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The 12 angry men was a film acted where the jury consisted of 12 men who would give a verdict on the guilt or innocence of the accused. The film has been used in studies to help teach on matters of groups and team bonding, as well as, the various art of negotiation persuasion and functioning of the criminal justice system. This article checks whether the film is an effective teaching tool.

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The 12 Angry Men Background

The 12 angry men consisted of people who were from different backgrounds and careers to form the jury in a homicide trial. The film elicited various reactions from the way there seem to be transformation of views from guilty to not guilty. As the case continued and with the evidence put forth the jury had clear verdict of guilty with the exception of one dissenting voice. They had to agree on the verdict with all the time placed on their proposal. They later in the end through discussions, persuasions and different viewpoints agreed to hand not guilty verdict.

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There are different scholars who studied the reactions of the film characters and concluded that the film is useful in teaching on team bonding, critical thinking and events shaping the juries in criminal cases. The film shows the art of bargaining and team building. Schwarz (2002) comments that the jury started as individuals in a group with each thinking their own way but through the time they spent arguing out the evidence to prove reasonable doubts, they became a team. They changed from thinking personal to thinking as a team with the goal of finalizing the case to do justice and fair trial. This film is an eclipse of what groups pass through to attain bonding into a formidable team.


The jury in 12 angry men indicates the reaction from the minority when they oppose dismissal due to their weakness in numbers. The one dissenting voice from the initial verdict presumed as guilty did change the overall verdict of the jury. The art of persuasion articulated in the jury showed that even the hard to crack opinions need to be persuaded and would change their views.

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