591. 12 Angry Men

Although it’s a film about the legal system and the social climate of the 1950s, there is nothing about 12 ANGRY MEN that feels dated. Sidney Lumet’s directorial debut takes place entirely in one afternoon and one jury room, where twelve men must decide the fate of a teenager who has allegedly murdered his father. Eleven are certain of his guilt; one is unsure. It’s that small uncertainty that sets up the simple conflict of the story, and plays out in the most riveting, nuanced manner. In different hands, such a straightforward film could easily turn stale. But clever camerawork, intelligent dialogue, and the slow reveal of information makes the entire journey as entertaining as it is provoking, and easily one of the best courtroom dramas I’ve seen.


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