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12

4.7 out of 5 stars 82 customer reviews

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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.

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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

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Product Details

  • Actors: Nikita Mikhalkov, Sergei Makovetsky, Sergei Garmash, Aleksei Petrenko, Valentin Gaft
  • Directors: Nikita Mikhalkov
  • Producers: Nikita Mikhalkov, Leonid Vereschagin, Leonid Vereshchagin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Russian
  • Subtitles: French, English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    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: 160 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00280QNK6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,192 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "12" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you happen to be into foreign films, or Russian films in particular, then you should really pick this gem up. The English subtitles are actually pretty well done, so that a lot of the nuance of the dialog, the humor and tension are not lost. Terrific performances too. If you are not into foreign films and you thought that Slum Dog Millionaire was over rated then I think that you should give this movie a try. Amazon is giving it away at this price. The movie has a great feel. Hard to describe, but I think a lot of what American audiences find to be a negative about foreign films is not a problem with this film. That problem generally has to do with pacing and production values. This movie has great pacing, good tension throughout and very high production standards. Add to that a great story/script adaptation - which Hollywood hasn't delivered in years - and I think just about anyone will enjoy this movie.
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