12 Angry Men



Outstanding Henry Fonda jury classic.
Popular with kids
  • Review Date: July 10, 2003
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2001
  • Running Time: 95 minutes

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.

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

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


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; OK 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.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

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, 13 years old Written byMovieGuy45 March 5, 2013

This classic court room drama centers around 12 jurors, all willing to vote guilty, except one skeptical juror.

The film is something a 6 or 7 year old would loose interest in, there are no explosions, sex, shootouts, or a car chase. This is well done movie, it is just fantastic.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written bybooklover27 November 19, 2011

AMAZING MOVIE! Appropriate for all ages.

This movie is amazing though I would recommend for teens because younger children might get bored. I absolutely LOVE this movie! It is one of those movies you have to watch before you die!
Teen, 15 years old Written bymongofa June 16, 2010

Great movie that teens would like the most

Fantastic movie. I watched it in social studies class. It is amazing, but young kids would get bored since nearly the whole movie takes place in one room.


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

Special Needs Guide