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Top 250 #111 | Nominated for 9 Oscars. Another 118 wins & 129 nominations. See more

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chiwetel Ejiofor ... Solomon Northup
Your rating:
Ratings: 8,4/10 from 105.347 users Metascore: 97/100
Reviews: 358 user | 442 critic | 48 from
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12 Years a Slave (2013)
134 min - Biography | Drama | History -
8 November 2013 (USA)
In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free
black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into
Director: Steve McQueen
Writers: John Ridley (screenplay), Solomon Northup (based
on "Twelve Years a Slave" by)
Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael K. Williams, Michael
Fassbender | See full cast and crew
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Dwight Henry ... Uncle Abram
Dickie Gravois ... Overseer
Bryan Batt ... Judge Turner
Ashley Dyke ... Anna
Kelsey Scott ... Anne Northup
Quvenzhan Wallis ... Margaret Northup
Cameron Zeigler ... Alonzo Northup
Tony Bentley ... Mr. Moon
Scoot McNairy ... Brown
Taran Killam ... Hamilton
Christopher Berry ... Burch
Bill Camp ... Radburn
Mister Mackey Jr. ... Randall
Chris Chalk ... Clemens
See full cast
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 abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave
owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender), as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon
struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his
unforgettable odyssey, Solomon's chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt) will
forever alter his life. Written by Fox Searchlight
Plot Summary | Add Synopsis
Plot Keywords: sold into slavery | new york | slavery | slave | jealousy | See more
Taglines: The extraordinary true story of Solomon Northup
Genres: Biography | Drama | History
Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)
Rated R for violence/cruelty, some nudity and brief sexuality | See all certifications
Parents Guide: View content advisory
Official Sites: Official Facebook | Official site | See more
Country: USA | UK
Language: English
Release Date: 8 November 2013 (USA) See more
Also Known As: 12 Years a Slave See more
Filming Locations: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA See more

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Box Office
Budget: $20.000.000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend: $923.715 (USA) (18 October 2013)
Gross: $49.077.220 (USA) (21 February 2014)
See more
Company Credits
Production Co: Regency Enterprises, River Road Entertainment, Plan B Entertainment See
Show detailed company contact information on IMDbPro
Technical Specs
Runtime: 134 min
Sound Mix: Dolby
Color: Color
Aspect Ratio: 2.35 : 1
See full technical specs
Did You Know?
On location shooting in Louisiana took only 35 days with one camera, which prompted
amazed laughter from an audience of Directors Guild peers, including interviewer Kathryn
Bigelow, for the startlingly efficient direction of Steve McQueen. See more
In one scene there are water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), an invasive aquatic plant
native to South America, floating in the swamp. Water hyacinth were not introduced to
North America until 1884, when they were exhibited (and subsequently released) during the
World's Fair which took place in New Orleans. The location of the fair is now the site of
Audubon Park. See more
Freeman: Put the least thought in your head. C'mon, now. Think of somethin'.
See more
Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Wanda Sykes/Thomas Haden Church/Dwight
Yoakam (2014) See more
Trio in B-flat, D471
Written by Franz Schubert
Arranged by Nicholas Britell and Tim Fain
Performed by Tim Fain and Caitlin Sullivan
See more
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Was William Ford accurately portrayed in the movie?
Q: Did Solomon's kidnappers really drug him?
Q: Was Edwin Epps really as cruel as the movie portrays?
See more (Spoiler Alert!)
User Reviews
Masterpiece.... o_o;;
19 October 2013 | by carrotpie (United States) See all my reviews
so incredible.... the trailers don't do any justice to the film. it's so powerful lingering unconventional it presents so many variables to that
system one might not consider. the situations they show linger and you get the full effect of them too. you really get the sense that it is
based on an account. characters will appear and vanish. they will not have little arcs and get give the audience satisfaction. it just is what
it is. nothing is edited to bits either. this film is the work of a genius!
and about the musical selection, good lord. there are long bouts of silence and parts where it just freaks you out. it was really effective and
Getting Started | Contributor Zone
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hypnotizing. I was surprised to see Hans Zimmerman did the music. this is far beyond anything I've heard from him. Not the usual inception
foghorns or military hum drum. also a great deal of real folksongs incorporated into it. I love when films incorporate the actually used
folksongs. period pieces should be filled with music. when there were no modern devices people would sing!
people can't say that this is unrealistic either as it's an actual account. glad McQueen brought it to the public eye and in such an untethered
fashion. I'll probably watch this on repeat when it comes out. I'll have to check out McQueen's other films. haven't seen them yet for some
53 of 87 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No | Report this
Review this title | See all 358 user reviews
Message Boards
Recent Posts
Just watch Django instead Maynard777
Paul Dano completely wrong for this movie shaheen-abdouramane
Do black people get anything positive out of a movie like this? vaughnshady
Blacks should just get over it? marfrie56
Why not just free him. Bluefishtank2012
Epps carrying that little girl. crystalmora1121
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