Time is running out for Monty Brogan – in 24 hours he will have to give himself up to serve a seven-year prison sentence for drug dealing. Monty was something of a big-shot in Manhattan but now it’s time for him to bid farewell to the bright lights for a while…
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A film about second chances, which manifest themselves in double-take edits whenever characters embrace, and a meditation on how we grapple with life-altering events. The rubble of the WTC provides the backdrop to this cousin of Do the Right Thing. The earlier film concerns itself with the buildup to the "big event," while The 25th Hour is more concerned with the aftermath. An important entry in post-9/11 cinema.
The only time I watched "25th Hour" it was many years ago, and I loved it. Tonight I feel devastated the same way. I guess it was no overstatement from me when I told Spike Lee in person that this film is a masterpiece. It makes a good couple with "The Departed" in sketching out the America of the 'Post-9/11 Era'.
[REVIEW] 85/100 - THE 25th HOUR (Spike Lee, 2002)
"Overall an excellent film with stylistic tendencies and visual appeal. Spike Lee’s direction is fluid and committed, giving the viewer a strong sense of his aims and themes. In spite of this, the film suffers from some notable pacing issues..."
Just saw it for the second time (it's been a while since I first saw it). It's so well formed and really excellent. The characters are fleshed out, the score - although sometimes strange - is lovely, the cinematography inspiring, and the story absolutely engaging. Not to mention a great cast.
There are at least four very good performances at the core of the film, with the underrated Barry Pepper delivering the best amongst the supporting cast. Lee adopts an ellipitical editing style that leaves many of the actions and decisions of his characters seeming to come from a place of desperation and impulse, as if every one of them is suffering a traumatic loss.
Brilliant! Edward Norton's calm demeanor is perfect for the role of a man going through an existential crisis as he draws closer to his seven year sentence, after being caught for drug smuggling. Spike Lee's genius is in the way that he guides us through so many complex characters lives with their own in depth stories without distracting us from the main plot.