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This is the story of 12 jurors discussing a verdict to pass on an 18-year-old Chechen boy--whether he is guilty of the first-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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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The film transforms Rose's play into a ballet of sorts. The story is as much about movement as it is about words."
‑ Dan Zak, Washington Post
"Full of passion and speechifying, 12 is unmistakably Russian in spirit and sensibility, but its themes are universal at their core."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"12 is a mildly interesting exercise in cultural translation, but it's difficult to understand why the film was made."
‑ Jean Lowerison, San Diego Metropolitan
"Though long-winded and repetitive, there's much to like in Nikita Mikhalkov's movie."
‑ Sonny Bunch, Washington Times
"The performances, as I say, are wonderful."
‑ Shawn Levy, Oregonian
"Those who seek a drama as provocative as it is captivating will find much to enjoy."
‑ Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"The heated deliberations are a gripping analogy for Russia's turbulent mix of ethnic divisions, corruption, Western influences and idealism."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"I've sampled this core material twice now, and even left to my own devices, I'm still a hung jury."
‑ Nick Davis, Nick's Flick Picks
"A surprisingly energetic, kinetic and gripping film, filled with an enviable selection of great character actors."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Slavic gloom and Russian dukh - a word that can be loosely translated as "cunning spirit" - permeate ..."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"A fascinating, stylish commentary on Russian justice and the universality of prejudice set in that great crucible for great drama in the jury room."
‑ Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
"Overwrought, overlong yet mesmerizing."
‑ Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle
"2 1/2 hours of Russian men, middle-aged and up, stuck in one room, pontificating and pleading and challenging. Yes, that means subtitles, lots of them. Still with me? Congratulations."
‑ Matt Soergel, Florida Times-Union
"Unlike Lumet, Mikhalkov doesn't seem to trust 12 angry (or disturbed) men in a room to pull this off."
‑ James Plath, Movie Metropolis
"There is a lot of material to absorb in one sitting with no breathing room as you must rapidly read the subtitles to keep up with the story."
‑ Keith Cohen, Entertainment Spectrum
More reviews for 12 on Rotten Tomatoes