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Opened in Theaters: Friday, October 18th, 2013

Directed by Steve McQueen
Genre: Drama
Running Time: 2:13

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12 Years a Slave
Academy Award® Winner
Based on an incredible true story of one man's fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is...  View more >

R
violence/cruelty, some nudity and brief sexuality

Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong'o, Benedict Cumberbatch...  View more >

Academy Award Winner for Actress in a Supporting Role, Adapted Screenplay, Best Picture
View more information about this movie >

Reviews Summary

Rating # %  
See Now!  3 38 See Now! Percent
Good  1 13 Good Percent
Wait for Rental  1 13 Wait Percent
Stay Away!  3 38 Stay Away! Percent
8 Total Reviews

Looking for more opinions?

Check out our Featured Movie Reviews for 12 Years a Slave.

Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

[--- Stay Away! ---]by VIP MemberNov 8, 2013
This is an ugly film of man's inhumanity to man. That slavery is/was incredibly wicked and cruel is no new information. The film goes WAY beyond depicting the viscousness of the whippings. How many scenes of torn flesh does an audience have to endure. I can't think of any redeeming feature in this film.
[--- Stay Away! ---]by  Nov 9, 2013
Terrible movie. Why are they still putting movies out like this.
[--- See Now! ---]by  Nov 10, 2013
[--- See Now! ---]by VIP MemberNov 19, 2013
"12 Years a Slave" could never had come at a better time. Recently there was a national debat on slavery. but it's not what's you think. Many Republicans are comparing Obamacare to slavery. Anyone who compares Obamacare to slavery needs to see this movie. Amyybody else who is confused about the issue, needs to see this movie. This movie doesn't take this issue lightly. It stars Chiwetel Ejiofer as a free northern name Solomon Northop. who is aa acomplish musican who was aducted and sold into slavery in the deep south. He had to endure beatings and pull huninatition from the slavers. The movie is hard to watch and the impact on slavery will move the audience. "12 years a Slave" does to slavery what "Schindler's List" did for the Holocaust. This film serves sa a history lesson on the horrors of slavery. You need to see this film.
[--- Stay Away! ---]by  Nov 21, 2013
Making blacks hate whites is not something needed now.

I would like to know if anyone realizes that Middle Eastern Muslims were the people who caught the native Africans in the first place. Oh yes, here's something else...the practice is still performed daily in Africa and in large by the same group as the original slave traders.

Read your history and stop viewing gross terrible hate filled movies such as this one. Don't waste your money.
[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  Nov 23, 2013
The movie is very biased compared to the book. The movie tries to depict all slaves as caring and intelligent in an evil slavery institution. The book showed evilness, brutal and humane owners, good, brutal, and uneducated slaves. One sided movies turn me off.
[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 27, 2014
Not an easy film to watch but gets across the notion that slavery--even in its most "ideal" forms--was harsh. And in its most brutal forms, slavery was criminal. I was very interested in the notion that slavery reduced its owners to dependence upon their property for income to uphold their way of life. One minute, the owners might be preaching the gospel to their slaves. The next minute, beating them "for their own good" or to serve as an example to the others. I thought Michael Fassbender as the harsh slave owner did a particularly good job of displaying this duality.
[--- Good ---]by VIP MemberApr 25, 2014
This movie won three Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong'o), and Best Adapted Screenplay, and it was nominated for six more, including Best Director, Best Actor for Chiwetel Ejiofor (the lead character), and Best Supporting Actor for Michael Fassbender as a truly evil slave owner.

So, with all these awards (plus many others), why only a "Good" rating? Because this isn't going to be a movie for everyone. If you can't handle scenes of brutality towards other human beings, there are some scenes that will make you at least flinch, if not leave the room altogether.

If you can get through those scenes, however, you will be rewarded with what appears to be an honest portrayal of the life and times of slaves in the pre-war United States. The story of a man being kidnapped and sold into slavery not only documents an event in our past history, but also, in a broader sense, what continues to happen under the title of "human trafficking."

Perhaps the most poignant scene in the entire movie for me was when a slave owner is asked if he would like to be bought and sold like the slaves he keeps, and his response was that it was impossible. He couldn't fathom how something like that could happen, all the while it was happening to the lead character standing near him. The only difference between them was the color of their skin.

This is a good story backed up by good performances. It was deserving of the accolades it received, and it's well worth checking out if you have not already done so.



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