12 Years a Slave (2013) - Rotten Tomatoes

12 Years a Slave2013

12 Years a Slave (2013)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

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.

12 Years a Slave Videos

12 Years a Slave Photos

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

Watch it now

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
View All

Critic Reviews for 12 Years a Slave

All Critics (374) | Top Critics (94)

Director McQueen, drawing on the visual aesthetic of his previous works Shame and Hunger, never shies away from frames that capture the ways that beauty exists in the most painful situations.

January 20, 2021 | Full Review…

12 Years a Slave is, like The Trial, a trapdoor over the abyss. Although less abrupt than Kafka's novel, the movie wastes little time before plunging its viewer into a nightmare of dehumanization.

March 4, 2018 | Full Review…

Ambitious, honest and horrifying all at once, 12 Years a Slave may not be the easiest film to watch more than once, but it will stay with you forever once you see it.

September 6, 2017 | Rating: A | Full Review…

Add the visionary direction by Steve McQueen, the British Turner Prize-winning artist turned film-maker (Hunger, Shame) and you have an out-and-out stunner.

September 6, 2017 | Full Review…

A significant, necessary piece of work, one that stays with you long after you rise out of your theater seat.

February 26, 2017 | Full Review…

Movies can do a great many things - they can make us laugh, or incite our heroism, or frighten us, or make us cry. '12 Years a Slave' makes us feel, deeply and urgently.

June 18, 2016 | 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

12 Years a Slave Quotes

News & Features