Watch 12

  • PG-13
  • 2007
  • 2 hr 39 min
  • 7.6  (15,285)
  • 72

12 is a 2007 Russian-language film directed by Nikita Mikhalkov. The movie takes place in contemporary Russia and tells a story that is a modern retelling of the classic play “12 Angry Men” by Reginald Rose. The film follows twelve jurors, each from a different walk of life, who must come together to decide the fate of a young Chechen boy accused of murdering his adoptive father. The story unfolds through their deliberation, as each juror brings different perspectives, experiences, and prejudices to the table.

The film starts in a grim and foreboding courtroom, where the twelve jurors, all men, enter and take their assigned seats. The young defendant stands accused of murdering his adoptive father in a fit of rage. The case seems open and shut, and only one vote of not guilty is needed to acquit the young man. However, when the juror with that vote decides to voice his dissent, the other jurors start to reconsider their verdict. At first, it seems that the majority of jurors are in favor of convicting the defendant, but as the deliberations continue, alliances are formed, prejudices are exposed, and doubts are raised about the credibility of the evidence presented at the trial.

As the jurors talk, argue and fight, we get a glimpse into their personal lives, their backgrounds and their motives. The characters in the movie bring a wide range of biases that make them either pro or anti the accused, and the opinions that they hold cause tensions to escalate in the deliberation room. Some jurors, for example, are racist individuals who believe that Chechens are all terrorists; others are prejudiced against wealthy people, blaming them for all the social ills in the country. Tensions begin to rise when they start becoming personal, and the jurors begin grappling with their own lives and the extent to which they are affected by their prejudices.

One of the most important themes of the film is Russian identity, as the jurors come from various walks of life, ethnicities, and religions. The characters portray the diversity of the Russian Federation, and its socio-cultural-political differences. Most of the jurors are aged and from various professions, such as a doctor, a professor, a businessman, a Muslim and so forth, while the defendant and his mother remain absent throughout the film. The jurors’ dialogue covers a range of topics, including the complexities of cultural identities, social inequality, and the ways in which the justice system in Russia can be flawed.

Another theme in the film is the concept of responsibility. Throughout the movie, the characters come to grips with the weight of their decision and how it could affect the young man's future. As the deliberations continue, many of the jurors begin to question whether or not they are equipped to make such a monumental decision. The film invites the audience to reflect on the critical role that each individual has to play within their communities, and how our faulty and unchecked judgments can impact other people’s lives.

The acting in the film is superb, with each actor delivering a powerful and nuanced performance. Sergey Makovetskiy as the juror with a deep sense of conscience stands out, as does Sergey Garmash as the intolerant nationalist character. Apti Magamaev as the accused is also excellent in his virtually silent portrayal. The cinematography and set design are also worth noting, with the claustrophobic deliberation room providing an excellent backdrop for the tense and heated exchanges between the jurors.

Overall, 12 is a thought-provoking and well-crafted movie, which reasons with its audience about how society is built on taking responsibility and each individual's ability to make logical, ethical decisions. Through its stunning performances, dramatic plot, and laced themes, the movie successfully immerses the audience in the deliberation room, where they must engage with these jurors' biases and opinions. It confronts the viewer with a profound reflection on the ethics of empathy, the power of conversation, and the role of judgment in a world where understanding is never as easy as it appears. 12 is a masterful film and deserves its place among the classics of Russian cinema.

12 is a 2007 crime movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 39 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6 and a MetaScore of 72.

Where to Watch 12
12 is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent 12 for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 39 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (15,285)
  • Metascore