The tradition of Russian stage acting enriches this satisfying update of Reginald Rose's TV play Twelve Angry Men. Nikita Mikhalkov (whose 1994 feature Burnt by the Sun won an Oscar) wrote, directed, and stars as the foreman of a Moscow jury that must deliver a unanimous verdict on a Chechen youth accused of murdering his guardian, a Russian army officer. Vivid flashbacks to the defendant's horrific war experiences punctuate a narrative that gets rolling once a dissenting juror (theater star Sergei Makovetsky, riveting) pleads with his peers to examine the evidence more closely. As the other jurors weigh in, new angles on the case arise, encompassing such issues as ethnic strife, religious bigotry, jealousy, and post-Soviet lawlessness. In Russian and Chechen with subtitles.
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