Where and When Can You See '12 Years a Slave'?

12 Years a Slave clip and release cities
Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures

12 Years a Slave will begin hitting theaters on October 18 and it's beginning to look like I was very fortunate in seeing it in Toronto as a Seattle press screening has yet to be scheduled and, based on the current list of cities where the film will begin playing, it looks like Seattle audiences may have to wait for the November 1 nationwide release.

Just below is a new clip from the Steve McQueen's much-loved film along with a list of the cities and theaters where the film will begin screening on the 18th and I am quite surprised Seattle isn't on the list even though the studio does say additional cities for the expansion on the 25th will be announced. Clearly there are two goals for Fox Searchlight here, the first of which being money, but they also have an Oscar campaign to consider.

Coming out of the Toronto Film Festival where 12 Years won the People's Choice Award many were quick to declare it the Best Picture winner, forgetting there were still three months of films left to be released. Now it must plot out a campaign that keeps it at the tip of everyone's tongue and figure out a way to get general audience members to see what is an extraordinarily tough film to watch. Here's the quote from my review I ran with for the last trailer that was released:

[W]hat must absolutely be mentioned and reiterated is the absolute horror this movie is to watch. A scene involving a hanging leaves a man dangling, with only the tips of his toes negotiating the muddy ground below serving as the difference between life and possible death. Choking and gasping for air, the soft squish of the wet mud is like needles in your ears. McQueen and cinematographer Sean Bobbitt first focus on his feet, then move to a wide shot as fellow slaves in the background get back to work, leaving the man to hang, afraid to interfere. A couple white people stare from the plantation windows and porch, the whole time the wet squish beneath the man's feet continues as he chokes for a sliver of air. The scene goes on, and on, and on.

Similarly, a scene where another character is whipped, the flesh ripped from their skin into bloody tendrils, is one I had to close my eyes during. Yet, the sound of leather on flesh remained. I stopped counting at 35 lashes before it ended, I maybe saw ten of them with my own eyes, but couldn't avoid the sound of the other 25.

Now check out the clip below, which also features Michael K. Williams.


Los Angeles
Cinemark Baldwin Hills
Arclight Hollywood

New York
AMC Empire 25
Lincoln Plaza
Regal Union Square

Landmark Century Centre
Cinemark Evanston 18
Showplace Icon

Washington, D.C.
Regal Gallery Place
Landmark Bethesda Row
Majestic Silver Springs

Regal Atlantic Station (TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW)
AMC Phipps Plaza
Landmark Midtown
AMC Southlake Pavilion



Dallas/Ft. Worth
* Theaters TBD--more cities to be added soon

  • http://letterboxd.com/gman/ G-Man

    It doesn't impact me, but what the heck? That limited release is kind of annoying.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/StephanieB/ StephanieB

    It is tentatively scheduled for November 1st in at the Enzian in Maitland, FL. I have a feeling I will have to wait even longer since there is usually one or two movies a year that draw huge crowds to the theater and I have a feeling this is it.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Xarnis/ Xarnis

    October 25th is still too far away

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Kessler/ Kessler

    Looks like I'll have to wait until the 25th, but I'm fine with that. I still have to catch up with Rush, Gravity, and Prisoners anyway.

  • http://couchpotatodigest.blogspot.com Matt Taylor

    I could take a trip into the city and see it at AMC Empire 25 during its opening weekend, but I don't think I'll have the time to do that. Unfortunately, I'll probably just have to wait for November 1st.

  • http://letterboxd.com/criterion10/ Criterion10

    An independent theater in my area is getting it on October 25th, so I'm happy. Strange that it isn't among the ones listed though.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/TheLastEquivocationofBrist/ TheLastEquivocationofBrist

    Give me Tampa/St. Pete/Sarasota or give me death! I really hope we get Blue is the Warmest Color down here too.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/TheLastEquivocationofBrist/ TheLastEquivocationofBrist

      Oh I just read the rest of the article and saw there's a nationwide release on 11/1 haha. Hopefully nothing to worry about with me seeing 12 Years then. Blue and All is Lost though, I'm worried...

      • http://themoviegurusblog.blogspot.com The Movie Guru

        All is Lost is getting a nationwide release on October 25, according to its website.

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/TheLastEquivocationofBrist/ TheLastEquivocationofBrist

          Wow that's actually somewhat surprising. I'm glad to hear it though. Thanks!

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Art/ Art

    That sucks, who knows when we will be getting around the El Paso, TX area. Also sucks that the frontrunner for Best Picture is so limited.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Art/ Art

      Thanks Equivocationofbrist, I guess 11/1 ain't that bad. Hope to get it then.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ian/ Ian

    Yeah if it's going nationwide on Nov. 1 I'm not too worried. Searchlight has a sketchy track record with platform releases though...I can still remember how badly they butchered 127 Hours three years ago, though that didn't have this much buzz.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Adu/ Adu

    This really sucks...but then I did travel 70 miles to watch The Master last year, and it was worth it!

  • IngmarTheBergman

    Yay, Varsity, Toronto is my favorite theater.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/navaneethks/ navaneethks

    I am happy that it's at least getting a nationwide release!

  • PJ Edwards

    Looking forward to the 25th! About 100 pages into book and it is pretty crazy.

  • http://www.smartfilm.blogspot.com SmartFilm

    Brad, what is the deal with this not coming to Seattle? There's not evening a press screening that's been scheduled yet. Any idea what's going on/what the mindset behind that move is?

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Corbin/ Corbin

    Nope. It's probably gonna be here the 1st.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/andyluvsfilms/ andyluvsfilms

    I'm happy to see it when the buzz and the crowds die down a bit, I seem to have a more pleasant cinema experience when I do that, especially for a film like this.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/TheLastEquivocationofBrist/ TheLastEquivocationofBrist

    Wait, Michael K. Williams is in this movie too? My anticipation level shot up to 110%.

    Omar comin'

  • JohnMac13

    When can we expect it in Europe?

  • Good Grief

    I live five minutes away from the the Majestic theater in Silver Spring and, sadly, I'm in the UK when it gets a release! Balls.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/TheJackal/ The Jackal

    If you could consider posting release information for all of North America (Canada, and in my case: Mexico), Brad, it would be a great help. Thanks

    Thems the facts

  • Tom Cavendish

    Great. I won't have the opportunity to see it for months, but Insidious 2 and Meet the Millers will probably run through Christmas.

  • Camille

    absolutely ridiculous What is up with this limited release?

  • Rosetta

    I'm in Tampa, FL and was expecting it to open this weekend and am disappointed to find out it's not.

  • Hana

    I really would like to see it but it does not come to Oklahoma. I would really like to see it in Oklahoma.

  • rosie1843

    It's still not at my local theaters. And it has been in "wide" release for the past 10 days.