12 Angry Men Review
Updated: Jun 30, 2019
Sidney Lumet’s directorial debut came in 1957 with a great written film wrote by Reginald Rose starring Henry Fonda as the lead in 12 Angry Men. A film that questions whether it is right to send a man to death if they have doubt he could be innocent is the main question of this truly gripping film. From the first time of watching it is evident to see why it was nominated for 3 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Writing, Screenplay based on material from another medium.
12 Angry Men is such a simple idea with the majority of the film is filmed within one location other than the opening scene. The film follows a jury of 12 men who have to decide on the fate of an 18 year old boy who is been accused of killing his father. The film opens with some simple exposition about the case in the court room. From then on we focus on 12 jury men where all 12 of them have to agree whether he is guilty or not guilty. The problem starts when 11 men think he is guilty and 1 doesn’t know if he is or isn’t. He then tries to convince the rest of the other 11 men that they have prejudices about the boy being guilty and that it isn’t that clear cut.
One of the first few shots of this movie inside the jury room is a lengthy shot that introduces all 12 of the men and they are written in such a way that when they appear on camera we see that all the characters are different. Lumet’s simple direction makes for a great visual storytelling and he rarely uses a close up but when he does it is for key parts of the movie and it makes every close up highly memorable. The simple direction combined with great acting from all 12 actors that bounce off of one another exceptionally well makes the conflict in thought processes between each character a joy to watch.
I rate this film 5/5!