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13,437 Ratings

12 Angry Men

Directed by Sidney Lumet
United States, 1957
Drama, Mystery


Following the closing arguments in a murder trial, twelve members of the jury must decide the fate of an inner-city teen. The deliberation process brings out the jurors’ prejudices and preconceptions about the trial, the accused, and each other.

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12 Angry Men Directed by Sidney Lumet

Awards & Festivals

Berlin International Film Festival

1957 | 2 wins including: Golden Bear

Academy Awards

1958 | 3 nominations including: Best Picture

Locarno International Film Festival

1957 | Special Mention


National Board of Review

1957 | Winner: Top Ten Films

12 Angry Men is celebrated for its uniformly terrific cast, chiefly Henry Fonda’s soft-spoken advocate and Lee J. Cobb’s resistant blowhard, racked with daddy issues and not about to let an ungrateful teen go free… Meanwhile, too few films take on the art of arguing as a subject; we could certainly use more of them, but until then, Lumet’s window into strained civic duty will continue to serve mightily.
July 02, 2013
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Incredibly, 12 Angry Men was Lumet’s feature directorial debut, a fact that remains massively impressive considering the film’s meticulous craft and pacing. Harboring just as much compulsive energy and momentum as most modern Hollywood action films, 12 Angry Men makes every shot and line of dialogue count. It’s a film immersed in the organic relationship between façade and perspective, how each character tries to hide their own weaknesses by lashing out at others.
June 30, 2013
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In this, his feature film debut, Lumet adds – in small, discreet but powerful doses – a supple, cinematic language to the already crafty mise en scène of Rose’s script. Around its mid-way mark, when developments in the jury room become particularly intense, Lumet deploys a slow crane shot moving into Fonda in close-up: the effect is electrifying, and all the more so because it has been held back until this point.
November 01, 2012
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What are people saying?

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film 12 Angry Men

    This film must drive lawyers insane. As a philosophical inquiry into the American justice system—and "American" and "system" are the key terms—it's essential. As a procedural, it has all the tenuous speculation of Agatha Christie without any of the closure; that is, it could handle its own case better. But you can watch it almost by accident: just turn it on, and the ricochet dialogue will carry you away.

  • chanandre's rating of the film 12 Angry Men

    Black and white is the truer colour. Everything is equal. Truth springs from that. I am Fonda fanboy even with his back turned he moves me to tears. I don't know if the US were ever as good as their culture. But in them days we sure thought so. Robert Webber was one of those Mad Men in the making.

  • dionysus67's rating of the film 12 Angry Men

    Absolutely compelling chamber drama with the power of deliberation and reasoned argumentation turning -against all odds- into modern society's saving grace. Lumet, faithful to Kurosawa's mise-en-scène, constructs a geometry of movement and juxtapositions, rendering rain and heat powerful allies to the action of words. The all-male cast is astounding led by a calm Henry Fonda as the voice of reason versus prejudice.

  • The Macho King's rating of the film 12 Angry Men

    A flawless masterpiece - absolute perfection for the "type of film" it's striving to be. Yet another example for how great Lumet was as a filmmaker. You could actually make a hell of a argument for why this film deserves to make the list for the top 25 greatest directorial debuts ever in cinema... and thats not a exaggeration.

  • Stefan Drees's rating of the film 12 Angry Men

    I always admired Lumet's smart way to shape a microcosm of social behavior and to show some of its dynamics depending on elements like prejudice or indifference. The way he stages every person with the camera and its movements is superb.

  • smndvdcl's rating of the film 12 Angry Men

    Lumet is a master of creative limitation. The deconstruction of unconscious and sub-conscious prejudice in this intense jury room drama focuses on the distortion of the processes of justice through misguided subjectivity. The claustrophobic jury room setting during a heatwave featuring an overload of bruised male egos is a surprising delight. Hell yes, this is a genuine classic.

  • ig_____or's rating of the film 12 Angry Men

    A film so good that it feels as time hasn't passed by since 1957. Dealing in a good, well-scripted and well-acted way with concepts like 'truth', 'doubt', 'honesty', 'justice' and others that are at the base of our human condition is something ultimately timeless, whether in film or other arts. Some characters are better developed and explored than others, but the overall result is riveting and very entertaining.

  • Marcus Killerby's rating of the film 12 Angry Men

    A vindication for all those who believe there are things worth arguing about, and that anyone can change their mind. Lee J. Cobb shines in his role and the proof that he is a great actor lies in contrasting this performance to that of, say, Lt. Kinderman in The Exorcist. A man of incredible range. The final shot in the room is of the evidence on the table that once seemed so strong and convincing....

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