12 Angry Men ★★★★½

This film really points out the power behind our justice system. Innocent until proven guilty does have it's faults, but it is there for our protection. Almost every aspect of the trial was gone over well by the jury members and I could even see myself feeling as they did. The initial vote showed how popularity can coerce people into complying even if they really don't stand behind their consent. When one voice speaks out, it is often indicative of a problem that has been seen by a number of others who were too uncomfortable socially to bring it up. I myself have seen this in a number of situations where I've spoken out and where people have thanked me afterwards for doing so. Now, personally, I am a proud defender of the death penalty and I think there are numerous, highly ethical reasons for keeping it around. The film does a good job though of iterating that when we make these decisions, there is a real person on the other end of our words that will be forever effected by them, and so jury duty is not something to take lightly. The Fonda character generally was able to point out very reasonable doubt throughout the case, and the Marshall character was able to coherently be his foil up to the end. Obviously the prejudice and the bias of the jurors was a big stumbling block in the case, but these two were really the voices of reason for both sides, basically the prosecutor and defense attorney within the jury room. So many of the arguments put forth are not able to be proven (most can be easily disproven) and it's basically fantastic (in the ludicrous sense) that anyone else didn't immediately have reasonable doubts about the case. The main problem that I had with the not guilty verdict jurors was their movie remembering logic; that was pretty flimsily "disproven." However, not being able to remember the details about a film you saw recently really is not relevant in the first place to the trial in my opinion, so that objection is a bit of a moot point. The acting is great, the concept important, and it follows that it's impact also remains applicable to this day. Great film, everybody should see it.

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