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25th Hour

25th Hour

4.7 17
Director: Spike Lee

Cast: Edward Norton, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Barry Pepper

The DVD for Spike Lee's poignant, subdued 25th Hour is as good as the movie itself. The 2.35:1 anamorphic image is excellent all-around. Grainy here, vividly clear there, it's a faithful representation of the theatrical print. Detail is very strong, and the color scheme envisioned by Lee and director of photography Rodrigo Prieto is a real strong point. Reds


The DVD for Spike Lee's poignant, subdued 25th Hour is as good as the movie itself. The 2.35:1 anamorphic image is excellent all-around. Grainy here, vividly clear there, it's a faithful representation of the theatrical print. Detail is very strong, and the color scheme envisioned by Lee and director of photography Rodrigo Prieto is a real strong point. Reds and blues, in particular, stand out vibrantly. The 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack is equally good. While the dialogue is centered up front, the surrounds are very aggressive at the right time, creatively enveloping the viewer, especially during a club scene late in the film. At times it's actually a bit startling, but thoroughly effective. A number of worthwhile supplements have been included. Most important are two commentaries, one from the director and the other from the author/screenwriter David Benioff. Both offer, from their own perspective, a wealth of information about making the film and the challenges involved. Equally important, though maybe showing a little conceit, is a 20-minute featurette on the career of Lee. He's praised by all, including Halle Berry and Martin Scorsese, as one of the finest filmmakers of our time. Finally, along with a montage of Ground Zero shots edited together, are a handful of deleted scenes, most of which wouldn't have added anything to the film.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
With this superb, gritty urban drama, controversial director Spike Lee proves again that, for all his thematic affectations, he's a formidable talent with a unique vision. 25th Hour, adapted by David Benioff from his own highly acclaimed novel, is perhaps Lee's most accessible film to date, and it boasts some remarkable performances. Edward Norton is perfectly cast (and quite believable) as Monty Brogan, an upscale New York drug dealer to whom we are introduced just one day before he's to begin a seven-year sentence in an upstate prison. Within 24 hours he has to say goodbye to the people he cares about most: his Puerto Rican girlfriend (Rosario Dawson), his tavern-owning dad (Brian Cox), and his childhood best friends (Philip Seymour Hoffman and Barry Pepper). Lee's peripatetic camera follows Monty throughout his last day of freedom, during which time he ponders the significance of his ill-advised actions and reevaluates the choices he's made. Like most of the director's films, 25th Hour is a quintessential New York story, and Lee's fascination with -- and affection for -- his hometown is apparent in every scene, including several that refer to the events of September 11, 2001. But at bottom this movie is a character study, and without Norton's incisive interpretation of Monty Brogan the film wouldn't be nearly as successful. Norton succeeds in making his street-smart drug dealer a sympathetic character, and we predict you'll remember the bitter rant Monty delivers on the eve of his incarceration. Hoffman makes the most of a muted character, and Pepper really scores as Monty's smug stockbroker friend, who exhibits little sympathy for the convicted dealer but loyally sees him off. Dawson, heretofore underutilized in such mainstream fodder as Josie and the Pussycats and The Adventures of Pluto Nash, delivers her best performance to date as the girlfriend, Naturelle, and Cox has a fine supporting turn as the father. Lee's direction is virtually unerring; he perfectly captures the essence of every scene, and for once he seamlessly integrates photography, editing, production design, and music. Poignant and plaintive, 25th Hour ranks at the top of Lee's oeuvre.
Barnes & Noble
All Movie Guide
It's no surprise that a consummate New York filmmaker -- especially one who wears his heart on his sleeve -- should direct the first mainstream film that wrestles openly with the aftermath of September 11th. Less expected was that Spike Lee would so cleverly absorb those themes into the subtext of an unrelated story about a pinched drug dealer, Monty Brogan (Edward Norton), indulging his final freedoms before going up the river. Granted, Lee's trademark sledgehammer approach does have its moments in The 25th Hour, such as when Monty's rage erupts in the form of a diatribe against New York's spectrum of ethnic and socioeconomic archetypes, an echo of Do the Right Thing. However, the fact that this aggressive defamation of the city's populace doubles as an ode to its diversity gets at the contradictory nature of post-traumatic New York -- it's more wary and distrustful than ever, yet eager to rebound toward glory. Norton's Monty Brogan serves as a stand-in for the American people, his complacency destroyed by a rude awakening, then quickly replaced by fears of a murky future. Norton leads a dynamite ensemble that includes typically strong performances from Philip Seymour Hoffman, Anna Paquin, Rosario Dawson, and Brian Cox, as well as a career-best showing from Barry Pepper as Monty's best friend, a hotshot broker bound to the condemned man for one last favor. As always, Lee's provocative dolly shots, long takes, and collage-like edits make his camera a vital addition to the cast, able to frame this loss of innocence in all of the city's familiar corners. And in the film's memorable coda, Lee does find that magic hour, the home of something he and other shell-shocked Americans desperately need: illogical hope.
Entertainment Weekly
Lee, as he did in Malcolm X and Clockers, makes his hero's dread palpable...I was held by the toughness and pity of Lee's gaze. Owen Gleiberman
Village Voice
Held together in the vise of a powerful script. J. Hoberman
San Francisco Chronicle
The first great 21st century movie about a 21st century subject. Mick LaSalle

