George Clark’s review published on Letterboxd:
There’s a reason this is known as one of the best films to ever exist, It’s an utter masterpiece. This is how you make a movie! Everything from the simplicity of the structure, the entire film (mostly) taking place in one room and the clashing of the characters belief-systems throughout. All of it is simply perfection and all amounts to what is a phenomenal watch.
Films like 12 Angry Men really do amaze me. This is what dialogue should be, not the crap that many movies try and provide there audience but powerful dialogue were every piece of information, ever monologue and every scene matters to the overall outcome of the story. Dialogue that riles you up and makes you believe what they are saying and dialogue that before all else, amazes you and leaves you in a sense of awe once the film reaches it's conclusion. That’s exactly what the dialogue in 12 Angry Men is. The idea of doing what is right, even if you don't know if it is right, is a strong idea and that's what this film tries, and succeeds, in proving. When the life of a man/woman is placed in your hands, whether you are confident in your decision or not; sometimes you have to stand back and look at it from a wider perspective. That's what these characters all do, they one by one explain their reasoning and change their minds accordingly based on what they believe as the case unravels. It's this message, the message of believing what you think is right, that's extremely powerful throughout the course of the film.
12 Angry Men manages to be both an indictment of the American judicial system and racial inequality during the time whilst also being the system’s greatest advocate. The fact that you never see the defendant (bare one shot) is an interesting choice that removes the audience’s prejudices from affecting how they view the film. This allows for the film to deliver a phenomenal feel-good finale that shows the ultimate power that one different decision can have. What's most interesting about the intense deliberations that ensue during the course of 12 Angry Men, specifically when a piece of seemingly indisputable evidence is brought back into question near the conclusion, is how a fresh angle and perspective, mostly from Juror 8's critical thinking and Juror 7's final notion, can permanently alter the tone of the discussion and that's exactly how a real case would be, how one person can sway a room.
This is miraculous, plain and simple, filmmaking with remarkable performances, a fantastic script and a storyline that gripped me from the very first minute to the last closing shot. There is no doubt in my mind that 12 Angry Men is an utter masterpiece and stands out as one of the best films in cinematic history.