• R, 2 hr. 14 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Spike Lee
    In Theaters:
    Jan 10, 2003 Wide
    On DVD:
    May 20, 2003
  • Touchstone Pictures


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25th Hour Reviews

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

Full Review Source: Time Out

February 9, 2006

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Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 3/4

May 28, 2003
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
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I still think that Mr. Lee has come closer than he ever has before to making the great film about New York City that David Thomson hoped from him in a favorable mini-bio in The New Biographical Dictionary of Film.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

January 30, 2003
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
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Lee and his cast are so adept at getting us acquainted with Monty and these other people that we wind up feeling like we've known them for years.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Original Score: 4/4

January 18, 2003
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
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Pretty lethargic stuff.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

January 13, 2003
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
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It's the usual undisciplined, overextended Spike symphony: more fun than it is any good.

January 10, 2003
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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Lee has created that rarity in filmmaking: a movie we need, right now.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

January 10, 2003
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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25th Hour has a lot of problems, but chief amongst them is the persistent feeling that Lee is just treading water, by trading on past glories and larding in celebrity appearances in the hope of actually selling a few tickets for a change.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 2/5

January 10, 2003
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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An intriguing misfire that nonetheless holds our interest, keeping us wondering about the movie that might have been.

| Original Score: 2.5/4

January 10, 2003
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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The first great 21st century movie about a 21st century subject.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 4/4

January 10, 2003
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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Lee overloads a featherweight story with pretentious subtext and showy technique.

| Original Score: 2/5

January 10, 2003
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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The movie hums with a vibrant energy, which is powered by the terrific ensemble cast and the glowing cinematography by Rodrigo Prieto.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 3/4

January 10, 2003
Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
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Well-acted but badly miscalculated.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: C+

January 10, 2003
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
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The film doesn't reach a climax per se. But it's not conventionally inert, either.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 10, 2003
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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If there was ever a filmmaker in need of someone who could tell him where and when to stop, what to leave in and what to take out, it would be Spike Lee.

Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press | Original Score: 2/4

January 10, 2003

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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January 10, 2003
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
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25th Hour should have stopped at 24.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

January 10, 2003
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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The film is unusual for not having a plot or a payoff.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 10, 2003
Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
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It's a long, complex, deeply flawed work -- and also quite possibly Lee's most ambitious and accusatory movie since Do the Right Thing in 1989.

Full Review Source: San Jose Mercury News | Original Score: 4/4

January 9, 2003
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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It could have been more taut, could have been harder, but 25th Hour still resonates with power and poetry.

| Original Score: 3/4

January 9, 2003
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
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[Lee's] movies still have plenty on their mind. And they're not afraid to talk about it.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B+

January 9, 2003
Paul Clinton (CNN.com)
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Norton and Lee make a great team.

Full Review Source: CNN.com

January 9, 2003
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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Flawed but formidable.

Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Original Score: B

January 9, 2003
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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Lee is firing on all cylinders, and the actors match his energy.

| Original Score: 3/4

January 9, 2003
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
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A superb film.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 4/4

January 9, 2003
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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Lee, as he did in Malcolm X and Clockers, makes his hero's dread palpable, and though 25th Hour lacks the glittering brilliance of those films, I was held by the toughness and pity of Lee's gaze.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B+

January 3, 2003
David Edelstein
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At its best, 25th Hour is a melancholy tone poem, deeply affecting in its mute apprehension of loss.

Full Review Source: Slate

December 23, 2002
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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As strong as the supporting cast is, Edward Norton really carries this film to a special status with his riveting performance.

Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper

December 23, 2002
Jeff Stark
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A clumsy, oh-well story about the moral quandary of a drug-dealing recidivist who more or less deserves to go to jail.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

December 20, 2002
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
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The story line is flaccid and episodic, the direction lacks vitality, and the observations are mundane.

December 19, 2002
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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Spike's best since Do the Right Thing.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

December 19, 2002
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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See it for Edward Norton, who does his usual job of turning sackcloth into satin.

December 19, 2002
Mike Clark
USA Today
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The latest movie to prove that, for all his talent and ability to attract excellent actors, director Spike Lee has to quit overstuffing his narratives.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 2/4

December 19, 2002
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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If 25th Hour does not quite work as a plausible and coherent story, it produces a wrenching, dazzling succession of moods.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 3.5/5

December 19, 2002
Manohla Dargis
Los Angeles Times
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There are two films at war in director Spike Lee's newest feature 25th Hour, one uninteresting, the other an epic of near-tragic miscalculation.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 2/5

December 18, 2002
Ernest Hardy
L.A. Weekly
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In making The 25th Hour, Spike Lee brought all his trademark hard sell but none of his passion or purpose.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

December 18, 2002
James Berardinelli
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Not a happy experience, and there are times when it seems to drag, but there's no denying that it lingers in the mind long after the impressions left by other movies have evaporated.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3/4

December 18, 2002
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
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Held together in the vise of a powerful script.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

December 17, 2002
David Rooney
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Character-driven pic provides strong opportunities for a fine ensemble of actors and for Lee, maintaining his signature style, to depart from his regular ethnic territory ... and to deliver one of his more interesting recent films.

Full Review Source: Variety

December 16, 2002
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