Every so often along comes a movie that makes us think about our decisions our values, and sometimes about society in general. Here are some great thought provoking movies that make us think, and sometimes feel more than we would we like.
12 Angry Men
12 Angry Men aired in 1957, but the issues presented in this movie are still as relevant today as they were almost 60 years ago. The movie is about a jury who must decide on the guilt or innocence of a young man accused of killing his father. Each juror enters the jury room with their own personal agenda and their own prejudices which they must then put aside to render a fair verdict that could mean life and death to the accused. As we watch the arguments, and the power of persuasion exercised by juror number 8 it causes us to think about whether we ourselves could put our own prejudices aside and render a verdict based entirely on the facts. 12 Angry men takes a unique look at the American jury system and it’s problems as well as it’s potential.
Lord of the Flies
Another extremely thought provoking movie is Lord of the Flies. This movie involves a group of boys that have shipwrecked and turn to savagery once removed from all of societies rules and regulations. The movie makes you wonder if our humanity is only there because it is dictated by society and if societies rules were suddenly removed if we would turn into savages, or would the voice of reason assert itself at least in those who are bit older and wiser.
To Time to Kill
Based on the novel by John Grisham this movie begs the question is there ever a time when committing murder is justified? Even for those people who would automatically respond no, this movie puts you the position of the father of a 10 year old black girl, who was brutally raped and left for dead. Told that chances are that the people who are guilty of the rape will likely go free, the father kills both the men, and is defended by a white attorney in Mississippi, who has a daughter of his own. Any parent watching this film can certainly relate to the choice made by the father whether you agree with it or not, and makes you think about what is wrong with a society that would the guilty go free based on prejudicial beliefs and feelings about another race.
While overall this movie barely makes it past a B rating it does beg the question of what you would be willing to do for a million dollars? It also poses the addition question of whether money can ever really buy happiness. When a young couple meets a wealthy man who offers them a million dollars for one night with the wife, the couple sees a way for all of their dreams to come true. However, they really don’t think far enough ahead to explore what the effects of their decision will have on their lives and their love for one another.
The simple truth is that any well made movie can leave you with many thoughts and feeling, giving us a chance to explore our own prejudices, values and even our view of ourselves and society.