavery, in utterly unflinching fashion. The film's strength lies in its frankness and avoidance of either sentimentality or Quentin Tarantino-style irony.

January 13, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

In its own saintly manner, it's as exploitative as anything critics accused Django Unchained of being, minus Tarantino's eye for idiosyncrasy and sense of humor.

January 13, 2015 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

The film tells an irresistibly powerful story, in a way that does not shirk the horror. It is unbearable to watch at times, but that is as it should be.

January 13, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

A film that, despite its surface simplicity, proves to be riven with contradictions to the point of incoherence.

January 13, 2015 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

Ejiofor projects extraordinary integrity, even nobility - and he holds the camera magnificently. It's a deeply inward, deeply felt performance, surely a cert for one of the many Oscars this film must win.

January 10, 2014 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for 12 Years a Slave

It is not very clear what McQueen wants with this unflinching but detached story of survival, as he throws together scenes of brutal realism with theatrical dialogue, cartoonish villains and a plot that seems more interested in the torture than offering any new insight into the subject.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

One of the best films of 2013. Nominated for an impressive nine Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Winner of four Golden Globes including Best Picture and Best Actor and was victorious in capturing three Oscars including Best Supported Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay and winning the Best Picture Oscar of 2013.

Mister Caple
Mister Caple

Super Reviewer

½

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.

Lanning : )
Lanning : )

Super Reviewer

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