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…
12 Angry Men is definitely one of the most astonishing dramas I've seen. It has a simple premise, but all the discussions between the jurors were just so captivating and revealing. I liked how they always went back and forth with the case, gathering as many details as possible to find out if there was any room for doubt with the facts presented. Not only director Sidney Lumet masterfully orchestrated an intriguing story filled with little twists, but he also investigated very thoroughly how prejudice and preconceived notions could be in the way of realizing the level of uncertainty of the facts.
The performances here were truly remarkable, being another strength of the film. Each juror had unique personality traits…
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…
12 Angry Men's biggest advantage is its agelessness. It could have been filmed last year and it still wouldn't be any more modern than it already is. It never once seems constrained by the time period it was filmed in. Its issues are as pertinent today as they have always been. And its lack of theatricality makes it completely timeless.
The film has a simple premise: a jury of twelve gets together to decide whether or not to send an accused youth to the electric chair. It seems like an open and shut case - all the evidence is against the boy, and nobody feels otherwise. Except for the one man who votes not guilty. It's never quite clear why…
This fucking movie, man.
This fucking movie is literally just 12 dudes arguing in a room for an hour and a half, and somehow it manages to be one of the very best things I have ever seen. It's more exhilarating, more exciting, and more riveting than just about anything I've ever had the pleasure of viewing, and, as I said, it's nothing more than a bunch of guys arguing for an hour and a half.
What the fucking fuck.
Want to know why this anomalous creation exists? Want to know why it's so fantastic? Its script and its characters. We don't even know the names of these characters, and yet the writing is so sharp and the…
Sidney Lumet's directorial debut is a dramatically effective classic. 12 Angry Men is a masterpiece in debate and dialogue. A well crafted sociological study, realistic portrayal of groupthink, incredible performances from 12 actors, filmed almost entirely in one room. The movie lived up to its reputation.
Its the detective movie to end all detective movies, the movie that puts every Crime scene/court room TV show to shame. But its not just 12 jurors arguing over the life of a suspect, its a film showing the flaws and bias of mankind in its purest nature. Cramped together in a room for hours arguing over a man's innocence, you see the beliefs, morals, and personalities of twelve complete strangers completely brought into the open, shaping their ideologies around a twisting and changing witness account of the crime scene. It's all speculation, but they way these ordinary people are able to delve so masterfully into a crime scene and piece together evidence and information solely with the materials…
Saw this ages ago and thought it was alright, but returning to this it really is a fantastic film, and it's impressive how every juror is pretty well fleshed out within the span of ~90 minutes.
Kid was totally guilty though.
In form, "12 Angry Men" is a courtroom drama. In purpose, it's a crash course in those passages of the Constitution that promise defendants a fair trial and the presumption of innocence. It has a kind of stark simplicity: Apart from a brief setup and a briefer epilogue, the entire film takes place within a small New York City jury room, on "the hottest day of the year," as 12 men debate the fate of a young defendant charged with murdering his father.
The film shows us nothing of the trial itself except for the judge's perfunctory, almost bored, charge to the jury. His tone of voice indicates the verdict is a foregone conclusion. We hear neither prosecutor nor defense…
One of those timeless classics that has never really become dated.
I've seen angrier.
One room, 12 characters, attention troughout.
[2014 Movie challenge: entry #44]
This is absolutely amazing.
And it's crazy how much it's still accurate and actual now, almost 60 years after this film was actually made.
Henry Fonda, you sir rock so much it hurts
How interesting can a courtroom drama be if almost the entire movie takes place in the jury room? Well, as director Sidney Lumet demonstrates here, it can be pretty darn interesting. In fact, this heated talkative drama over the fate of a boy who appears on screen for only a few minutes proves itself to be one of the most compelling movies of all time. 12 Angry Men proves that Hollywood films do not need a large budget, special effects, breathtaking sets, or even an overly-intricate story to make a five-star film. All you need is a talented group of people who believe in the movie they're involved in.
Why do I think 12 Angry Men is a masterpiece? Several…
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All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1154. An easy way of seeing how…
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