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?