Box Office - 03/01/2009 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] riveting Russian redo of the Reginald Rose teleplay 12 ANGRY MEN, first brought to theaters in 1957 as the big-screen helming debut of Sidney Lumet."
New York Times - 03/04/2009
"In 12, Nikita Mikhalkov's grandiloquent remake of 12 ANGRY MEN, the elements of that modest courtroom classic have been enlarged to operatic dimensions....It is consistently entertaining..."
Los Angeles Times - 03/06/2009
"The power of the scenes lies in the actors....Mikhalkov's 12 is magnetic....The men are just as angry as they were in Lumet's day and the debate as passionately raucous as Russian literary tradition would demand."
Chicago Sun-Times - 03/25/2009 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "12 by Nikita Mikhalkov is a powerful new film inspired by a powerful older one....There is not a weak member in the cast, and it's a tribute to the power of the actors that the 2 1/2-hour running time doesn't seem labored."
Washington Post - 05/01/2009
"Nikita Mikhalkov's 12 breathes and floats. It allows itself ample space to reimagine Reginald Rose's original stage play about a jury that deadlocks over a murder case."
Nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, acclaimed director Nikita Mikhalkov's 12 is an ambitious and enthralling dissection of the many personal and social quandaries facing modern-day Russia. Inspired by Sidney Lumet's 1957 classic, 12 ANGRY MEN, 12 opens with the closing arguments in the case of a Chechen teenager accused of murdering his adoptive Russian father. With the courthouse under construction, the 12 male jurors adjourn to a dilapidated school gym in order to deliberate the verdict. Certain of the teen's guilt and eager to go back to their lives, the men launch a brief deliberation that leads to a unanimous show of hands. But when a soft-spoken Muscovite questions the haste of their judgment, the complexities of the case soon reveal themselves. So, too, do the complexities of each juror, from an anti-Semitic cab driver to a slick TV producer to a portly surgeon sympathetic to the teen's war-torn upbringing. As day turns to night, the jurors find their once-certain conclusions turning the other way. But when the jury foreman (Mikhalkov) explains the potential consequences of their new consensus, the 12 must decide if the right verdict could be its own death sentence for the teen. Having won a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for BURNT BY THE SUN, Mikhalkov once again displays his mastery of drama and humor in a style that is theatrically, uniquely Russian. Dramatically charged and brilliantly acted, 12 is as much a statement about the importance of justice as it is a loving meditation on a country and a people still struggling to find their way forward.
12 characters - 12 truths. The story of 12 Jurors discussing a verdict to pass on an 18 year-old Chechen boy whether he is guilty of the 1st degree murder of his step-father - an officer of the Russian army. The film thinks aloud about today's life, about the need to hear the next of kin and help that person before its too late. The action of the picture unveils in one room - a gym adjusted for jury deliberations.
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