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memento_mori's Movie Reviews (203)

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12 Angry Men (1957) 
A 'classic' worthy of its status.
4/4 stars

A very dialogue heavy film can go one of two ways:
1. Be extremely boring.
2. Be extremely interesting.
And I am glad to report that 12 Angry Men falls into the latter category.

12 Angry Men is a movie that I was not ambitious to watch. It was placed very high on the IMDB Top 250 list, and when an older movie is praised that much I usually end up not liking it as much as others (Citizen Kane). But I am so glad I decided to watch this movie.
The script, the acting and the delivery of dialogue have got to be the strongest points in this film.
It feels like an empty room and twelve men come in and fill it with their incredible acting skills and great personalities. That's as good as I can describe it.
I cherish movies that have many limitations, but still manage to work with what they have, which is what gives them that classic status. It's a film that holds up today because it has so much replay value with its strong points.
The way each character gets at least a couple seconds of development is just brilliant. We don't even know their names, but they still have a little bit of human in them. That way we can distinguish which are the heroes and which are the villains, and so we witness as their minds and moods change at the hand of the information and arguments Henry Fonda's character Juror 8 brings forth.
Henry Fonda is fantastic in this film. As determined as his character is, he is immersed into his role. He leaves an immediate lasting impression as he has that unique flair that heroes in films lack nowadays. That he is the only incorruptible man in the room. The only one with morals and the only one with an intention of doing right.

12 Angry Men makes me appreciate older movies. It has a vision in mind and indirectly points a finger at the US justice system, indicating that juries are not the best way determine a man's fate. After all, you don't know what anonymous citizens call the shots in a juror room.


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