Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
12 Angry Men
Life is in their hands. Death is on their minds.
The defense and the prosecution have rested and the jury is filing into the jury room to decide if a young Spanish-American is guilty or innocent of murdering his father. What begins as an open and shut case soon becomes a mini-drama of each of the jurors' prejudices and preconceptions about the trial, the accused, and each other.
12 reasons why 12 Angry Men is the best film of the 1950s:
1. It’s a high concept film that delivers beyond the unique hook to create compelling and flawed human characters.
2. The performances are sensational from Henry Fonda (empathetic and unwavering) attempting to change the minds of the other jurors, to the rest of the cast led by Lee J. Cobb. Considering it has such a sizeable main cast it is amazing how well developed each and everyone of them is with the lean script giving each of the perfectly cast actors a moment to shine.
3. It uses the claustrophobic single location to great effect, accentuating the sweltering heat and tense atmosphere amongst the conflicted men.
How do you ever begin to top a directorial debut such as this? Well Sidney Lumet certainly gave it is best shot over the years that followed creating an enviable filmography packed with cinematic gems. That he can turn a simplistic set-up of twelve men stuck together in a steaming hot room, into such a in-depth social, intellectual and thrilling 90 minutes speaks volumes for the man.
What does remain a mystery is how the creator of the screenplay Reginald Rose never even came close to this sort of standard again. His next project was 1957's Dino and then it was mostly back to the food and drink of TV scripts for the rest of his career. Whilst Lumet deserves…
Wow. Simply wow. There is no other way to articulate the feeling you get after watching 12 Angry Men, perhaps the zenith of Sidney Lumet's remarkably talented directorial career, even more amazing considering this was his debut feature. It's just one of those rare golden gems of a film that gets everything, literally everything, absolutely right. Script, direction, performances, tone, setting, story, the lot. It's perfect. It's exciting. It's gripping. It's meaningful. It's moving. And it may be close to sixty years old, but all of the many things it's trying to say remain relevant to our society, and sadly perhaps always will. This truly is a cinematic masterpiece that deals with not only the rule of law and it's…
There is a certain predictable inevitability when watching a classic when you're a bit older than the first time you watched it. You up the rating to reflect its classic status. I'm glad to say that this is also the case for 12 Angry Men.
The always underwatched Sidney Lumet's first feature film proves to be the first promise he made for all the marvellous films he has made after it. 12 Angry Men is a dialogue driven cross section of male America in the fifties and it is unflinching in how it dares portray the pettiness and weaker sides of us humans. Weaknesses that are still present some 50 years after this was…
Review In A Nutshell:
I was sceptic at first, thinking 12 Angry Men is over-hyped and that it wouldn't be as amazing as everyone says it is; which is how I felt with synonymous films like No Country For Old Men and North By Northwest, but right from the start, it captivated me. It starts off with the audience knowing very little of the situation aside from the fact that these men were appointed to decide whether or not the young boy accused on trial is guilty. Sidney Lumet's, the film's director, choice of having us know nothing of the trial is a smart approach that keeps our judgement pure, and…
12 Angry Men might possibly be one of the greatest films I have ever seen. Having said that I keep slapping my self, wondering why I haven't watched it sooner. I'm not too familiar with director Sidney Lumet considering he's way past my time, however after watching this I'm intrigued to see what other works he has out there. The acting was great, with a great cast including Henry Fonda and Lee J. Cobb.
12 Angry Men begins in the court room. A murder has happened and twelve jurors are tasked with judging weather or not the accused is guilty. Nearly the entire movie takes place in the jury room. Most of the men believe the accused is guilty, however…
I rank this film and Glengarry Glen Ross as some of the better single-room set films driven by incredible dialogue, acting, and overall performances.
Loses a little of its potency with age, but not much. Some of the attitudes may seem a little on-the-nose, but they're still common if not as prevalent as they were when the movie was made. Tremendous performances. An excellent lesson in the power of applied reasoning.
Written and adapted by Reginald Rose’s teleplay of the same name, this drama film was released on April 1957, where it was a box office disappointment at the time, grossing only one million dollars in rentals against a $340 thousand budget. Many critics believe that the rising popularity of color films contributed to its box office failing. It did, however, get released to critical acclaim and eventually found its audience on home video and television. Henry Fonda leads a group of unnamed jurors through a murder trial, over time convincing them one by one that the boy committing the murder is not guilty. Playing with all of his cards on the table, Henry Fonda is perfectly cast as Juror #8,…
I find this film guilty of being incred--- okay, I'll stop. But it is really, really good.
Oldie but a goodie.
Still one of the best
The opening shot pans to an very low angle looking up at the courthouse columns which makes the courthouse seem more daunting and entrapping than liberating. In the next shot the camera slowly pans down into the courthouse foyer, capturing people walking behind the rails of the second floor, before it goes from person to person in an almost frantic manner. I think one thing this movie suggests is that people in the modern world feel to busy and distracted to deliberate on the facts.
- 12 Angry Men
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- 25th Hour
- 3 Women
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
- The Godfather
- Seven Samurai
- The Godfather: Part II
- 12 Angry Men
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