12 Years A Slave

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Contains strong violence, injury detail, sex, nudity and

About this Film

'12 Years A Slave' recounts the remarkable true story of Solomon Northup, a free man duped and sold into slavery, enduring 12 nightmarish years before attaining freedom.

Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as the tormented lead, documenting Northup's incredible fight to survive, as well as his struggle to return to the life of liberty he led before his capture. While enslaved, Solomon tries to retain his dignity under the cruel brutality of an evil plantation owner (Michael Fassbender) and formulate a plan to regain his old life.

'12 Years A Slave' is the third highly anticipated feature from BAFTA-winning director Steve McQueen (Shame).

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  • Released on
  • Genre
  • Cast members
    Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael K. Williams, Michael Fassbender
  • Running time
    134 minutes
  • Directed by
    Steve McQueen
  • Language

Reviews & Ratings

Reviews in the press

Total Film - 4/5 Stars

Steve McQueen’s labour of love

Steve McQueen’s direction can feel like having your hand held up to a flame. Your reflex is to recoil, but McQueen’s unflinching camera holds you in place, forcing you to experience the physical disintegration of Hunger’s Bobby Sands or the self-flagellating excesses of Shame’s sex addict, Brandon.

12 Years A Slave, the brutal and terrifying true story of a free man sold into slavery in 1840s Louisiana, is no exception – yet it’s not the film you expect from McQueen, either. Where Sands and Brandon were both at the centre of their own character study, Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Solomon is closer to an observer – dwarfed by the people he meets and the sweeping canvas he inhabits.

To read the full Total Film review select this link (opens in a new window).

Summary of customer ratings

(UK & Ireland)

Rate it yourself


Reviewer: Flicker FanDate: 2014-03-18

A predictable tale thats been told better many times before. Django for example was much better. The lead acting roles are very well done and deserves recognition. But I found the story long, tedious and frankly, rather boring.

Great Acting

Reviewer: WendelenaDate: 2014-02-28

Excellent acting but unfortunately it was a little stretched out, some scenes were a little over cooked and it ended as I predicted. I know based on a true story it's difficult to deviate. Still it made me cry.

Powerful, moving

Reviewer: made me sleepDate: 2014-02-26

Steve McQueen holds back no punches in this unflinching tale of a free man who is kidnapped and forced into slavery. He delivers a masterful tale that will leave you emotionally drained, due to how powerful it is. Chiwetel Ejiofor gives a career best performance as Solomon Northup, the kind which should put him as the frontrunner for the Best Actor award. Michael Fassbender is utterly terrifying as the slave owner who justifies his actions with bible verses, believing it to be the lords will. Epps is an unpredictable man, able to go from calm to frightening in the blink of an eye. Lupita Nyong'o definitely earns her nomination for best supporting actress, but Sarah Paulson is just as deserving, being criminally underrated as Epps' wife. This is the kind of film that deserves a watch, to educate and inform on the horrors which humanity was responsible for in the past. Just as Schindlers List was the definitive film to showcase the horrors of Nazi times, Steve McQueen has given us the definitive film to showcase the horrors of slavery. One of the best films I have ever seen.


Reviewer: critictooDate: 2014-02-25

Not for me. TV Roots far superior. Depicted someone (Ejiofor) who didn't care much about anyone other than his own comfy life until he was enslaved. There followed a series of contrived set piece scenes that didn't involve me at all.

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