Category: 12 Angry Films: Sidney Lumet on Justice by Brian Brems

A Vague Visages Film Series by Brian Brems

Find Me Guilty Movie Film

12 Angry Films: Sidney Lumet on Justice #12 – ‘Find Me Guilty’

“The accumulated effect of ‘Find Me Guilty,’ with its litany of absurdities, is that it is better to deliver the accused from continued subjugation than to maintain faith in a system that has lost all claim to its moral authority.”

Night Falls on Manhattan Movie Film

12 Angry Films: Sidney Lumet on Justice #11 – ‘Night Falls on Manhattan’

“In ‘Night Falls on Manhattan,’ Lumet arrives at acceptance — the system is what it is. He is resigned to his inability to chronicle any meaningful change through his work.”

A Stranger Among Us Movie - Justice Essay

12 Angry Films: Sidney Lumet on Justice #10 – ‘A Stranger Among Us’

“As a chronicler of the justice system in a dozen or more films, Lumet is intimately concerned with the ways in which it represses individual thought and fails to live up to its supposedly defining principles.”

Q & A Movie - Film Essay

12 Angry Films: Sidney Lumet on Justice #9 – ‘Q & A’

“The thrill of a film like ‘Q & A’ comes in watching how Lumet finds new ways to level his criticisms, harnessing the cynicism that has propelled his work and suffusing each frame with deep, corrupting rot.”

Daniel 1983 Movie - Film Essay

12 Angry Films: Sidney Lumet on Justice #8 – ‘Daniel’

“Though Sidney Lumet is by and large a classical filmmaker who privileges wide shots, staging and judicious framing over highly expressive techniques, ‘Daniel’ is one of his most formally adventurous works.”

The Verdict 1982 Movie - Film Essay

12 Angry Films: Sidney Lumet on Justice #7 – ‘The Verdict’

“‘The Verdict’ is Lumet’s morality play, a palate-cleanser after the bitter cynicism of his previous film that affirms the fundamental goodness of a few ordinary people within the justice system.”

Prince of the City 1981 Movie - Film Essay About Justice

12 Angry Films: Sidney Lumet on Justice #6 – ‘Prince of the City’

“‘Prince of the City’ is a taxing, draining experience, but one that is ultimately rooted in very real despair; the system, it argues, has failed. If these characters are the products of the American criminal justice system, then it ought to be blown up.”

Dog Day Afternoon 1975 Movie - Film Essay About Justice

12 Angry Films: Sidney Lumet on Justice #5 – ‘Dog Day Afternoon’

“By creating such a sympathetic, human subject, Lumet deepens the impact of his institutional critique of the justice system; its dehumanizing effect on American society seems all the more tragic when Sonny is its victim.”

Serpico 1973 Movie - Film Essay

12 Angry Films: Sidney Lumet on Justice #4 – ‘Serpico’

“With ‘Serpico,’ Lumet becomes a defining chronicler of American institutional corruption, most obviously within the justice system.”

The Offence 1973 Movie - Film Essay

12 Angry Films: Sidney Lumet on Justice #3 – ‘The Offence’

“For a filmmaker usually so concerned with the social causes of injustice, ‘The Offence’ is remarkably focused on the troubled psychology of its central character.”

The Hill Movie Essay - 1965 Film

12 Angry Films: Sidney Lumet on Justice #2 – ’The Hill’

“‘The Hill’ charts a path forward for Lumet’s justice films, which increasingly depart from the idealism of ’12 Angry Men’ and reckon deeply with the justice system’s contradictory, irreconcilable principles.”

12 Angry Men 1957 Movie - Sidney Lumet Film Essay

12 Angry Films: Sidney Lumet on Justice #1 – ’12 Angry Men’

“Spaces are key to Lumet’s vision of the justice system; the ideas that bind it together must play out in physical spaces, and in them, Lumet finds the embodiment of all its flaws and virtues.”