12 Years a Slave

12 Years a Slave

  • 2013
  • R
  • 134 min
  • UK, USA
  • biography, drama, history

Solomon Northup, a free African-American, is promised a fortnightly job by Brown and Hamilton. However, after arriving in Washington DC, he realises that he has been sold into slavery.

Director: Steve McQueen

Writer: John Ridley

Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong'o, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano

Won 2014 Academy Awards Award for Best Picture

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.

Rotten Tomatoes
Paul Giamatti in 12 Years a Slave (2013) Paul Giamatti in 12 Years a Slave (2013) Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave (2013) 12 Years a Slave (2013) 12 Years a Slave (2013) 12 Years a Slave (2013)


  • Steve McQueen
    Steve McQueen
    Steve McQueen was born on October 9, 1969 in London, England as Steve Rodney McQueen. He is a director and writer, known for 12 Years a Slave (2013), Shame (2011) and Hunger (2008).

Main Cast


  • Jake Wilson (The Age)

    A film that, despite its surface simplicity, proves to be riven with contradictions to the point of incoherence.

  • David Sexton (London Evening Standard)

    Ejiofor projects extraordinary integrity, even nobility - and he holds the camera magnificently. It's a deeply inward, deeply felt performance, surely a cert for one of the many Oscars this film must win.

  • Paul Byrnes (Sidney Morning Herald)

    The film tells an irresistibly powerful story, in a way that does not shirk the horror. It is unbearable to watch at times, but that is as it should be.

  • Steven Rea (Philadelphia Inquirer)

    It speaks to the courage and resilience of one man, the savagery of many, and the potential, for both good and for ill, in us all.


Tagline: The extraordinary true story of Solomon Northup

Source: based on the novel by Solomon Northup

Certificate: R

Genres: biography, drama, history

Categories: slavery, plantation owner, slave trader, whipping, racism, kidnapping, human trafficking, cotton field, whip, plantation, night shift, violin player, physical abuse, cotton, slave owner, 19th century, sold into slavery, abolitionist


Producer: Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Brad Pitt, Anthony Katagas, Arnon Milchan, Bill Pohlad, Steve McQueen

Editor: Joe Walker

Casting: Francine Maisler, Meagan Lewis

Director of photography: Sean Bobbitt

Original music composer: Hans Zimmer

Costume design: Patricia Norris

Executive producer: John Ridley, Tessa Ross

Production design: Adam Stockhausen

Details and Technical Specs

Runtime: 134 min

Country: UK, USA

Language: English

Sound Mix: DTS, Dolby Digital, SDDS, Dolby Surround 7.1

Aspect Ratio: 2.35 : 1

Color: Color

Also Known As

  • 12 anni schiavo (IT)
  • 12 Anos Escravo (PT)
  • Zniewolony (PL)
  • 12 años de esclavitud (ES)