An 18 year old boy, a judge, lawyers and a 12 man jury make up the cast of this powerful drama/thriller. Amid an ensemble cast of household names of actors, a powerful portrayal of the justice system is delivered to us. It’s a movie that doesn’t preach at you but rather simply shows you a slice of time in a jury room, letting you make the calls about what is going on. One distinct, often difficult truth about a jury is that they must all agree. If even one dissents, it is called a hung jury and there is a mistrial. A question I had about 1/3 of the way through was: “Do Americans care enough when they are part of a jury even when the stakes are the death penalty?” (scroll past photo for rest of review)
Our director is Sidney Lumet, a master of cinema. He has directed and otherwise worked with hundreds of amazing films. A recent one I reviewed on my podcast was “Before the Devil Knows Your Dead.” During his lifelong career, he passed in 2011, he filmed almost exclusively in his hometown of New York and had a reputation for bringing the best performances out of his actors. “12 Angry Men” will always stand, in my opinion, as a pinnacle achievement of his.
The plot begins with an 18 year old boy’s case in court. He is accused of murdering his father by a brutal stabbing. A well-recognized cast is on the jury and we are like a “fly on the wall” watching them interact, deliberating. There are peak points where the jury men argue and present opposing views. It seems that some think the accused is guilty automatically after being accused. That is a dangerous reality we face in our system. Would these men rather stay a few days longer or would they just enter a common judgment they don’t believe just to go home and get it over with?
This is a black and white film with an amazing star cast you can check out below. I highly recommend this thriller/Drama to you 10/10.
12 Angry Men (1957)
Approved | 1h 36min | Crime, Drama | April 1957 (USA)
12 Angry Men Poster
1:35 | Trailer
1 VIDEO | 71 IMAGES
From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video
A jury holdout attempts to prevent a miscarriage of justice by forcing his colleagues to reconsider the evidence.
Director: Sidney Lumet
Writers: Reginald Rose (story), Reginald Rose (screenplay)
Stars: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Martin Balsam