25th Hour (2003)

25th Hour



Critic Consensus: An intelligent and well-acted film despite the usual Spike Lee excesses.

Movie Info

The clock is ticking on Monty Brogan's freedom--in 24 hours he goes to prison for seven long years. Once a king of Manhattan, Monty is about to say goodbye to the life he knew--a life that opened doors in New York's swankiest clubs but also alienated him from the people closest to him. In his last day on the outside, Monty tries to reconnect with his father, who's never given up on his son, and gets together with his two closest friends from the old days, Jacob and Slaughtery. Also in the mix is … More

Rating: R (for strong language and some violence)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: David Benioff
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 20, 2003
Box Office: $12.8M
Touchstone Pictures - Official Site


as Monty Brogan

as Frank Slaughtery

as Naturelle Rivera

as Mary D'Annunzio

as James Brogan

as Kostya Novotny

as Uncle Nikolai

as Uncle Nikolai

as Agent Allen

as Senka Valghobek

as Agent Flood

as Agent Cunningham

as Salvatore Dominick

as Trader No.1

as Zakharov

as Russian Hood No. 1

as Russian Hood No. 2

as Coventry Administrat...

as Lindsay Jamison

as Louis Volandes

as Female Jogger

as Chelsea Man No. 1

as Chelsea Man No. 2

as Woman on Park Avenue

as Wall Street Guy No. ...

as Hasidic Jeweler

as Squeegee Man

as Bouncer

as Tattoo Parlor Worker

as Lady with Baby

as Brogan's Bar Patron

as Brogan's Bar Patron

as Brogan's Bar Patron

as Brogan's Bar Patron

as Brogan's Bar Patron

as Brogan's Bar Patron

as Brogan's Bar Patron

as Brogan's Bar Patron

as Brogan's Bar Patron

as Brogan's Bar Patron
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for 25th Hour

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Critic Reviews for 25th Hour

All Critics (170) | Top Critics (39)

While 25th Hour has a several arresting characters struggling with credible problems, regrettably Monty isn't one of them.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Spike Lee's furiously melancholy drama about life and dread in post-9/11 New York City.

Full Review… | July 18, 2014
The Moving Picture Show

Engaging but violent drama. Not for kids.

Full Review… | January 2, 2011
Common Sense Media

Finds beauty in the silver linings and embodies the notion that we're stronger than we usually realize we can be.

Full Review… | September 7, 2010
Projection Booth

An under-rated gem, 25th Hour is a powerful story about how the decisions you make in your life, and who you make them with, can ultimately lead to your downfall.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
Matt's Movie Reviews

One of Spike Lee's best films...

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

Audience Reviews for 25th Hour

A riveting, hard hitting look on the life of a soon to be con (Edward Norton), and his final day of freedom as he spends it with his childhood friends (Barry Pepper and Philip Seymour Hoffman) and girlfriend (Rosario Dawson), as he tries to uncover who ratted him out on selling drugs that landed him a 7-year sentence. Norton, one of the best actors on the planet, is spellbinding, and a terrific supporting cast to go along with the fantastic storytelling of Brian Cox near the end makes it a knockout. For those who love films that effortlessly detail their characters, who we come to care for, this is a movie for you. The ending is one of the most unique I can recall, and the ambiguous nature of it is really haunting stuff.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

Spike Lee is a tremendous filmmaker. Sure, he can be a little overzealous and his politics can be stifling, but it's sort of tragic how he's seemingly more known for his controversial subject matter than he is for being an outstanding (and important) director. Indeed, he is one of very few who can simultaneously pull off being a sound visual stylist and a thorough storyteller. Next to Do The Right Thing, there may be no better example of this than 25th Hour.

One of the first American movies explicitly set in New York after 9/11, this film is based on a novel by David Benioff (who also wrote the screenplay) that was published well before the attacks. In any case, their aftermath is not so much the topic of Mr. Lee's movie as an important element of its atmosphere. In one of the film's most memorable scenes, two characters talk in an apartment overlooking ground zero, whose floodlighted glare and somber activity make it impossible to concentrate on the dialogue: a case of reality overwhelming fiction. There are also more subtle nods to the aftermath of those horrific events, but Lee smartly doesn't ovedo it; he uses the sociopolitical landscape of a post-9/11 America to great effect here, weaving it into the fabric of his story as a means to enhance, not distract.

Undoubtedly, the show-stopping scene in the film is a moment when Monty (Edward Nortion), staring into a men's room mirror, launches into a profane tirade against his fellow New Yorkers (and everyone else). His rage is impressively ecumenical, encompassing blacks, brutal police officers, gays, Osama bin Laden, the rich, the poor and every other ethnic or social type you can think of: all of them put down with ruthless, scabrous precision. Obviously the sequence is very reminiscent of a similar scene in Do The Right Thing, but surprisingly, it's equally as effective here as it was back then (which could be viewed as a powerful statement on how little progress we've made over the years).

Of course I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the brilliantly ambiguous ending. It is Lee's mission statement that this isn't a film about a plot, with a beginning, middle, and end. This is an imprint of the isolated times we live in. Who are we as a people? How do we define ourselves in relation to others? The whole film plays in a subdued, almost depressing tone. There are no laughs to be had, no falsely engineered moments where the characters break bread, and cry, and get all remorseful -- none of that. We feel as Monty feels: perplexed, distressed, unsure of those things to come and angry for how he happened to arrive at this place, and moment, in his life -- his last 25 hours.

Jonathan Hutchings

Super Reviewer


During the early to mid-1990's Spike Lee was a director who could do no wrong in my eyes. His films were of a very high calibre and then he hit a dip in form, seemingly never recovering. This however, was a reminder of how good he can be.
Based on the novel by David Benioff - who also wrote the screenplay, it tells the story of Monty Brogan (Edward Norton) a Manhattan drug dealer who has to confront the choices he has made in life on his last day before serving a seven-year prison sentence. He spends his last 24hours of freedom with his girlfriend Naturelle (Rosario Dawson) his father (Brian Cox) and his two best friends Frank (Barry Pepper) and Jake (Philip Seymour Hoffman), all the while determining who really sold him out.
This is a Spike Lee "joint" I don't mind taking a hit off, at all. Filled with very intense and dramatic conversations and confrontations between the characters, delivered with superb performances. Norton and Hoffman have already cemented their reputations but Pepper is a highly under-rated actor that I predict will be winning awards very soon with the quality he consistantly delivers. It's a real joy to watch them bounce off each other, adding real gravitas to some well written dialogue. Lee's direction is also up close and personal, giving it a further sense of realism. The post 9/11 psyche of New Yorkers is a running theme throughout and even one scene has two characters overlooking ground-zero as they discuss the end of an era. Lee also explores the multi-cultural diversity of the city, like he has done previously in "Do The Right Thing" and "Jungle Fever", among others. The diversity is also played out in the three friends, with very different values. It's an ambitious film with nearly every other scene or character, subtly displaying metaphor for the fragile state of the city they inhabit.
Despite a running time that slightly overstays it's welcome, this is a highly charged and thought-provoking allegory of capitalist America and boasts three superlative, indefatigable performances from Norton, Pepper & Hoffman.

Mark Walker

Super Reviewer

25th Hour Quotes

– Submitted by Tania Z (4 years ago)
– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)
– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)

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