Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    Miklahkov keeps 12 tops spinning at all times in the school gymnasium that serves as their deliberation room, and though the speech/conversion pattern grows a little pat, the movement toward consensus raises the further, richly complicated question of how to decide not only what is right, but what is best.
  2. 89
    12 is every bit as much of a moral powerhouse as its predecessors but with the added bonus of being simultaneously intellectually riveting and, at times, almost indescribably poetic.
  3. 88
    Mikhalkov has made a new film with its own original characters and stories, and after all, it's not how the film ends, but how it gets there.
  4. 88
    The time passes quickly. This is the rare remake that does honor to the spirit of the original.
  5. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    The title is shorter, but that's the only thing remotely diminished about 12, Nikita Mikhalkov's exuberantly Russian reworking of Reginald Rose's 1950s jury-room play, "12 Angry Men."
  6. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    There is an unnerving and hopefully implausible twist at the end, but for the most part, Mikhalkov's 12 is magnetic.
  7. With its thunderous drama and larger-than-life characters, which lend it a brawling energy, 12 is never dull.
  8. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    Expansively, dramatically, magnificently Russian, Nikita Mikhalkov's loose remake of "12 Angry Men" plays like vintage jazz from a veteran band.
  9. Reviewed by: Dan Zak
    Mikhalkov's 12 breathes and floats.
  10. The tradition of Russian stage acting enriches this satisfying update of Reginald Rose's TV play "Twelve Angry Men."
  11. 67
    Mikhalkov plays the jury foreman, allowing himself a bit of business that eventually erases itself, amounting, effectively, to nothing. Alas, too much of this splashy film is just like that.
  12. 67
    Rarely has the voyeuristic appeal of sitting on a jury been so cleverly expressed.
  13. I haven't heard this much shouting in a movie since the first hour of "Full Metal Jacket."
  14. No matter how bad things get, you can always be thankful for this: You're not on trial for murder in Russia.
  15. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    The new film's not only almost double the length of the original, it's four times as ambitious - a sprawling, surrealist, ultimately disturbing portrait of a society lurching uncertainly toward democracy. What's really on trial in this movie? Just the Russian soul.
  16. Yes, Mikhalkov has set himself quite the agenda, but in the end the film is too much of a piece with its topic, intensely fascinating yet seriously flawed. The verdict? Guilty, with extenuating circumstances.
  17. Has none of the crisp passion or suspense of the 1957 Sidney Lumet version; it's bloated, heavy-handed, and lugubrious.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 2 out of 5
  1. CaroleG.
    Mar 29, 2009
    This is an outstanding film! It not only updates "Twelve Angry Men" but immerses us in the Russian struggle with Chechnya. Every member of the cast is superb--what an ensemble! Except for the slow and slightly annoying beginning, when the jury doesn't seem to take its responsibility at all seriously (unlike my experiences as an American jury member), the film is totally gripping. One is reminded of the Russian talent for Drama, here used wonderfully to the max. It makes me sad that more people are not eager to see this film, which manages to fully evoke the humanity of its least likable characters. Knowing the ending of the original does nothing to reduce the immense pleasure of how these 12 jury members come to their conclusion. Full Review »
  2. DanL
    Mar 12, 2009
    Captures the essence of the original, but adds a distinctly Russian flavor. Always interesting, and always compelling, the film manages to have everything come together in the end and work as a coherent and compelling whole. Still, there is something missing, and this, while a great production, will never carry the same weight as the original See it. Enjoy it. Don't expect it to eclipse the original, and don't let its differences and shortcomings bother you. If you can't do anythings, then you'd be be spending your money on a ticket for something else. Full Review »
  3. BenjaminM
    Mar 11, 2009
    Tries to do everything & ends up doing nothing.