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12 (2009)

Sergey Makovetskiy , Sergey Garmash , Nikita Mikhalkov  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sergey Makovetskiy, Sergey Garmash, Apti Magamaev, Nikita Mikhalkov, Valentin Gaft
  • Directors: Nikita Mikhalkov
  • Writers: Nikita Mikhalkov, Aleksandr Novototskiy-Vlasov, Vladimir Moiseenko
  • Producers: Nikita Mikhalkov, Aleksey Balashov, Aleksey Karpushin, Leonid Vereshchagin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Russian
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 14, 2009
  • Run Time: 159 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00280QNK6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,078 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "12" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

When a Chechen youth is put on trial for the murder of his stepfather, it's up to a room full of jurors divided by racism and prejudice to determine the boy's ultimate fate. One by one, each man takes center stage to confront, connect and confess while the accused awaits a verdict. Slowly the tide of opinion turns, as the jurors begin to realize their decision will forever change the course of another person's life. As they deliberate, the accused revisits his heartbreaking journey through war in a series of powerful flashbacks. Director Nikita Mikhalkov's Oscar®-nominated remake of 12 Angry Men is a brilliant look at fear, trust and the triumph of human nature.

This Russian film is provocative on a number of levels, but it proves one thing for certain: Reginald Rose sure had a great idea when he came up with 12 Angry Men. The set-up is rock-solid: Twelve jurors are sequestered into a room to hash out a decision on the murder trial they've just sat through; at the outset, eleven are for conviction, one for acquittal. Then things start heating up. Rose originally wrote the script as a TV production in the Fifties, which then became Sidney Lumet's classic 1957 film. Here, Oscar-winner Nikita Mikhalkov (Burnt by the Sun) explodes the premise into a large, loquacious Russian version. To give you an idea of the differences, consider that Lumet's film was 96 minutes long but the Russian goes on for over two and a half hours, and now the original's cramped room is replaced by a large, airy high-school gym. The new one also travels outside the room for occasional flashbacks. In other words, 12 is very Russian, with loaded political material (the accused man is Chechen) and complex arguments about the various viewpoints and class levels in Russian society. The most furious of the 12 men is a raging anti-Semite (powerful Sergei Garmash), while the initial voice of reason (a.k.a. the Henry Fonda character) is played by Sergei Makovetsky. Mikhalkov himself plays the foreman of the jury. This is an elbow-throwing, scenery-chewing kind of movie, with nothing writ small. You sense that Mikhalkov wants to put it right in the face of his fellow Russians, and so he does, relentlessly. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
88 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Russian's Point of View August 29, 2009
By Russki
I accidentally stumbled upon this movie one boring Friday night when I stopped by a local Blockbuster store. Never even heard of it before and at first rolled my eyes thinking that this would be Mikhalkov's feeble attempt to remake a classic that I like so much. As an expatriate from the former Soviet Union, I tend to be a bit suspicious when it comes to Russian attempts to "go Hollywood." Yet, I felt some weird pull to rent it...

I must say, this movie completely blew me away!!! I would imagine it tough reading the subtitles for a movie that relies so heavily on dialog and small nuances of speech and my hat is off to those of you who were willing to invest the time to watch this movie. It's also sad that some of the things got lost in translation: accents of some of the jurors, or the fact that the bombed cafe in the flash-back scenes was called "Cheburashka" - a sweet stuffed animal cartoon character every Russian child grew up with (oh, the irony!), or that the hand-scribbled sign above the entrance into the basement where the boy was hiding read, "Don't shoot, there are women and children inside," etc. Nevertheless, the fact that none of these things - the length, the subtitles, the little things lost in translation, the cultural differences - took away from the power of the movie serves as a testament to the director's craft. Simply superb!
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 12 Is Not a 10, But Close! July 17, 2009
You know how it goes: Someone tells you an "art" film is good, you put it on your list, you Netflix or rent it. And then it sits, because you don't have quite enough energy to watch something that might require your brain to kick into first gear. Such was 12, with me, until I decided to give it the "30 minute test": if I wasn't hooked in 30 minutes, back to Netflix with this sucker.

I was hooked inside of ten minutes. This Russian language film (English subtitles)serves notice that the Russki's really can make good films, REALLY good films. Based on the premise of the original American drama Twelve Angry Men, a Chechen teen is accused of murdering his Russian stepfather. The jury expects deliberation will take less than a half hour, the audience knows otherwise.

Though borrowed from an American film, 12 is uniquely, and in many ways, purely Russian. Using sharply defined acting and amazingly detailed character studies, 12 unfolds for Westerners an intimate portrait of Russia in the 21st century, and a fascinating and engaging portrait it is. In a way reminiscent of Slumdog Millionaire, the story unfolds as each juror tells a story about life in Russia, each story but one whittling down the guilty votes. Each story reveals the Russian soul and temperament in ways that a dry treatise simply cannot.

