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12 Angry Men (Twelve Angry Men) (1957)



Average Rating: 9/10
Reviews Counted: 45
Fresh: 45 | Rotten: 0

Sidney Lumet's feature debut is a superbly written, dramatically effective courtroom thriller that rightfully stands as a modern classic.


Average Rating: 8.6/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 0

Sidney Lumet's feature debut is a superbly written, dramatically effective courtroom thriller that rightfully stands as a modern classic.



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Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 99,451

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Movie Info

A Puerto Rican youth is on trial for murder, accused of knifing his father to death. The twelve jurors retire to the jury room, having been admonished that the defendant is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Eleven of the jurors vote for conviction, each for reasons of his own. The sole holdout is Juror #8, played by Henry Fonda. As Fonda persuades the weary jurors to re-examine the evidence, we learn the backstory of each man. Juror #3 (Lee J. Cobb), a bullying self-made


Drama, Classics

Reginald Rose

Mar 6, 2001

Criterion Collection - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (45) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (45) | Rotten (0) | DVD (24)

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 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film leaves a tremendous impact.

June 30, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Mechanically written, but within its own middlebrow limitations, it delivers the goods.

June 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
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A strangely realistic thriller.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Although it may sound ungallant, these 12 Angry Men, are all right without distaff glamour. Their dramas are powerful and provocative enough to keep a viewer spellbound.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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This is a film where tension comes from personality conflict, dialogue and body language, not action.

November 19, 2002 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comments (3)
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There is real value is how it allows each member of the cultural mosaic of a jury to develop into distinct, damaged, and interesting characters

August 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinemania

The film takes a confined, almost completely banal real-world location and makes it completely dynamic, using incredibly nimble camera movements to establish character motivation and theme.

June 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

The cast is incredible, the writing superb, and the film is unparalleled in its sheer excellence.

December 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

This was Sidney Lumet's first movie and it's as riveting as it was back in the late 50s, when everything was changing.

December 9, 2011 Full Review Source:

an incisive and gripping film

December 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

Lumet keeps things tense, sweaty, suspenseful and entertaining despite the contrived story line.

May 12, 2011 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Outstanding Henry Fonda jury classic.

January 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

A brilliant courtroom drama whose strength lies within the power of Rose's words and Sidney Lumet's great direction (his debut).

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Matt's Movie Reviews
Matt's Movie Reviews

12 Angry Men has some shrewd observations to sell about argumentation and group behavior, but they're not the ones of which the film seems most proud.

December 28, 2009 Full Review Source: Nick's Flick Picks
Nick's Flick Picks

taut, well-crafted sociological study

August 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Not much action, lots of words, great cinema.

April 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Film4 | Comments (3)

Every bit the classic it's been made out to be for all these years.

April 30, 2008 Full Review Source:

Power house jury room drama w/cast of memorable actors.

March 8, 2008

Makes no self-saluting motions to greater importance, which gives the material the much-desired breathing room it needs to reach full potency.

July 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Projection Booth
Projection Booth

Sidney Lumet's feature directing debut is a brilliant courtroom drama, with a superlative cast that includes Henry Fonda, Martin Balsam, Ed Begley, Jack Warden, and E.G. Marshall.

December 18, 2005

A masterful work of debate and dialogue; of shifting momentum and the ideal of sticking to your scruples in the face of antagonistic groupthink.

August 26, 2005 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

Audience Reviews for 12 Angry Men (Twelve Angry Men)

Exceptionally acted and written, 12 Angry Men is a smart, thrilling classic that keeps the viewer hanging on to every word.
August 1, 2014
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer

Juror #8: It's always difficult to keep personal prejudice out of a thing like this. And wherever you run into it, prejudice always obscures the truth.

"It Explodes Like 12 Sticks of Dynamite"

12 Angry Men is a movie of no action, but loads of tension. It finds the tension in differences of opinion, how people were brought up and how they talk, act and think. This is Sidney Lumet's most revered and remembered film, and for good reason. It's one of those rare films that won't leave you, ever. It's powerful and extremely well directed, written and acted.

An 18 year old slum kid is on trial for his life. He is accused of stabbing and killing his father. The 12 men of the jury retire to the jury room and take a vote. With the first vote, 11 of the jurors believe he is guilty and only one isn't sure; he votes not guilty. From there it's arguments and yelling, as Juror #8 tries to prove that you can't prove the boy killed his father.

There's a lot of reasons why this film is so good, but the most obvious one to me, is how simple it happens to be. It's twelve men sitting and walking around a table. They're all different, and the actors who played them couldn't have done a better job. The standouts for me were, obviously, Henry Fonda(one of the best ever) as Juror #8 and Lee J. Cobb who plays Juror #3, and is the exact opposite of Fonda's character.

It's easy to see why this is so often considered among people as one of the best films ever; definitely one of the best American films. 12 Angry Men is one that cannot and should not be missed by any film fan.
April 30, 2014
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

April 13, 2014
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

I stylish drama that you fail to appreciate these days. A rarity and a classic in its own right.
September 1, 2013
Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

    1. Juror #8: I just want to talk.
    2. Juror #7: What's there to talk about? Eleven of us think he's guilty. No one had to think about it twice except you.
    – Submitted by Joakim A (11 months ago)
    1. Juror #5: Boy oh boy, it's really hot, huh? Pardon me, but don't you ever sweat?
    2. Juror #4: No, I don't.
    – Submitted by Adam O (17 months ago)
    1. Juror #7: You a Yankee fan?
    2. Juror #5: No, Baltimore.
    3. Juror #7: Baltimore? That's like being hit in the head with a crowbar once a day.
    – Submitted by Adam O (17 months ago)
    1. Juror #10: Oh, listen, I don't see what all this stuff about the knife has got to do with anything. Somebody saw the kid stab his father, what more do we need? You guys can talk the ears right off my head, you know what I mean? I got three garages of mine going to pot while you're talking! So let's get down and get out of here!
    – Submitted by Adam O (17 months ago)
    1. Juror #3: That business before when that tall guy, what's-his-name, was trying to bait me? That doesn't prove anything. I'm a pretty excitable person. I mean, where does he come off calling me a public avenger, sadist and everything? Anyone in his right mind would blow his stack. He was just trying to bait me.
    2. Juror #4: He did an excellent job.
    – Submitted by Adam O (17 months ago)
    1. Juror #12: Oh, come on. Nobody can know a thing like that. This isn't an exact science.
    – Submitted by Adam O (17 months ago)
View all quotes (19)

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