Angry Robot

25th Hour

Maybe this is the crazy talking but I’m going out on a limb and saying 25th Hour is one of the best films of the year. People are sleeping on Spike’s latest, possibly because some of its experimental passages have a polarizing effect and led to mixed reviews, possibly because none of its characters fights evil in tights.

Important point about it: first film to deal explicitly with the WTC attacks. One of the characters has a condo that overlooks Ground Zero and one scene plays out with the ruins in the background. But Lee makes the sadness and anger that accompanies the main character’s last day of freedom that of the US at large. Noticing that “fuck you” is written on a bathroom mirror, Monty’s reflection launches into a tirade of fuck yous, directed at every ethnicity and class in the microcosm of New York.

Another point: the utter lack of cliche. Summer of Sam was strong like that, too. In 25th Hour only the Russian mob characters remotely approach Hollywood convention – every other character has some idiosyncrasy that makes him unique. Monty especially is an atypical drug dealer to say the least.

Final point: the ending sequence. Some find it stupid, I found it devastating, and wondered why have I never seen anything like it before?

6 comments on "25th Hour"

  1. adampsyche says:

    I really enjoyed that movie, especially the ending dream sequence. I thought the fuck you sequence was great, too, though some others I talked to didn’t like it. Thanks for expressing an appreciation for that film that seems somewhat unpopular. You hit the nail on the head.

  2. SHAFT says:


  3. D says:

    Oh, the joys of an open commenting system.

  4. New Yorker says:

    The movie does have a great cast and a few great performance (Ed Norton especially carried the film), and a few things (like camera work) that make it stand out as a film. Other than that, it seems to me a film cult thing more than anything else like Dazed and Confused. Like the cult films of the past, 25th Hour leaves majority of the audience (who dare pay attention to all the details) with unneeded questions and disappointments.

    The movie feels like Spike Lee wanted 25th hour to be a movie more than the 30 minute show (which is being generous), making me feel like I just have been ripped off of the ever increasing Ticket prices (where I could have rented it to watch Ed Norton’s brilliant performance for half the price when it comes out on video). Just think about the topic for god’s sake, a man reviewing his RECENT mistakes while waiting for imprisonment.

    For the scene with the John Rocker-esque bantering by Ed Norton infuriates me even further. When an athlete says comments similar to those by Norton, the man is run out of the major leagues and is made a public enemy number one. When a director directs a public motion picture, with insensitive racial bashing, it seems to be overlooked or considered the great memorable scene in the movie. Just because Spike Lee is black does not preclude him from being a racist or a bigot. In fact, I believe this is an example of reverse-racism if I ever saw one. I have faced many racism by both whites and blacks in my life time, but what infuriates me is that blacks have had experience in racism in the past US history (among others races). Spike Lee has requested sensitivity to racism and prejudice in the past, yet it seems to only matter when it comes to blacks. For if he was really against racism in general, he would have editted the scene (not necesarily delete it). Directing a MOVIE does not excuse the director of the contents in his film that he/she directed. I am boycotting any film that the little punk/bigot directs from this movie on.

    The only thing I liked is the scenes revolving the WTC. Although I doubt that it will serious improve the current anti-American sentiment around the world held by countries such as France (which would be a territory of Germany if it were not for U.S. intervention) and Germany (which US rebuilt following the war with US money to become a European industrial power where according to my business teacher…helped build German Train system to be even better than the most in US such as LIRR in NY).

  5. D says:

    That’s nonsense about the racism, New Yorker. If I make a movie that has racist characters, am I a racist?

  6. New Yorker 2 says:

    the whole point of the fuck you rant was for Monty to see his faults. He is disgusted with himself. And as for the WTC scenes, i think they sucked. The only real point of them was to show that New Yorkers were dealing with it. Maybe Spike put it in their to attract customers. It is definitely not important. You make it seem like people in other countries dont know weve been attacked. Do you think seeing it in a movie is really going to make a difference?

    But hey what do i know im just a 15 yr old who saw the movie on starz and went searching for the “fuck you” monologue… too bad i found your pissant review of the movie and its too bad you live in New York and you represent people from New York on this website.

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