12 Angry Men

12 Angry Men

1957 | Sidney Lumet

The jury in a New York City murder trial is frustrated by a single member whose skeptical caution forces them to more carefully consider the evidence before jumping to a hasty verdict.

Average rating   8 out of 10

(2.19) The Irishman | (2.08) A Time to Kill | (1.62) Inside Man | (1.62) The Town | (1.62) Fracture

Irune Maya Legarra     2023-04-03 8 out of 10

I am happy this movie is my first review on wuzzah, I like it quite a lot.
12 angry men is Sidney Lumet first movie (1957), with Henry Fonda as one of the producers and main actor. The script may seem simple, 12 members of a jury need to deliberate whether a teenager is charged with murder. The case looks quite easy for a start; some witnesses have declared against the teenager, therefore some of the members are eager to deliberate and charge the guy with murder as soon as possible. However, there is one member of the jury who has reasonable doubts about it, and there the discussion starts.

Soon, more questions are put on the table and the viewer could feel each one as small victory on the path for justice. This set of evidence makes members of the jury face their own fears and weaknesses.

On a smart and nice way, the story shows how easy it is to act, as human beings, based on our own prejudices, and how our deeper fears affect some of our decisions. It focuses on the characters showing that the truth is difficult to prove, rather than arguing against the members of the jury who do not want to listen to the facts. It is quite interesting to see how the director makes use of the camera and focuses on the actors’ performances and the script to go deep into their human values, but also to enable the viewer a feeling of claustrophobia that is stronger at certain moments of the movie. Only four places are shown in the movie and almost the entire time is set at the jury deliberation room.

The movie is performed by excellent actors (besides Henry Fonda), such as Martin Balsam, Edward Begley and EG Marshall. Their characters represent a wide range of people in society. The posh guy, the cult man, the worker, the old man, the immigrant, the man working for the system, the man who is more worried about enjoying life than anything else…they represent normal people, with their own life and personal issues. They name each other mainly by their number of member ship of the jury or by their profession. I believe this is not a coincidence, it was made to emphasize we could be any of them.

One of the best moments of the movie is how the group stands against racist attitudes at a certain scene of the movie. Silence is often the strongest voice. There are also some great scenes related to the oldest person in the room, and what he represents in the group of 12.

The movie was nominated to 3 academy awards and many other wards, such as 2 British academy Film Awards and 4 Golden globe awards. The story keeps the viewer involved somehow, and makes you wonder how you would act if being an angry man, and part of 12 angry men in a jury room :)

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