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Walt Disney Video
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[THX-Supervised Mastering, Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; Deleted scenes; Audio commentary with director Spike Lee; Audio commentary with writer David Benioff; "The Evolution of an American Filmmaker" featurette; "Ground Zero" - A tribute; Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound; THX-certified; Widescreen (2.35:1) -- enhanced for 16 x 9 televisions; French-language track

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Edward Norton Montgomery "Monty" Brogan
Philip Seymour Hoffman Jakob Elinsky
Barry Pepper Francis Xavier Slaughtery
Rosario Dawson Naturelle Riviera
Anna Paquin Mary D'Annunzio
Brian Cox James Brogan
Tony Siragusa Kostya Novotny
Michael Levanios Uncle Nikolai
Misha Kuznetsov Senka Valghobek
Isiah Whitlock Agent Flood
Michael Genet Agent Cunningham
Patrice O'Neal Actor

Technical Credits
Spike Lee Director,Producer
David Benioff Screenwriter
Terence Blanchard Score Composer
Barry Alexander Brown Editor
Julia Chasman Producer
James Chinlund Production Designer
Aisha Coley Casting
Mike Ellis Asst. Director
Sandra Hernandez Costumes/Costume Designer
Ondine Karady Set Decoration/Design
Jon Kilik Producer
Nicholas Lundy Art Director
Tobey Maguire Producer
Edward Norton Producer
Rolf Pardula Sound/Sound Designer
Rodrigo Prieto Cinematographer
Jeff Sommerville Associate Producer
Nick Wechsler Executive Producer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. A Good Dog
2. Touched
3. English Class
4. Frank
5. Uncomfortable Sofa
6. Reflection
7. Three Choices
8. Interrogation
9. 62nd Percentile
10. Naturelle
11. Last Night Out
12. Greed and Regret
13. Jake the Snake
14. "Paid in Full"
15. Nikolai's Advice
16. "One Last Thing"
17. Time to Go
18. "Left Turn to Where?"
19. Don't Look Back
20. End Credits


