Rated R · 134 minutes · 2014

Biography, Historical drama
Although it misses a few smaller targets (Brad Pitt’s cotton-mouthed performance, for one), 12 Years a Slave earns all the talk it sparked (and should keep) as the Best Picture front-runner. Burnished by Chiwetel Ejiofor’s powerful central performance, 12 Years a Slave is an emotionally powerful and challenging film. The title says most of it: Solomon Northup (Ejiofor) was abducted and sold into slavery in the 1840s. For more than a decade, Northup, who had been as skilled with a violin as with carpenter’s tools as a free man, was enslaved in Louisiana. His first master was the more pragmatic and empathetic Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch), but soon, he’s sold to Epps (Fassbender), as cruel a son-of-a-bitch as you’ll see for a long time. The film does not flinch even if you do, and director Steve McQueen has made a movie that will stand the test of time.
Official Site: www.12yearsaslave.com
Director: Steve McQueen
Producer: Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Bill Pohlad, Steve McQueen, Arnon Milchan, Anthony Katagas, John Ridley and Tessa Ross
Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Garret Dillahunt, Paul Giamatti, Scoot McNairy, Lupita Nyong'o, Adepero Oduye, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Michael Williams, Alfre Woodard, Chris Chalk, Taran Killam, Bill Camp, Kelsey Scott, Quvenzhané Wallis and Cameron Zeigler


12 Years a Slave


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What others are saying (18)

Memphis Flyer 12 Years a Slave Steve McQueen’s new film astounds. by Greg Akers 10/31/2013
Style Weekly Solomon Unchained Movie Review: "12 Years a Slave" reveals some of the worst realities of American history — but the book is better. by Nicholas Emme 11/19/2013
Boise Weekly 12 Years a Slave: Don't Look Away Now playing at The Flicks by George Prentice 10/30/2013
15 more reviews...
Indy Week The wrenching, brilliant 12 Years a Slave A well-respected, fiddle-playing family man living in 19th-century New York, Solomon Northrup's misfortune begins when two white scoundrels trick him into taking a touring gig, whereupon he's drugged, kidnapped and sold into slavery. by Craig D. Lindsey 10/30/2013
NUVO Movie review: 12 Years a Slave Why should you subject yourself to the cruelty of one of America's most shameful periods? Rest assured that 12 Years a Slave is as touching as it is horrific. by Ed Johnson-Ott 11/03/2013
Gambit Review: 12 Years a Slave Ken Korman says director Steve McQueen's tale of slavery is one of 2013's best films by Ken Korman 10/28/2013
Creative Loafing Atlanta '12 Years a Slave' brings harrowing history to life Chiwetel Ejiofor gives a powerful performance in this account of this fact-based account of the brutality and madness of American slavery. by Curt Holman 10/18/2013
North Coast Journal Better Men by John J. Bennett 11/21/2013
Creative Loafing Charlotte 12 Years a Slave: Roots writ large Rating: ***1/2 by Matt Brunson 11/01/2013
Charleston City Paper Oscar, we need to start seeing other people Way back in 1932 filmmaker Josef von Sternberg resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, noting it had "nothing to do with art and even less to do with science." While it's likely this was the result of constantly losing to lesser talents, it was not without its truth. by Ken Hanke 01/22/2014
Colorado Springs Independent Masterful filmmaking techniques lend 12 Years a Slave cinematic weight McQueen's adaptation seeks to indict the institution of slavery by focusing on it as a heightened nightmare of repetition. by Glenn Heath Jr. 11/06/2013
Connect Savannah Review: 12 Years a Slave Like Roots, 12 Years a Slave turns to recorded history to gather the evidence, but because it's an R-rated movie rather than a prime-time-friendly TV show, the ghastly sights and accompanying sounds on display in this new piece will disturb far more deeply. by Matt Brunson 11/06/2013
Chicago Reader Year in review: 2013 at the movies Year in review: J.R. Jones and Ben Sachs each pick their top ten. by J.R. Jones and Ben Sachs 12/24/2013
New Times San Luis Obispo Review: 12 Years a Slave Ken Korman says director Steve McQueen's tale of slavery is one of 2013's best films by Ken Korman 10/28/2013
Portland Mercury Institutional Inhumanity The horror and injustice of 12 Years a Slave. by Alison Hallett 10/30/2013
The Coast Halifax 12 Years a Slave A quiet testament to inhuman brutality by Jacob Boon 11/07/2013
Chicago Reader 12 Years a Slave: Mighty white of you Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave tells of a free northerner taken into bondage. by J.R. Jones 10/16/2013

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