Here are his essential films:
Henry Fonda plays a dissenting juror not willing to send a man to his death. With 11 to 1 odds, the heroic juror spends two hours trying to convince his case that there is in fact a "reasonable doubt" to the accused's guilt in this gripping, claustrophobic drama.
A cynical criticism of the television industry and American culture that rings more true today than it did upon the film's initial release. A film incredibly ahead of its time.
"Attaca! Attaca!" When a desperate man robs a bank to pay for his lover's sex-change operation, Lumet masterfully manipulates the audience to cheer for the anti-hero.
The "serious" counterpart to Stanley Kubrick's comedy about worldwide nuclear destruction, Dr. Strangelove. The film ranks up the tension in this high-stakes chess match between two world powers on the verge of annihilation.
In one of Paul Newman's best performances, he plays a disgraced lawyer who searches for redemption by taking a medical malpractice lawsuit to trial instead of settling.
Al Pacino went from a gangster in The Godfather to play Frank Serpico, a detective seeking to root out corruption and injustice in the New York Police Department.
Other Notable Films:
THE PAWNBROKER (1964)
THE HILL (1965)
THE OFFENCE (1973)
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (1974)
THE WIZ (1978)
PRINCE OF THE CITY (1981)
DEATH TRAP (1982)
RUNNING ON EMPTY (1988)
FIND ME GUILTY (2006)
BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD (2007)