All member reviews for 12 Years a Slave

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Common Sense Media says

Imperfect but must-see epic drama with major cruelty.

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Quality(i)

 

Users say

(out of 42 reviews)
AGE
14
QUALITY
 
Review this title!
Teen, 17 years old Written bySean Broucek October 24, 2013
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Poignant drama is not for squeamish moviegoers.

Parents, this emotionally gripping true story from the director of "Shame" is a must-see, with it's extraordinary performances and beautifully written dialogue, but the mature themes about slavery and nonsexual nudity is a better fit for teens. Violence includes an very brief rape scene, torture, and cruelty to humans, with some disturbing images. Sex includes slaves completely nude (breasts and buttocks shown), and a rape scene, that is very brief and ungraphic. Language includes "whore" and pervasive use of the "N" word. Check out this one. It is great. SUGGESTED MPAA RATING: Rated PG-13 For Mature Emotional Thematic Material, Violent Cruelty, Nudity, And Some Brief Sexual References
Adult Written byFilmFanatic October 20, 2013
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

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.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written bydoubleE November 3, 2013
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

12 Years a Slave is a Phenomenal and Brutal Film

My mom and I went to see this together. She was not sure wether to take me or not since it's R but the reason she wanted to take me was for the story and educational purpose. After the movie was over she was very glad she took me and I was glad I went. I am very mature for my age and was able to handle this movie but for most young teens and adults and myself, it's very brutal, disturbing and hard to handle. There is countless sayings of the "N" word, a brief rape scene that does not show anything graphic but it's heart breaking, full back and frontal nudity of both men and women (in the beggining of the movie). The sexual content of this movie, I was able to handle but was nothing compared to the violent cruelty. Many whipping scenes showing the graphic bloody aftermath, beatings and torture play a big role in this movie with characters treating slaves like dirt. Overall this movie is fantastic and powerful and eventually everyone should see this depending on their maturity but it's very hard to handle and a very heavy movie. The last 15 minutes of the movie are extremely emotional and no one could get out of their seats for 10 minutes after it was over. 12 Years a Slave WILL and MUST win best picture and not to be missed at some point.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 17 years old Written byletztalkmoveez November 17, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

A difficult but essential family viewing experience.

This is what I was waiting for from Steve McQueen, and what I knew he had the potential to deliver. I guess where "Shame" really lost me when it came to anything beyond its style, "12 Years a Slave" had the substance and gravitas to accompany that style. To be clear, the result of that accompaniment might not be as fluid as it should be -- at least in the first act -- but wow is it captivating. I'll never watch this movie again; that's a testament to its impact. These actors give some of the best performances I've ever seen, and as weird and wrong as this may sound, Steve McQueen and slavery were a match made in heaven.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 17 years old Written byB-KMastah November 4, 2013
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

So emotionally draining. So well made.

This is a very tough filmgoing experience, but it's a mandatory one. All of the performances are immaculate and the direction is exquisite, creating and extremely but appropriately emotionally draining film. It has no rewatch value and it intermediately drags for a total of about 20 minutes, but I was invested the whole time. I'm also usually quite cynical, but the content here never felt exploitative or masturbatory; it was all justified. And with that, I was crying for about half of the time, starting from about five minutes in. It's so well made that I felt tired and wiped out leaving the theater. It's extremely rare that I would see this again, but it does have to be seen. All of the acting has to been seen to believe. 9/10, amazing, two thumbs up, far above average, etc.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 17 years old Written byBestPicture1996 December 1, 2013
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

A devastating picture that weighs on you

Steve McQueen's sure-to-be Oscar winning film hit me like a ton of bricks when the credits rolled. McQueen takes you on a journey as you witness the perfectly innocent freeman Solomon Northup being abducted and sold into slavery, as he endures a kind master, a near hanging, and one of the most despicable couples that the cinema's ever had, played by the fiery, fantastic Michael Fassbender and the truly revolting Sarah Paulson, who deserve a pair of Oscars along with newcomer Lupita Nyong'o, a slave woman equipped with one of the most tragic lives ever. The film showcases Solomon's determination to not break even though every person, every master, every slave is basically telling him to conform and lose hope. While this movie is nearly un-watchable in its brutality, its essential viewing for those who need to know how things really were in those days, the days America, for all its good deeds, will never, ever scrub away.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Adult Written byPoetic Ramblings January 8, 2014
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

DO NOT LET YOUR 14 YEAR OLD WATCH THIS

This movie, while it is well, acted, well written, and shows an important and beyond gut wrenching part of our history, should not be watched by children. I was nearly 18 when I saw this film and it is, and I can't emphasize this enough, extremely intense. You will walk out of it feeling like you've been run over by a train. Graphic violence, sex, torture.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old January 6, 2014
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

A must see for all who can handle it.

A few months ago I went to see 12 Years a Slave with my parents and grandmother. Even though my parents were slightly hesitant in the beginning, seeing as we'd heard from friends that it was brutal and difficult to watch, my persistence won over and we decided to go. And it was every bit brutal and difficult to watch as we had heard. I do not think this is a movie that you can say, "You must be ___ years old to watch it," it has very little to do with age. I myself am 12, but my parents and I thought I could handle it, and I did. Some of my parents' friends could not. It is more about how much inhumanity people can watch. If you are a parent reading this, it is ultimately your choice about whether or not your child watches it, but perhaps have a talk with him/her before making your decision - they may be able to sit through more than you expect. However, there are a few things to be wary of. In the beginning of the movie, at a slave auctioning, full frontal and back nudity is visible of both the men and women. In the very beginning of the film, the married protagonist and father of two is shown having intercourse with another slave. No nudity is visible, but it is very clear what is going on. Language is used throughout, with frequent uses of racist remarks. Violence is the most prevalent issue, as well as disturbing images (i.e. whip marks, bloody backs, paddle scars, etc.). Though difficult to watch, 12 Years a Slave is most definitely worth watching, especially with more mature children/teenagers. It is touching, and keeps you on the edge of your seat as you feel an inkling of the pain Solomon goes through blossom in your own heart, from the absolutely brilliant actors and script. Five Stars. -K
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 16 years old Written byBring education January 9, 2014
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Demanding education

