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. The result is a film of sadness and power, the first great 21st century movie about a 21st century subject.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 88
    The film is unusual for not having a plot or a payoff.
  5. 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.
  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. 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."
  8. 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.
  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. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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]
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 129 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 49
  2. Negative: 9 out of 49
  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-heavyThis 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. May 13, 2012
    2
    Ed Norton was completely believable. However, the script was so incredibly sad. I don't want to watch a film about utter hopelessness. FineEd Norton was completely believable. However, the script was so incredibly sad. I don't want to watch a film about utter hopelessness. Fine for people who love tragedies. If you want to walk away not feeling suicidal, don't bother. Full Review »
  3. Feb 25, 2012
    1
    weird movie, about some criminal guy and his friends. Just another stupid movie that involves criminals going to jail and **** like that. I amweird movie, about some criminal guy and his friends. Just another stupid movie that involves criminals going to jail and **** like that. I am not interested in this LOW LIFE **** Full Review »