Complete with a twist at the end that is engaging and powerful, this film will please any viewer that prides him/herself on being a student of foreign cinema. A bit lengthy (hey, ever heard of a Russian novel that was SHORT?) 12 will reward a bit of patience richly.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Soul of Russia August 26, 2009
This film is a glimpse into the very soul of Russia: Outsized, florid, flamboyant, cruel, petty, funny, and poetic. It is as if Gogol's Dead Souls were transported to a 21st century courtroom. The gruesome flashbacks to the horrors of the Chechen War provide resonance, context, and meaning. The acting is superb (if extravagant), and the direction and montage artful, even at times beautiful. Mysterious and poetical symbols are scattered throughout; it is a credit to the director's skill that they remain so effective. Two hours and 40 minutes of speeches you have to read as subtitles may seem like a chore. It is instead a moving and illuminating experience.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars tremendous July 25, 2009
Tremendous film by Nikita Mikhalkov - an all time Russian great film director. Mikhalkov has been under some criticism for getting too cozy with the Russian powers, including Putin personally. But in my eyes, he redeems himself here by making a powerful and poignant film about today's Russia.. Mikhalkov touches on all the uncomfortable topics of racism, anti-semitism and huge gap between the rich and the poor. The topics raised in this film will resonate with any Western viewer, so do not be put off by subtitles. This was 2.5 hour investment worth every second.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars masterpiece July 23, 2009
Im going to keep his short isn't much to say. Yes it is like 12 angry men (one of my favorite films) but 12 goes off in a direction and much deeper than previously explored in the former. I also think this film has a greater reach in its humanity and is far more existential. Acting, directing, and writing were flawless. Drama with a bit of psycho drama. Typical of Russian art, length is not of consequence, the movie runs about 2.40minutes and subtitled.

Rarely do I rate movies 5 star, but this film has the capacity to change the way you at least look at life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hope for Russia, Hope for us all. February 9, 2011
I'm a fan of the original, and while the Friedkin remake might leave us wondering why anyone would do it again. We are so use to remakes of foriegn films by hollywood. It was refreshing to see the reverse. Its as good as the original and better than Friedkin's remake. The Director even tied AC/Heat problems to construction issues and callousness. Very smart.

Here are my cons resulting in a one point deduction. The Russians speak fast, and the subtitles had me rewinding a bit. This is a personal gnostic problem I have. I'm wondering if there are double meanings or hidden allegories, so I have to rewind when something is said I might chew on. Also, this movie is very long, so it was challenging.

The Director did something remarkable, and unexpected. He played it like the original, deconstructing contemporary society past and present. I'll admit, my sympathies had long been for the far removed Caucuses, Jews and Siberian folk. Here the characters deal with their own pasts, their prejudices. The flashback sequencies and long personal stories make each flawed character sympathetic. No punches pulled. All along while the 12 very angry men are sitting in judgement of the youth, we see the tragic life of the youth revealed through the horror of war, the death of his parents, and the warmeth of his first adopted father. (Number of Dads is 3).

This is 12 angry men placed in the Russian societal context, and yet a slight wink is made toward the hypothetical of the American form of courtroom justice. Very clever. The Director takes it farther, by revealing the faces of the killer(s), and leaves me rooting for FSB hit squads. That was neat trick.

I came out of watching the film feeling intense hope for the future of Russia.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent movie!!!
Published 1 month ago by Anna
5.0 out of 5 stars Uniquely Russian with vivid symbolism and emotionally-charged dialog
Rich with symbolic image and thought-provoking dialog, this pseudo-remake is no mere copy of 12 Angry Men (1957) in a different language. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Stratiotes Doxha Theon
5.0 out of 5 stars So worth your time.
Every once in a while you come across a movie that keeps you thinking about it for a long time. This is one of them. Do yourself a favor and watch this!
Published 4 months ago by Troy O'Brien
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible! Maybe better than the original...
This was an incredible movie. Deep, rich characters, powerful story, and amazing adaptation.

It doesn't follow the same story as the original American movie, just the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Richard B. Deslonde
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful adaptation
Cleverly adapted to the cultural and political climate of Russia without losing the essence of the message in the original film. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Leopoldo Leyendecker
4.0 out of 5 stars good but the finish is unrealistic
excellent performance, the actors are phenomenal, it reminds me of a very good theatre , I was impressed by all of them. Read more
Published 6 months ago by L. Tulcan
5.0 out of 5 stars It is a different take on 12 Angry Men
If you saw 12 Angry Men, you should definitely see this movie. It is a different take on the original plot and a great one because it reflects the reality of Russian society that... Read more
Published 6 months ago by LF
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and intellectual
I purchased this as a gift for my husband. We are learning russian and wanted a russian movie to watch. I haven't seen twelve angry men, but it's apparently along those lines. Read more
Published 7 months ago by roxy
5.0 out of 5 stars A great twist on 12 Angry Men
I actually saw this movie before seeing 12 angry men. They are both great films but I like how the Russian version finishes the story.
Published 8 months ago by Dan
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Movie
This movie does a great job capturing such a wide array of personalities in Russia and explains it so well that I keep coming to watch the movie over and over again.
Published 10 months ago by Vladislav Ibragimov
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Topic From this Discussion
BluRay Edition Needed
There is a BD in Russia but it's MPEG-2 encoded and has only Ukrainian subtitles -
You can buy it here for ~$15 (actually cheaper than 2-disc DVD edition).
Dec 21, 2009 by K. K. |  See all 3 posts
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