"12 YEARS A SLAVE" (2013) (Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender) (R)
Drama: A free black man is kidnapped and sold into the 1840s slave trade where he must endure the hardships of living at and working on several Louisiana plantations.
It's 1841 and Solomon Northup (CHIWETEL EJIOFOR) is an educated black man living in Saratoga Springs, New York with his wife and two young children. An accomplished violinist, Solomon gets a temporary job offer from two men who ask him to play in their circus in Washington, D.C. With his wife and kids away from home for a bit, he thinks it sounds ideal. Little does he know that their plan is to drug him into submission and then sell him to a slave trader. Informed by others in the same horrific situation to play dumb and not reveal his intellect or true identity, Solomon reluctantly agrees to go by the name of Platt and ends up sold by slave trader Theophilus Freeman (PAUL GIAMATTI) to Louisiana plantation owner William Ford (BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH).
Ford is a highly religious man and treats Solomon with kindness despite owning him as property. Unfortunately, he can't control his head carpenter, John Tibeats (PAUL DANO), who views slaves as owned animals and doesn't like Solomon showing him any resistance. With that nearly ending in Solomon's lynching, Ford sells him to cotton farmer Edwin Epps (MICHAEL FASSBENDER), a hard-drinking, womanizing plantation owner whose obvious lust for slave Patsey (LUPITA NYONG'O) evokes an increasingly hostile jealousy in his wife, Mary (SARAH PAULSON).
Patsey sees something of a kindred spirit in Harriet Shaw (ALFRE WOODARD), the slave-turned-mistress of another plantation owner, but Edwin's treatment of her isn't as gentle. His treatment of all of his slaves doesn't sit well with Samuel Bass (BRAD PITT), a hired hand who works alongside Solomon doing carpentry work for Edwin.
As the years pass, Solomon must contend with brutal and savage racism, all while trying to keep his intellect hidden and hoping one day to see his family again.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're interested in the subject matter and/or are fans of anyone in the cast, they might. Otherwise, it doesn't seem too likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For violence/cruelty, some nudity and brief sexuality.
That's just the introduction of this review. We invite you to sign up for a FREE 3-day Pass into our Membership Site to our site so that you can finish reading the review (and the complete listings of all the Sex, Nudity, Profanity, Violence and more), as well as take a look at the thousands of other reviews on our site.
No credit card is needed and there's no obligation to continue after the 3 days (although we hope you'll like what you see and then join us as full members).
I have subscribed to ScreenIt for more than a decade. I check in every week to take advantage of their amazing services. Not only does their site provide a glimpse of exactly what content a movie offers, I've found the “Our Take” reviews and ratings for each movie to be right on the money every single time. I've referred dozens of friends to this service because my #1 resource for deciding whether or not to show a movie to my kids, or to see one myself, is ScreenIt.com!
Director, State of CA Public Sector
I signed up to get Screen It weekly reviews a long time ago, when my kids were young and I wanted to know more about movies before we went to a theater or rented. Now one child is in law school, other in undergraduate, and I still read the weekly Screen Its! It helps me know what my husband and I want to see or rent, and what to have waiting at home that we all will enjoy when my "kids" come home. I depend on Screen It reviews. They usually just present the facts and let me decide if the movie is appropriate or of interest for my family and me. Thank you for providing that service, Screen It!
Winston Salem, NC
I have 4 children who are now in college. I signed up for Screen It when my children were pre-teenagers. Often my children would ask to see a movie with a friend and I wished I could preview the movie prior to giving permission. A friend told me about ScreenIt.com and I found it to be the next best thing to previewing a movie. The amount of violence, sexual content, or language were always concerns for me and my husband as we raised innocent kids with morals. We constantly fought the peer pressure our kids received to see films that in our opinion were questionable. With the evidence we received at Screen It, our kids couldn't even fight us when we felt a film may have been inappropriate for them to watch. Thank you, Screen It. Continue to make this helpful service available to everyone, but especially the young parents.
Machesney Park, IL
Screenit.com is an amazing resource for parents, educators, church groups or anyone who wants to make an informed decision whether a movie is suitable for their viewing. The reviews and content descriptions are so detailed I am mystified how the reviewers can put them together.
I love screen It! I don't know what I would do without it. It is well worth the membership. Before we take our son to the movies we check it out on screen it first. Thank you SO much for making it. Keep up the good work & keep 'em coming!!!