12 Angry Men

  • Review Date: July 10, 2003
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2001

Common Sense Media says

Outstanding Henry Fonda jury classic.
  • Review Date: July 10, 2003
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2001





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The fact that this jury is made up exclusively of white males should be explained to kids as a sign of the film's time period.


A young man is accused of stabbing his father to death.

Not applicable

One "damn."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a gripping drama that makes assets out of a simple situation (the ordinary deliberations of a jury) and setting (the room where they have been sequestered). Despite its age, this drama still has a lot to say about the principles on which the American justice system is based, as well as issues of prejudice.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

"Nice bunch of guys, huh?" one juror remarks sarcastically after a particularly heated argument. The juror played by Henry Fonda replies, "They're about the same as anyone else." That observation is central to 12 ANGRY MEN, which creates mesmerizing drama in an event that takes place many times every day throughout the United States: a man is tried by a jury of his peers.

Is it any good?


Although 12 Angry Men is almost half a century old, its examination of the jury system is as valid as ever, and it may be even more important today when media sensationalism has such a strong effect on public perceptions of the accused. The movie stresses that the most crucial issue is not whether the jurors think the accused is guilty, but, according to the law, whether that has been proven "beyond a reasonable doubt."

Henry Fonda, perfectly cast as a man who values reason, leads a troupe of familiar character actors in a movie that makes a virtue out of its cramped setting. Fonda is one of the great movie stars who will be discovered afresh by new generations.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about confusing aspects of the legal system and the complex topic of prejudice. Parents may also want to explore the idea of being tried by a "jury of your peers," since it's easy for kids to assume that peers are people who are similar to the accused in nearly every way.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 6, 2001
DVD release date:March 6, 2001
Cast:Henry Fonda, Joseph Sweeney, Robert Webber
Director:Sidney Lumet
Run time:95 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of 12 Angry Men was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 16 years old Written bymoviemogul April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

Good for all ages

I watched this one night on TCM, and, being interested in such movies, watched the whole thing through. I think it was on Halloween last year, so I was only 14-- so it was fine for my age, and is actually good for almost everyone. Some kids will want to see it, albeit they might fall asleep given their tastes in movies, so i suggest that the viewers be interested in such a genre of movies (or at least the novels of John Grisham-- who is an excellent author by the way).

Adult Written bytommysportsgirl April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

A classic!

Fantastic movie! Little kids will be bored, but older ones should definately see this!

Teen, 15 years old Written bybubbo April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

An Incredible Classic!

12 Angry Men is a fascinating, great film. Although the whole movie takes place in one room, and is just a bunch of men arguing, it still somehow keeps your full attention.
As far as content goes, there isn't too much parents would object to. Characters discuss a murder, but that's pretty much it. It's appropriate for kids, although I'm not sure if many will like it since the whole thing is dialogue and it's rather slow-paced compared to most of today's films.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Top Kids' Movies: An Essential Guide for Families