Metacritic Movie Ratings
12 Years a Slave Reviews

5.0

97

out of 100

Metascore®
Universal acclaim
Based on a weighted average of all critic review scores.

A sample of reviews from critics across the country.

  • 100

    out of 100

    USA TodayClaudia Puig

    The harrowing 12 Years a Slave is a mesmerizing period drama for the ages.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    VarietyPeter Debruge

    Though the film brims with memorable characters, the show ultimately belongs to Ejiofor, who upholds the character’s dignity throughout.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    TimeRichard Corliss

    A document that is raw, eloquent, horrifying and essential.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    The New YorkerDavid Denby

    12 Years a Slave is easily the greatest feature film ever made about American slavery.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Wall Street JournalJoe Morgenstern

    Movie audiences have never been presented with anything quite like the intertwined beauty and savagery of 12 Years a Slave.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago TribuneMichael Phillips

    While this is very much a McQueen picture, with visual flourishes and motifs unmistakably his, the historical urgency and staggering injustice of the events keep McQueen and company utterly honest in their approach and in their collective act of imagining Solomon Northup's odyssey to hell and back.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    The Hollywood ReporterTodd McCarthy

    Perhaps the nature of the story is such that the film can’t help but be obvious and quite melodramatic at times, but it gets better as it goes along and builds to a moving finish.

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See all 12 Years a Slave movie reviews at Metacritic.com

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