We Find the Defendant…

12 Angry Men is one of the absolute greatest courtroom dramas of all time. It’s also a movie everyone should see. Whether you care about the judicial system or not. 12 Angry Men begins with the end of an unseen first-degree murder trial. The defendant is an 18 year old foreign kid who lives in a slum. He’s charged with killing his father with a switchblade. The entire 1 hour 36 minute movie takes place primarily in one room, in real-time, and with nothing but 12 angry men attempting to argue their verdict. It may sound boring, but it’s actually quite riveting and extremely effective. They don’t even have names, yet you’re still able to distinguish between every character. There’s the foreman whose primary job is to keep things organized. The first time juror with a meek attitude. The hothead who won’t change his mind no matter what. The factual bespectacled one. The man with the most in common with the defendant. The white collar reasonable guy. The baseball fan who just wants to get out of there. The initial hold out who votes “not guilty” because he has doubts. The old man who spends most of his time listening. The prejudice one with a nasty cough. The foreigner with a love for democracy. And the unfocused man in marketing. They all argue in a hot room where they go through every bit of evidence and possible scenario they can. Until they slowly but surely change their opinions. In the end, everyone goes their separate ways, never seeing each other again, but knowing they’ve made an impact on each others lives. 12 Angry Men is a case I will be more than happy to take again.

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12 angry men

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