Twelve Angry Men (1957) Film Review


In summary, Twelve Angry Men should’ve bored me to death: A group of men sit in a room… and talk. Sounds dull, doesn’t it? That’s what I thought going in, but coming out, it was anything but boring… so why is that?

For starters, it’s not any old group of men, it’s a jury. They’ve been brought in to decide the fate of an 18 year old boy, suspected to have killed his father. 11 of the men declare guilty, but one (who is sort of the main character in a way) wants to do the thing properly, and says he’s innocent. So now they must all come to a definitive conclusion, but not all of them are willing to do so. They’re all cramped in a small space, it’s a hot day, so some of them would rather be at a baseball game. However, some want to do it fairly, and thus, tempers begin to rise.

There was a point during the movie where I decided to get a snack, so I paused the movie only to find 22 minutes had passed, even though it had felt like 10. So it was clear I was really into finding out whether or not they declared the boy guilty, and for a number of reasons. All the characters are different enough that they’re opinions and motives (to a degree) are all interesting, and the acting is really good. It can be a little over the top at times, but still really good.

I also think the way it’s shot and presented makes it feel believable, almost as if you’re watching a TV broadcast of the discussion taking place live, and the script and pacing is very natural. It’s never too fast, but it’s never too slow, and the case is deducted in a very believable way. It’s also nice that we don’t actually see the court case take place or have the real answer revealed to us, what we know is what the jury decide upon, and as such, we’re allowed to draw our own conclusion.

For a movie I wasn’t looking forward to watching, I was pleasantly surprised to find it was pretty good! I think it would be a little hard to rewatch  when you know what’s gonna happen in the end, but it’s definitely worth watching at least once for a very unique film.


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