Study Guide

12 Angry Men Justice and Judgment

Justice and Judgment

It's probably not surprising that justice and judgment are major themes in a movie that takes place entirely in a jury room. In fact, you could say that the whole story of 12 Angry Men revolves around the issue of how people determine guilt and innocence in a democratic society. Sure, democracy can be really messy and really annoying, but this movie is definitely optimistic about the ability for people to come together and make the right decision, even if they're not all making it for the right reasons.

Questions About Justice and Judgment

  1. Do you think that this movie gives a realistic depiction of how one person's sense of justice can sway a room full of naysayers, or do you think it's too optimistic? Why?
  2. Which jurors have the weakest sense of justice, and why?
  3. How would you rank Juror #4's sense of justice? Is his cold rationality a good thing or bad thing in this movie? Why?
  4. What would you say is the "turning point" of this movie? At what exact point does the jury start leaning toward a Not Guilty verdict? Why?

Chew on This

In 12 Angry Men, we learn that different people can have very different definitions of justice.

12 Angry Men shows us that it's often the people with the most rigid sense of justice who are the most prejudiced.