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.
Jean A. Black
Hans Zimmer - Composer
Leslie Shatz - Sound Design, ELEPHANT (2003)
John Ridley - Writer, Director
Anthony Katagas - Producer, THIS SO-CALLED DISASTER (2004)
Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. - Harvard Professor
Sean Bobbit - Director of Photography, LAWLESS HEART (2002)
Steven T. Ritzi
Nikki Brown - Makeup
Lex D. Geddings
Steve McQueen - Director/screenwriter
Ryan Collins - Sound Effects Editor; Re-Recording Mixer
Marc Macaulay - Actor/"Hidden Fears"
Brad Pitt - American actor/producer, INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE
William Bradley Pitt - American actor/producer, INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE
Alfre Woodard - American actress
Christopher Berry - Actor
Bryan Batt - American Actor/"Jeffrey"
Sarah Paulson - American Actress/ LEVITATION
Garret Dillahunt - TV actor, DEADWOOD, E.R.
Michael Kenneth Williams - Actor
Benedict Cumberbatch - Star, AMAZING GRACE (2007)
Douglas M. Griffin
Paul Dano - American actor, THE EMPEROR'S CLUB (2002)
Scoot McNairy - Actor
Michael Fassbender - German actor, HUNGER
Kelsey Scott - Actor; Screenwriter; Screen Story
Lee Nicholas Harris
Marcus Lyle Brown
Mister Mackey Jr.
Liza J. Bennett
Thomas Francis Murphy
Kelvin Harrison Jr.
Scott M. Jefferson
Isaiah Jackson - Actor
Devin Maurice Evans
"The movie is astonishing for its dramatic power, and unsparing in its depiction of the brutality visited on Solomon and his fellow slaves..." - 09/05/2013 Wall Street Journal
"McQueen's juxtaposition of intensely savage scenes with lush natural beauty, interlaced with ambient sound, is a disturbingly vivid filmmaking choice." - 10/30/2013 USA Today
"Its at once a familiar, utterly strange and deeply American story....A story that seizes you almost immediately with a visceral force." - 10/18/2013 New York Times
"[A]n agonizingly magnificent movie....12 YEARS A SLAVE lets us stare at the primal sin of America with open eyes..." -- Grade: A - 10/25/2013 Entertainment Weekly
4 stars out of 4 -- "As Solomon, Ejiofor gives an electrifying performance that will be talked about for years." - 10/24/2013 Rolling Stone
"[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." - 10/17/2013 Wall Street Journal
"[A] film about great bravery, featuring some of the bravest performances youll ever have the privilege to witness." - 10/17/2013 Chicago Sun-Times
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 -- Americas primal wound." - 10/17/2013 Washington Post
"Ejiofors soulful performance is rightly being discussed as a Best Actor frontrunner..." - 01/06/2013 Total Film
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." Empire
"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..." - 01/17/2014 Uncut
"[McQueen's] is a decidedly high style -- every image has been precisely calibrated, tailored to fit a consonant aesthetic." - 02/01/2014 Sight and Sound