12 Angry Men

12 Angry Men ★★★★★

For the first little bit of this film I found myself looking at the time and wondering why people love this SO much. I was shut up on that because as this film goes on it becomes incredibly clear why this is regarded as one of the all time greats. Lumet plays this legal drama almost like a whodunnit but also like a battle. We see the Henry Fonda's character slowly but surely gain traction where at first he seemed ridiculous. As the story progressed there were countless times that my heart was racing or I was getting excited about points I thought people were going to make. The cinematography and blocking of the film does a great job in aligning the viewer with these men and making the most of the tight space they fill, which makes every dramatic turn one makes all the more exciting, and helps the tension each one feels at points resonate somewhat viscerally. Perhaps where I find this film most impressive though is how relevant its themes are. My biggest takeaway is the toxicity of closed-mindedness, a theme that I think Lumet does an incredible job in developing. I found myself constantly frustrated with those voting not guilty, despite them having all the reason in the world to. Fonda's character and the last juror to cave come at the problem from such different ways and it shows the strength of calm and cool demeanor over overt yelling and judgement. Thematically, stylistically, and in every other way one can critique a film, this is a masterpiece and is pretty much a perfect film

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