25th hour movie review, DVDs, posters
25th Hour

25th Hour
Edward Norton, Rosario Dawson

Directed by Spike Lee
Rated R
for strong language and some violence

*** out of **** Stars, Movie Grade: B+
movie trailer

Theatrical Release: January 31, 2003 (expands)
Running time: 134 minutes

by Kevin Lang

Edward Norton played Monty Brogan in the Spike Lee directed "25th Hour." The story, based on the novel by David Benioff, revolved around the final twenty-four hours that Monty had before leaving New York City to serve a seven-year jail sentence upstate.

"25th Hour" wasn't necessarily a film about redemption or righting prior wrongs. It evoked a different feeling in the viewer. In watching this film, we discovered through Monty what it would feel like if we had to leave the life that we knew behind, in order to accept a much darker future. The movie conveyed these emotions realistically, as we watched Monty spend his final hours with his father (Brian Cox), his two close friends, Jakob (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) and Frank (Barry Pepper), and his girlfriend, Naturelle (Rosario Dawson).

It was easy to like Edward Norton's character despite the error of his way. From the beginning, Monty evoked a strong sense of loyalty and compassion towards the people that he cared about. The movie opened with Monty saving a wounded dog, which he adopted and named Doyle. Like Doyle, Monty was a loyal friend to those with whom he was close. This side of Monty never seemed to waiver, and Doyle was a symbol of this.

The entire cast of "25th Hour" delivered strong performances, especially Edward Norton and Barry Pepper. Pepper played an unmarried Wall Street broker with an expanded ego, who ended up having to do an unthinkable favor for Monty near the end. Brian Cox, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Rosario Dawson, and Anna Paquin were also enjoyable. Cox's voiceover at the end highlighted one of the more emotional sequences of the movie, which offered a brief sense of bittersweet hope.

With a strong cast, and a seedy sense of realism evoking Monty's looming fate, "25th Hour" successfully captured the final hours in a life on the verge of an unfortunate but just change.

"25th Hour" Review written January 28, 2003, CTF.

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"25th Hour" DVD

25th Hour dvd

DVD Features:

* Commentary by director Spike Lee
* Commentary by writer/author David Benioff
* Deleted scenes
* "The Evolution of an American Filmmaker" featurette
* "Ground Zero: A Tribute"

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