Skip to main content

R| 2 hr. 14 min.

Plot Summary
In the years before the Civil War, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South. Subjected to the cruelty of one malevolent owner (Michael Fassbender), he also finds unexpected kindness from another, as he struggles continually to survive and maintain some of his dignity. Then in the 12th year of the disheartening ordeal, a chance meeting with an abolitionist from Canada changes Solomon's life forever.

Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor , Michael Fassbender , Benedict Cumberbatch , Paul Dano , Garret Dillahunt , Paul Giamatti , Scoot McNairy , Lupita Nyong'o

Director: Steve McQueen

Genres: Historical drama, Biography

Distributor: Fox Searchlight

12 Years a Slave (2013)

Release Date: October 18th, 2013|2 hr. 14 min.

watch now
critic reviews ( 3 )
fan reviews ( 82 )
  • 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 powder keg in the corner of your mind and forget it. What we have here is a blistering, brilliant, straight-up classic. show more

  • 12 Years a Slave has some of the awkwardness and inauthenticity of a foreign-made film about the United States. The dialogue of the Washington, D.C., slave traders sounds as if it were written for "Lord of the Rings." White plantation workers speak in standard redneck cliches. And yet the ways in which this film is true are much more important than the ways it's false. show more

  • The harrowing 12 Years a Slave is a mesmerizing period drama for the ages. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com
  • April 19, 2014 Rhoda
    Report This User

    I CRIED WHEN I SAW THIS MOVIE. IT WAS SO SAD AND IT LITERALLY MADE ME ILL. HOW ANYONE CAN TREAT A HUMAN BEING LIKE THAT

  • March 28, 2014 jg00000000187582
    Report This User

    Best movie of the year, not by a long shot.

  • March 08, 2014 cpenycpeny
    Report This User

    One of the greatest movies I have seen. There is a lot of feelings and emotion in this movie

featured news

view all news

'12 Years a Slave' Mannequin Stirs Up Controversy at UK Grocery Store (PHOTO)

Posted by
Katie Roberts on May 20th, 2014 6:30PM

A U.K. store landed itself in hot water recently after it promoted the DVD and Blu-ray release of "12 Years a Slave" with a mannequin mimicking protagonist Solomon Northup. The Independent reports...

New York Times Corrects 161-Year-Old '12 Years a Slave' Error

Posted by
Katie Roberts on Mar 5th, 2014 10:00AM

Fox Searchlight Apparently, all it takes to correct a 161-year-old spelling error is a Best Picture Oscar win. After Steve McQueen's film "12 Years a Slave" took home the big prize at the Academy...

New DVD Blu-ray: '12 Years a Slave,' 'Catching Fire,' 'An American Tail'

Posted by
Jenni Miller on Mar 4th, 2014 4:30PM

Fox Searchlight Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week "12 Years a Slave" What's It About? Based on the memoir by Solomon Northup, "12 Years a Slave" stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as a free man who was...

Are John Ridley and Steve McQueen in a '12 Years a Slave' Feud?

Posted by
Katie Roberts on Mar 3rd, 2014 4:30PM

Are the director and writer of newly-minted Best Picture winner "12 Years a Slave" feuding? According to one Hollywood insider, yes, and that feud resulted in some rather chilly behavior from the...

similar movies

  • Beloved (1998)

  • Friendship! (1997)

  • Lincoln (2012)

  • Glory (1989)

Stay Connected with Moviefone

How do you watch stuff?

loading

How else do you watch?

Select your online providers
My Settings

You are currently subscribed as: {email}


Subscriptions

Get the latest reviews, movie news, photos, and trailers sent straight to your inbox.

Weekly Newsletter

Daily alerts

Movies

You're not following any movies.

These are the movies you’re currently following.


    Update settings
    X