12 Years a Slave

Movie review by S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
12 Years a Slave Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 15+

Imperfect but must-see epic drama with major cruelty.

R 2013 134 minutes

Parents say

age 16+

Based on 13 reviews

Kids say

age 14+

Based on 49 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 18+

I would not want children to watch this

This is a good movie for adults, but not children. This is a very intense movie about American slavery. There is full nudity, rape scenes, disturbing violence and murder. As an adult it was difficult to watch.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
1 person found this helpful.
age 15+

Touching movie, but intense

Fantastic movie but has some really intense scenes/themes that may not be suitable for younger teens. Positive Role Model/Message- Solomon proves to be great role model and brings a great message to the movie. He presses on even through hard and seemingly unbearable times in the hopes of seeing his family again. Bass's views on slavery and the differences between white and black people also makes him a worthy role model. Violence- Very brutal beating/whipping scenes with harsh results. The viewer usually doesn't see the wound being directly inflicted, as the camera angle is opposite of the actual contact. You can. however see the gory after affects, whipping sounds, pained faces and even blood spray from the more savage hits. A woman slave asks another slave to end her life because she is suffering so much at the hands of her master. A man is hung by the neck on his toes for an extended scene before his is cut down. (He is okay.) In a scene, a few slaves are hung and we see their bodies convulse briefly. The violence is intense and realistic. Sex/Nudity- There are two sex scenes. One consensual and lasts about 20-30 seconds and another of the same length that borderlines on rape (She doesn't fight back but it is implied she doesn't have much of a choice in the matter.) None of these scenes have nudity. There are a few scenes of nudity, but they are non-sexual. Slaves are washing up and bare butts and breasts can be scene. In a slave market, the slaves are sold nude so that their potential buyers can inspect them. Again, butts and breasts can be seen. Language- Frequent uses of mild to moderate language such as the N word and one use of b*tch. The N word is used very frequently in a negative manner.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
1 person found this helpful.

Movie Details

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