Men? Yes. Angry? Yes. Sweaty? Hell yes. This courtroom drama, the directorial debut of Sidney Lumet (Dog Day Afternoon, Network), centers on 12 jurors who are sequestered in a jury room to decide the case of a poor teenage boy accused of killing his father. Prejudice and misconception pour out of the men as they discuss what they think is a clear-cut case against the defendant, who will face certain death should they declare him guilty. The one holdout, juror No. 8 (Henry Fonda), slowly changes his peers’ minds over the course of the film, which takes place almost entirely within the confines of the steamy jury room. The wall-mounted fan above the door barely rattles along, and sometimes it is the only sound in the room, a reminder of the sweat-inducing pressure that comes with having a person’s life in your hands.
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