Even though myself as a child it is quite educational to know what it was really like back in the time of slavery,racism and brutality i would even like to study it in school but no one has mentioned it because it was a horrible time for the human race and simply to violent.So i think children above 13 years would be able to see what it was really like and of course you cant keep your child/teenager from everything that is bad, show them what it was really like back in the day
Teen, 14 years old Written byJimmy brew March 2, 2015
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Graphic cruelty in true historical film

My rating:R for violence,cruelty and some nudity
Parent of a 11 and 14 year old Written bysteveEng February 20, 2015
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

Not well Directed

I did not like this movie as I think the directing was not good. The story from the film is good but is not appropriate for kids. There is violence and rape with in this movie.
Teen, 16 years old Written bythelastsamurairocks February 18, 2015
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

an astounding and tear jerking look at slavery

Contrary to what commonsense media rated this it's better to watch it at fifteen. There is full frontal nudity (though breasts are visible genitals are shadowed and not detailed), a rape scene and brutal violence. i found the movie to be amazing and very well made.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Kid, 11 years old January 24, 2015
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Great movie!

I'm 11, I watched this with my mother and I thought it was really good but it's a pretty sad movie so if you don't like sad movies you might not want to watch this. It is VERY good so if you are 11+ then its probably okay to watch this movie. There were some pretty incredible characters who had to manage very harsh situations, and they handled it pretty well. There is some nice scenery and the acting is very good. The fact that it's based on a real story makes it more sad but also inspiring.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 14 years old Written byMovieGuy2570 January 20, 2015
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Drama About The Slave Trade Is A Must See For All

12 Years A Slave is probably the best adaption of the slave trade I have ever seen just beating Django Unchained on my top list. Despite the strong violent scenes and torture, the movie is good to educate teens about the slave trade and the incredible story of Solomon Northup [A good role model as he pushes and will do anything to get his freedom to escape the cruel nightmarish world of the slave trade he was wrongly placed into] .There are strong racist terms throughout the movie [100s of uses of the racist term N*****] as well as frequent discriminatory language. There is some non sexual nudity at an auction where slaves are sold [we see there gentiatlia an d breasts]. However, I warn parents that they may want to shield young kids from the disturbing sex scene between a cruel plantation owner and a slave and a disturbing hanging scene where 3 slaves are hanged. Overall, this is an outstanding movie and should be viewed by everybody at some point.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written byzeekattacklee January 19, 2015
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

12 years a slave review..

This film was considerably interesting.. But, due to it’s graphic content. Parents need to use strong judgement when letting their young adults watch. Otherwise, it is a pretty great film for mature teenagers..
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 12 years old January 10, 2015
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

12 Years a Slave is brutal, yet amazing.

I loved 12 Years a Slave. A lot of scenes in the movie are sad and are hard to watch, yet it's still a wonderful film.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 10 years old December 18, 2014
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Great but...

How can you give this movie a 3-5 language? Would you like to be sworn at that many times? Even saying the 3-5 violence made me think it wasn't as violent as other movies I've seen.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Adult Written bykipwalker44 November 3, 2014
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

Excellent, powerful historical drama has great messages, but too violent for young teens

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent of a 13 and 16 year old Written bynuenjins September 16, 2014
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

True story or means to an end?

We all can agree that slavery in it's day around the world was a crime against a people who were abused and essentially imprisioned. This film claims to be an accurate account of Northups book of the same name and although it may be' from' him, is it an imbelishment that at the time was a means to a good end that in todays context perhaps does little else than raise rising and politically driven racial tensions that the media has been feeding on. " The conception of the artist, as someone who subjects his audience to suffering, is distinctly postmodernist and distinctly false. It is an evasion of the artist’s central responsibility, which is not to inflict a given experience, but to arrive at its truth." Keeping in mind the seldom told fact that many "white" people died to defend their belief and end slavery going to war but is rarely mentioned or minimized as it is not a sensationalised concept with not political edge to be exploited.. This film is gory, aweful and the director admits to inflicting as much uncomfortability as he could whether imbelished or not. So on it's artistic merit claiming to be truely "true" is really what gives the movie it's legs. It is without a doubt a good 'movie' and not for kids. But to go to the origins there are accounts that suggest that this was used at this time period to horrify people who approved of slavery and change their minds. That is good reason. But there is good reason from original dictation that there was an exspectation of imbelishing and even lying in the original account and that Northup was treated quite well and then lived most of his life very happy. This does not justify slavery but serves to give example as to why the 'movie' was done and what reason. To ignore these accounts and then place those ideas in modern cinema with a director wanting to pervey the mistreatment (and that only) of the account call credability and reasoning in to question, hence capitalizing on racial tensions, guilt and emotion for profitability. Whether you like it as a film depends on if you take it as a well done piece of art or somtheing more and if you believe it to be true in the most sincere and honest sense.
Teen, 13 years old Written byklassykinksgal September 16, 2014
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Great But Depends On Th Child (SPOILER ALERT)

It is such an outstanding and moving movie! One of the best I've seen! Though there is A LOT of cruelty and intense content. In one of the scenes of the movie, it showed actor Lupita Nyng'o getting whipped by her master, whipped horribly. It is important that you are sure that your child is mature enough to watch it. Good thing is there is very little sex and it gives you a little bit of history showing how it was to be a slave.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence

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