Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 37
  2. Negative: 3 out of 37
  1. 88
    The film is unusual for not having a plot or a payoff.
  2. 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.
  3. 88
    Norton, returning to cracking form, doesn't try to make the selfish and smug Monty sympathetic -- but he lights up the screen, especially in two fantasy sequences.
  4. The result is a film of sadness and power, the first great 21st century movie about a 21st century subject.
  5. The movie is flawed by implausible psychology and moments of weak acting. But it's more than redeemed by Lee's passionate ideas about America today.
  6. 88
    It's deeply stylized, but there's an accompanying patience and gravity that are hard to shake. They're the architecture of a lingering, unsentimental sadness.
  7. The film persuades us to think long and hard about what prison means, and Lee has shaped it like a poem that builds into an epic lament, especially in a beautiful and tragic closing that risks absurdity to achieve the sublime.
  8. 25th Hour struck me as one of the best movies of 2002, but it's also a film that will strike some of its audience as ethically dubious or threatening.
  9. 90
    The film at its simplest serves as a cautionary tale, but it also functions as a meditation on how little it takes to redirect a life by choice or by chance.
  10. 90
    It captures the city's bitter, wire-taut mood after September 11th, and I hope that Disney -- finds some way to bring this acrid and brilliant little picture to the large audience it deserves. [13 January 2003, p. 90]
  11. The movie resonates precisely because it serves as documentary only pretending to be fiction: It's set in a real place recovering from real pain, which Lee makes tangible.
  12. Reviewed by: G. Allen Johnson
    100
    One of Spike Lee's greatest films -- seamlessly merging personal drama against a canvas of larger social significance on a level worthy of "Do the Right Thing."
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 109 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 45
  2. Negative: 7 out of 45
  1. Apr 28, 2013
    8
    This certainly isn't a movie that I would want to watch together with friends. Instead of trying to grab your attention with visual-heavy scenes, this movie mainly consists of conversations. It's about a realistic scenario and how the people affected by it are dealing with it. And I really like the movie for that. It's different from what I usually watch.
    The conversations are also very realistic. There are some scenes that were kind of unnecessary but still blew me away by how these characters talked to each other. A lot of times I thought to my self: "Yea, I could see my self taking part of that conversation." Although the drug mobster is kind of overblown.
    I can see why people find this movie boring. It's not for everyone. If you're the type of guy that can sit down for 2 hours and listen to people talk to each other about what they think will happen to them and what they're afraid of instead of them taking part in action scenes, then give this movie a shot. I certainly really enjoyed it.
    Full Review »
  2. Jan 1, 2014
    6
    i think that this movie rank from below-average to normal in the most cases,
    the blew-average is the way that spike lee decided to deliver
    the story and the normal is the story itself,
    in other words the story struggled so hard to be delivered but the strong aspect about this movie was the performances.
    as usual Edward Norton gives a solid performance along with the secondary characters like Philip Seymour Hoffman and Barry Pepper, but some scenes were completely irrelevant to the story such as the bathroom mirror scene and some of the camera work was completely unnecessary, it's like "hey we can do this effect and this effect", and I'm not really familiar with spike lee's work but i'm guessing from this movie it's average and the one thing i can take from this movie is me saying "hey you're good looking, you know that's gonna be bad for you if you ever go to jail" WHAT "oh just something i learned from 25th hours".
    if you didn't get my point then you need to watch the movie again, also the last scene when Edward Norton is old with his happy family is completely ridiculous, hey spike lee through some extra bucks on that shot, don't be so cheap.
    Full Review »
  3. Jun 19, 2013
    9
    The 25th Hour is a faithful adaption, sticking closely to the novel. The only real deviation is Spike Lee's inclusion of the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and the event's effect on NYC, and it's done masterfully. The acting is superb across the board, the pacing near-perfect and it all adds up to one of the most moving films I've ever seen. Full Review »