This taut and thrilling drama focuses on a jury's deliberations in a capital murder case. A 12-man jury is brought into isolation to begin deliberations in the first-degree murder trial of an 18-year-old Latino accused in the stabbing death of his father, where a guilty verdict means an automatic death sentence.
The case appears to be open-and-shut: The defendant has a weak alibi; a knife he claimed to have lost is found at the murder scene; and several witnesses either heard screaming, saw the killing or the boy fleeing the scene. Eleven of the jurors immediately vote guilty; only Juror No. 8 (Mr. Davis) casts a not guilty vote.
At first Mr. Davis' bases his vote more so for the sake of discussion after all, the jurors must believe beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. As the deliberations unfold, the story quickly becomes a study of the jurors' complex personalities (which range from wise, bright and empathetic to arrogant, prejudiced and merciless), preconceptions, backgrounds and interactions.
Examining the beauty of reaching justice through the jury process, this quizzically crafted saga delves into Mr. Davis' attempts in convincing the other jurors that a "not guilty" verdict might be appropriate. What will the final verdict be? Will all 12 jurors succeed in reaching the unanimous verdict?
Did you know?
At the beginning of the film, the cameras are all positioned above eye level and mounted with wide-angle lenses to give the appearance of greater distance between the subjects. As the film progresses the cameras slip down to eye level. By the end of the film, nearly all of it is shot below eye level, in close-up and with telephoto lenses to increase the encroaching sense of claustrophobia. Read More