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25th Hour (2002)

Cast: Edward Norton, Edward Norton, Philip Seymour Hoffman, more...
Director: Spike Lee, Spike Lee
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Rating:
Studio: Walt Disney Video
Genre: Drama, Crime
Running Time: 134 min.
Languages: English, French
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Synopsis
A man has one day to put his life in order before a long stretch in prison in this drama directed by Spike Lee. Monty Brogan (Edward Norton) is a man who came from a working class family in New York. Monty's best friends Jacob (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Slaughtery (Barry Pepper) went on to distinguished careers as, respectively, a high school teacher and a bonds trader, but Monty took a different path and began dealing drugs. While Monty's trade has made him plenty of money, it hasn't brought him much respect from his family and friends, and while Jacob and Slaughtery have stayed in touch, Monty's lifestyle has led them to keep their distance. One night, Monty is relaxing at home with his girlfriend Naturelle (Rosario Dawson) when the police show up; Monty is arrested, and after a trial he's sentenced to seven years in prison. On his last day of freedom before he goes to jail, Monty tries to make amends with his father (Brian Cox) and goes out on the town with Jacob and Slaughtery. With both of his friends facing emotional crises of their own, Monty finds himself wondering where his life took a wrong turn and if there's any way left to redeem himself. Along the way, Monty begins to suspect that Naturelle may have turned him in, and he has to deal with Kostya Novotny (Tony Siragusa), an ill-tempered drug supplier who has unfinished business with him. 25th Hour was scripted by David Benioff, who adapted the story from his novel of the same name. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

You might also enjoy:
Clockers
Earlier sprawling Spike Lee joint about urban drug dealing had a more behind-the-scenes feel

Light Sleeper
Willem Dafoe is excellent as a drug dealer at a crossroads in his life

American History X
Norton lights up the screen as a skinhead in this unflinching drama


GreenCine Member Reviews

Not a Spike Lee Joint by garkell October 10, 2004 - 6:56 PM PDT
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4 out of 9 members found this review helpful
Average hollywood cornball movie. What's all the sobbing about this guy going up river for 7 years? A drop in the hat in prison time. You think the guy was arrested for child porn and they found kid's bodies in his basement. Hell, he's surrounded by people who love him, a knockout girl, and a great father. We should all be so lucky.
Too much predicability here. The best actors in this movie are the stock broker, the young tart, the dad, and Phillip Hoffman. Everyone else is average to terrible. The dogs sucks, the Russians suck, the women suck, the gimmicky editing sucks, etc.

Spike Lee should pull all copies of this movie and remake it as a documentary about a real life story of a guy about to go to prison. Maybe I should listen to the director commentary before total condemnation.

Minimal content stretched to absurd length by talltale August 19, 2004 - 8:31 AM PDT
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3 out of 6 members found this review helpful
Once I've begun watching a film, I almost always finish it, but with 25TH HOUR, I came close to stopping midway (and every few ensuing minutes). This is one tiresome movie, waaaaay overlong, and even more unbelievable. Into the Ed Norton character's last day before beginning his prison term, the film tries to pack every imaginable event--many of them not remotely real. Example: would this guy wait until a few hours before prison to find a caretaker for his beloved dog? (The dog's been paramount to the movie and to his life from the first scene, for Christ's sake!) Would his Russian mob boss wait until right before prison to threaten this guy--and then come off like a real mensch (all Russian mob bosses should be so wonderful)? Would the aforementioned dog stand happily by, wagging his tail, while his owner gets beaten up? (There ARE shots of an angry dog, but these alternate with shots of a quiet, happy dog. What happened to intelligent film editing?) And, oh, the pompous music that underscores every dramatic moment: I thought I was back in the 1950s. I could go on, but why? Evidently, other members loved this film, so, hey, take your chance. The performances are OK, as far as they're permitted to go, and Spike Lee at least refrains from rubbing our noses in dumb camera effects (as he has in his recent films). But this is scant praise for less than 60 minutes of content dragged unconscionably into more than two hours of film. Get the hook!

Great but..... by ESanders July 29, 2004 - 7:56 AM PDT
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7 out of 9 members found this review helpful
I loved this movie. You really get into Monty's head and wonder what he's going to do at the end. The characters are real and believable, the music is excellent, and it's visually appealling. My only criticism is there are some scenes (and I won't tell you which) that drag on too long. Still, a solid 9 in my book. Enjoy !

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(Average 6.84)
315 Votes
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