Q & A Reviews
I've already recommended THE VERDICT too many times to count, and 12 ANGRY MEN holds up. Also worth taking a look at is NIGHT FALLS ON MANHATTAN -- Andy Garcia, Ian Holme, James Gandolfini, Richard Dryfuss...but it was Ron Leibman as the district attorney who should have won best supporting actor (wasn't even nominated!)
Almost forgot BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOUR DEAD -- thank you Ms. Tomei!
One good thing about watching these older films (1990 is not that long ago) is I'm reminded of just how good some of these actors were in their prime. Hutton and especially Nolte deliver excellent performances.
Last, I did have trouble with the ending. I don't think the final note of the film was developed as the film's principal conflict. Hopefully that was vague enough to avoid giving anything away.
The poor screenplay and over-complication lets this film down. Nick Nolte's character is pretty much the only thing that will you keep you interested, as unlikable as he is.
The side-line love story adds nothing to the film, apart from adding to any impatience you may be experiencing about the conclusion of what should be a very simple story.
Armand Assante is very good in this also, and you can't help but wonder why they didn't exploit his talents a little more, and the lead character's a little less.
That's no bad thing though and whilst this isn't his best, it's still an absorbing tale. The characters are interesting and the story is told in a way that doesn't insult your intelligence which I appreciated.
Tim Hutton is good and Guzman rocks but when you put them together with Nolte, it's clear who owns this flick. The dude is pretty ferocious and intimidating throughout and he makes no attempts to soften his character which makes him all the more watchable.
Although it loses it's way towards the end and it becomes a tad predictable in it's closing scenes this is a pretty good example of the genre.