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25th Hour 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gritty. Tough. Street-smart. All these adjectives would describe this film, and most importantly, New York City. I loved Norton's acerbic rant. Among Spike Lee's best films, in my opinion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When renting this movie I thought it would be boring, but decided to give it a chance. I'm really glad I rented this movie now because it ended up being of my favorite movies of all time. Edward Norton does excellent acting in this movie, but so do all the other stars in this movie. An awesome story, with a very good ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this movie; both the performances and the soundtrack are pretty outstanding. Although the plot is simple, the analysis of the different characters keeps your attention, making the movie both emotional and intense. The images and dialogues are all in line with the usual Spike Lee movies.
Gonzo84 More than 1 year ago
I am an avid Spike Lee fan, I am also a New Yorker...this film is one of those rare films out there that I can watch over and over like it was the first time I've seen it. The story is about a guy whose on top of his game and then loses everything and how he spends his last 24hours before he is enters a whirl wind of hell in prison. Edward Norton does a great job (As he always does) and so does the rest of the cast (Hoffman, Pepper, Dawson, Cox, Paquin, and even Ex-Football player Tony Sirgusa) pull off wonderful performances. Everything about this film is wonderful from the story to the characters to direction to the cinematography to the music to the City itself, especially being one of the first films to be shot in NYC after 9/11. Spike Lee did a fine job with this gritty film which carries his touches and the Spike Lee fans would know what I'm talking about especially if you've seen "Do The Right Thing," but also he creates new ones as well. Usually when you watch a Spike Lee Joint, you know it's a Spike Lee Joint, this one is different and can resignate with any viewer. I have to rate this one in my Top 5 all time personal favorites, since there are so many levels being touched within this film (Style, Grace, Humanity, Nature, Racism, etc.) and I believe this to be the best NYC film to be released since 9/11. So I know if you're an avid Edward Norton fan or any of the cast and crew, you'll love this tale...
Guest More than 1 year ago
25th hour is one of my favourite movies ever.its a good study of life, and it especially captures the emotion of post 911.the cast is top notch, and spike lee did a great job directing it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this movie and after the first scene i fell in love with it, it is a great film and it should be watched over and over so you can trace Lee's symbolism. The movie is about a man who was a drug dealer, but is busted and has 24 hours till he goes to prison, he reconnects with his old life, and he wonders who turned him in. As the movie unravles so does the plot. Filled with classic Spike Lee moments and great Directing, one of the best films of the year.
Guest More than 1 year ago
25th Hour is an excellent movie, chocked with symbolism. A great movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A heart wrenching look at a man who has choosen the wrong path in life and now must pay for his sins in full. Never before have I seen such a wonderful portrayl of characters. 25th hour also gives a very true but very risky look at the mind set of americans (especially New Yorkers) after 9/11. This is a spectacular cinematic acheivement that should be given a standing ovation.
JCWilkerson More than 1 year ago
Spike Lee is a director that it took me a while to watch. Call it the prejudices of growing up in a southern right wing Christian family, but I always got the impression that he was a racist black man blaming all the black race's social ailments on the white man. Having been raised by members of both races, I'm not fond of that type of mentality. Finally, I decided to educate myself on Lee's films, and started with the amazing social commentary of Do the Right Thing. Boy, was I wrong. Since then I've watched a few Spike Lee joints and never got the impression that he was a racist, but that he was highly aware of the racial and social tensions that came with living in the big city, and you see a little bit of that in 25th Hour. In 25th Hour, we meet Montgomery Brogan, a former heroine dealer for the Russian mob recently pinched and spending his last day as a free man with his family and closest friends before spending the next 7 years behind bars. Among his friends he has: Jacob Elinsky (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a high school English teacher coming to terms with his crush on one of his students (Anna Paquin); Frank Slaugherty (Barry Pepper), Monty's oldest friend who's dealing with the fact that his best friend is a drug dealer and he never tried to stop him; Naturelle Riviera (Rosario Dawson), his girlfriend who may or may not have sold him; and his dad, James Brogan (Brian Cox), who would rather see his son run far away and never come back than go to prison. 25th Hour is more of a character study than anything else. The movie surrounds a party where each member of Monty's entourage comes to term with what's going on in this life. While featuring what's going on in the present, we also see flashbacks that help flesh out the history of some of our more notable characters as Lee expounds on the whodunit of selling out Monty. Lee still approaches the racial and social tensions as Monty fights with his subconscious in an effort to remember that he screwed up his own life. Lee does a great job at presenting the struggles of life in a big city, and as always in a Lee movie the big city is a living breathing character in and of itself. The acting pedigree in this movie is nothing to sneeze at either. Featuring Golden Globe and Oscar nominated talent such as Philip Seymour Hoffman, Anna Paquin, and Brian Cox, as well as other notable actors like Rosario Dawson and Barry Pepper you expect nothing but the best. The movie completely belongs to the tortured performance of Edward Norton. This performance recalls his work in American History X, while delving into different areas of guilt, depression, and owning your situation. I would argue that Norton even goes deeper into the character, giving a more nuanced performance that is less preachy than he did in the aforementioned movie. The one main fault I would have to pin on this movie is pacing. For the most part the movie flows perfectly, but the flashbacks, while serving to build up the characters, don't help the narrative flow properly. If you were to ask if this movie is an enjoyable movie and worth watching, I would have to answer with an enthusiastic yes.
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