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The movie centers on mobster Giacomo 'Jackie' DiNorscio, who faces a series of charges even though he has a prior 30-year conviction, but he decides to defend himself in court for what would be the longest mafia trial in U.S. history.
If watching a jury disregard mountains of damning evidence in favor of a charismatic gangster who calls himself a "gagster" seems a morally challenging proposition, well that's all part of the bargain in Lumet's topical drama.
It's hard to do anything in court that hasn't been done before. It's a static situation, and points are scored in tiny increments. No big witness-stand breakdowns, no tearful confessions. Thus, boredom creeps in.