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Knowing full well that a guilty verdict means death, a jury of 12 men must decide the fate of an 18-year-old boy accused of fatally stabbing his father. Only one juror wants to take the time to coolly deliberate the case. Nowadays, the occurrences in court are broadcasted on television from some of the more famous trials. However, the jurors deliberate in private and audiences do not get to witness this on the screen. However, 12 Angry Men makes a tense piece of cinema out of it. The entire movie takes place in one single room and the actual trial isn't shown. The deliberation causes the audience to piece it together and observe the points presented by both sides to put together one's own opinion. The dialogue is exceptional and it never once drags. It managed to keep my attention from start to finish. Through the deliberation, we learn quite a bit about the characters simply through their opinions and views.
The talent displayed throughout this film is astounding. These aren't the performances were they are emotionally broken. They are normal people and the fact that they're so believable truly completes the characters. 12 Angry Men stars Martin Balsam, John Fiedler, Lee J. Cobb, E.G. Marshall, Jack Klugman, Edward Binns, Jack Warden, Henry Fonda, Joseph Sweeney, Ed Begley, George Voskovec, and Robert Webber. All twelve of these men are absolutely exceptional. The dynamics of each character throughout this deliberation is great and the viewers truly get one hell of a show put on by these twelve actors.
I can easily state that 12 Angry Men is one of the greatest films of all time. Not only is the screenplay a masterpiece, but the acting is phenomenal. The film makes us question the strengths and weaknesses of the American legal system. Audiences are left to form their own opinion as each character's case is presented for why they believe the 18-year-old is guilty or not guilty. Those who are avoiding this movie due to the fact that it's from 1957 and in black and white are missing out on superb cinema. This movie reminds us all what makes great cinema so fantastic. 12 Angry Men is highly recommended on all levels. This is an absolute must see!