Watch Twelve Angry Men
- 1 hr 57 min
In the 1997 version of "Twelve Angry Men," a dozen jurors deliberate on the fate of a young man accused of murdering his father. Starring a powerhouse cast including Jack Lemmon, George C. Scott, and Hume Cronyn, the film explores themes of justice, prejudice, and the power of persuasion. Set almost entirely in a single room, the movie is a tense and claustrophobic character study. Each of the jurors has his own agenda, biases, and life experiences that inform his decision-making process. As they struggle to reach a unanimous verdict, the men butt heads, shout, and fling accusations at each other.
Lemmon gives a standout performance as Juror #8, the only holdout who believes that there is reasonable doubt in the case. Initially, the other jurors dismiss him as a bleeding heart who is reluctant to convict a defendant based on flimsy evidence. But as Juror #8 presents his arguments and digs deeper into the case, his fellow jurors begin to question their own assumptions.
Scott, who plays Juror #3, is another standout in the film. He is initially hostile to Juror #8 and seems eager to see the defendant put away. It is gradually revealed that Juror #3 has conflicts with his own son and is projecting his anger onto the defendant. Scott delivers a searing monologue near the end of the film that lays bare his character's flaws and motivations.
Cronyn rounds out the trio of veteran actors as Juror #9, an older man who is sympathetic to Juror #8's perspective. He brings a sense of calm and wisdom to the deliberations, often serving as a voice of reason amidst the chaos.
As the film progresses, viewers get a glimpse into the jurors' personal lives and attitudes. One is an immigrant who identifies with the defendant's struggles, while another is a baseball coach who employs the sport as metaphors for the trial. These details add depth to the characters and make them feel like real people.
Aside from the acting, the film's main strength is its tight pacing and nuanced storytelling. Director William Friedkin keeps the camera close to the characters, giving the audience a sense of being in the room with them. The screenplay, by Reginald Rose (who also wrote the original teleplay), is dense with dialogue that reveals each character's flaws and strengths.
Although the film takes place in the 1950s, its themes are still relevant today. Discussions of systemic bias, police conduct, and the flaws of the criminal justice system are just as pertinent now as they were then. The movie invites viewers to ponder these issues and to consider the weighty responsibility of jury duty.
In terms of cinematography, the film is modest but effective. The single setting of the jury room is kept visually interesting through changes in lighting and blocking. Close-ups and medium shots emphasize the characters' expressions and body language, allowing the audience to read the tension between them.
Overall, "Twelve Angry Men" is a well-crafted drama that showcases some of the finest actors of the 20th century. It is a testament to the power of dialogue and persuasion, and a reminder that justice is rarely clear-cut. The film's insights into human nature and the legal system make it a classic that is still worth watching today.
Twelve Angry Men is a 1997 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 57 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.8.