Pete and Russ did stellar jobs with their fake movie treatments, so I think I’ll jump on board and try it out myself.
Devin, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt because he’s in fucking everything these days, is a extremely friendly, social and lovable criminal with a masters degree in Forensic Science. He never steals from the people he meets, but he will, with a swift and steady hand, remove hair and fabric samples from them without them ever noticing. He has made a living off of burglarizing peoples houses who live more than 20 miles from his residence and framing the “friends” he’s made in the world.
While out on the job one night, the owner of the house, Jerry (played by Brian Cox), comes home and Devin has no choice but to murder him, something that he’s not entirely comfortable with but he has done it before. The murder is clean, as Devin is always precise, and he continues his normal burglary routine by framing Jared, a recently divorced 7th grade geography teacher played by Jeff Daniels. Devin steals all he can, money, jewels, Jerry’s gold retirement watch, and heads out the door.
Time passes. Devin has been quiet for some time, as he always has second guesses about his career choice after a murder. His house is in disarray. Copies of The Art of War, criminal psychology text books, and Tuesday’s With Morrie can be seen around the house. He finally snaps out of it and begins to plan his next crime when there is a knock on the door. The postman, in a brief but important cameo by Kevin Spacey, hands Devin a collection of mail that would not fit in his door slot otherwise. As Devin peruses the mail he sees a notice for grand jury duty. Upon opening the letter he discovers that he has been chosen as a juror to decide the fate of Jared.
All of his attempts at being expelled from jury duty fail as he is chosen as one of the 12 to determine what will happen with Jared. In the sequestered state the 12 jurors (played by Sissy Spacek, Seth Green, Michael Chiklis, Amanda Peet, Bryce Dallas Howard, Claire Forlani, Justin Theroux, Chris Diamantopoulous, Freddy Prince Jr, Emily Browning, and Jessica Lang) are in, they all make sly remarks about how Jared will get the death penalty. At first Devin is relieved by this, but when Jared’s two children, a boy and girl played by Jake Short and Willow Shields, attend the trial. They cry and create so much of a ruckus that the judge, played by Armand Assante, asks them to leave.
Devin can no longer sleep, he does not even notice Emily Browning’s character flirting with him constantly. His mind is constantly to the kids and the murder. He decides that he has to convince the jury that Jared did not do it. He draws up graphs, brings up photos of Jerry and the crime scene, shows the murder weapon and all the forensic evidence he left, and brings maps showing Jared’s location to the murder, but no one on the jury is convinced. Not until Devin is asked about the time, by fellow juror Jessica Lang. Devin glances at his watch, the gold watch he stole from Jerry.
Devin walks out of the room, into the court, places the gold watch on the judges desk, sits down in the witness box, and tells the whole story, the stenographer frantically typing. When he’s finished, the judge looks to the stenographer and asks, “Did you get all that?” The stenographer, played by Emily Watson, looks at the judge says, “every last word” as she picks up the roll of paper and begins to read. The camera zooms into the roll of paper revealing the words: