- Rated: R
- Run Time: 2 hours, 14 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: March 4, 2014
- Originally Released: 2013
- Label: Fox Searchlight
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Note: The Team - Meet the creative minds assembled by Director Steve McQueen and bring Solomon Northrup's journey to life
- The Score - Follow film Composer Hans Zimmer creating his dramatic score
- Dual Layer
- Aspect Ratio: Widescreen - 2.39
- Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo - English, French, Spanish
- Dolby Digital 5.1 - English, French, Spanish
- Subtitles - English, Spanish
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Paul Dano &
Garret Dillahunt &
Arnon Milchan &
Wall Street Journal - 09/05/2013
"The movie is astonishing for its dramatic power, and unsparing in its depiction of the brutality visited on Solomon and his fellow slaves..."
USA Today - 10/30/2013
"McQueen's juxtaposition of intensely savage scenes with lush natural beauty, interlaced with ambient sound, is a disturbingly vivid filmmaking choice."
New York Times - 10/18/2013
"It's at once a familiar, utterly strange and deeply American story....A story that seizes you almost immediately with a visceral force."
Entertainment Weekly - 10/25/2013
"[A]n agonizingly magnificent movie....12 YEARS A SLAVE lets us stare at the primal sin of America with open eyes..." -- Grade: A
Rolling Stone - 10/24/2013
4 stars out of 4 -- "As Solomon, Ejiofor gives an electrifying performance that will be talked about for years."
Wall Street Journal - 10/17/2013
"[I]t seems certain to transcend the movie realm and become a new reference point in contemporary culture -- The film is amazing, and in every way good."
Chicago Sun-Times - 10/17/2013
"[A] film about great bravery, featuring some of the bravest performances you'll ever have the privilege to witness."
Washington Post - 10/17/2013
4 stars out of 4 -- "Intense, unflinching, bold in its simplicity and radical in its use of image, sound and staging, 12 YEARS A SLAVE is in many ways is the defining epic so many have longed for to examine -- if not cauterize -- America's primal wound."
Total Film - 01/06/2013
"Ejiofor's soulful performance is rightly being discussed as a Best Actor frontrunner..."
4 stars out of 5 -- "12 YEARS A SLAVE is history lesson as horror film, powerful, visceral and affecting. And after years of being great in everything, Chiwetel Ejiofor shines in a lead worthy of his immense talent."
Uncut - 01/17/2014
"12 YEARS A SLAVE is entirely successful -- it is a sober, non-judgmental study that does not preach to audiences. In contains many powerful and lasting images..."
Sight and Sound - 02/01/2014
"[McQueen's] is a decidedly high style -- every image has been precisely calibrated, tailored to fit a consonant aesthetic."
Steve McQueen's 12 YEARS A SLAVE stars Chiwetel Ejifor as Solomon Northup, a free black man in 1840s America. He makes his living as a fiddle player, and his wife is a teacher. He is shanghaied by a pair of nefarious white men, and soon finds himself on a ship headed to New Orleans where he is informed he will be called Platt and is sold into slavery by an unscrupulous businessman (Paul Giamatti). As he toils away for the kindhearted but conflicted plantation owner Mr. Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch), who recognizes that Platt is both educated and an artist, he butts head with Ford's underlings, especially the casually cruel Tibeats (Paul Dano). After they have a violent altercation, Ford fears for his slave's life and sells him to Mr. Epps (Michael Fassbender), an alcoholic sadist who owns a cotton plantation.
Though Epps reads from the bible to his property, as he frequently refers to his slaves, he is himself not immune to sins of the flesh. He has taken the young Patsey (Lupita Nyong'o) - his best cotton picker -- as his lover, and this doesn't sit well at all with his severe wife (Sarah Paulson), whose particular hatred for blacks and her jealousy fuels her many degrading actions toward Patsey. Solomon bides his time, attempts to preserve a modicum of self-respect, and waits for the chance to reclaim his rightful name as well as his family.