User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 190 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 190
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  1. JoshC
    Feb 3, 2007
    10
    In the 25th hour, Mr. Lee exercises his prodigious visual talents with unusual restraint, and keeps some of his more confrontational urges in check. Because the movie is so measured, so melodic, its bursts of wild invention, which might otherwise be irritating, are electrifying. The ending, narrated by Mr. Cox, is as bittersweet and sincere an evocation of the American dream as I have In the 25th hour, Mr. Lee exercises his prodigious visual talents with unusual restraint, and keeps some of his more confrontational urges in check. Because the movie is so measured, so melodic, its bursts of wild invention, which might otherwise be irritating, are electrifying. The ending, narrated by Mr. Cox, is as bittersweet and sincere an evocation of the American dream as I have seen on film in quite some time, acknowledging both the futility of the collective national fantasy and its consoling, resilient power. Almost as touching is a moment when Monty, 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. The rant recalls a famous sequence in ''Do the Right Thing'' and also Eminem's more recent invocation, in ''White America,'' of ''so much anger aimed/in no particular direction just sprays and sprays.'' But like Eminem's rhymes, Monty's outburst, and the montage that accompanies it, contain tenderness as well as hate. Mr. Lee, an irreplaceable New York filmmaker, understands better than most that the true New Yorker's deep, exasperated and unquenchable love for his city is sometimes best expressed in the language of rage. Collapse
  2. 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
    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.
    Expand
  3. MelindaV.
    Jan 4, 2007
    10
    It was an awesome movie, with an awesome plot. Lee did a wonderful job on this one.
  4. ConstarB.
    Jul 9, 2003
    10
    Loved every bit of it.
  5. MichaelM.
    Oct 23, 2004
    9
    I don't like Spike Lee that much. I don't think he is a very talented director. In his whole career I only liked three films he has made... 1) Jungle Fever; 2) Summer of Sam; 3) 25th Hour. Despite Spike Lee I really loved this film. The highlight of the film is definetly Edward Norton's absolutley riveting performance! Other good performances by Philip Seymour Hoffman, I don't like Spike Lee that much. I don't think he is a very talented director. In his whole career I only liked three films he has made... 1) Jungle Fever; 2) Summer of Sam; 3) 25th Hour. Despite Spike Lee I really loved this film. The highlight of the film is definetly Edward Norton's absolutley riveting performance! Other good performances by Philip Seymour Hoffman, Barry Pepper and Brian Cox. The movie, although very disturbing, actually is wildly entertaining. The only part of the movie I hated was the annoying D.E.A. agent who had an absolutley dreadful high nasley voice. I was very surprised Edward Norton didn't get nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance. But you never know, he may get nominated for an Academy Award ... but knowing the Academy, I wouldn't hold my breath. If you haven't already seen this movie, go see it now! (1/23/03) Expand
  6. MikeG.
    Jan 10, 2003
    8
    Alright, this film was very interesting. There were great performances by Norton, however his character was under-developed.The main thing I enjoyed about this film was how Lee, had all of this post-911 influence in the background. It made you think of what this world has went through, and how we have been dealing with it.
  7. AndyD.
    Feb 12, 2003
    9
    A truly amazing piece of work. Spike Lee can make someone walking down the street more interesting and beautiful then most movies. A great story based on what must be a well written book. I like that you'll think well watching the movie and that Spike doesn't try to push to much onto the viewer. I'll buy it as soon as it's on DVD. Go see it.
  8. RyanM.
    Feb 8, 2003
    10
    I test you--find a movie with more to say than "25th Hour" in 2002. You won't. Lee mends this piece into something magnificent, one of the best movies of the year.
  9. JukkaR.
    Apr 6, 2003
    9
    Simply put, a good film. But not for brainless action fans.
  10. MathieuD.
    Jun 13, 2003
    8
    Good performances, interesting storyline. An overall interesting society critic.
  11. MattZ.
    Jun 7, 2003
    8
    I was into the movie from start to finish. what a great film! as i watched the film i expected something rediculous to happen but it never did which is why the film is so good. most movies you can predict. this one was so simple that all of my guesses of what was going to happen were wrong. and i love to be wrong. the camera angles and views were terrific. also, the film touched base onI was into the movie from start to finish. what a great film! as i watched the film i expected something rediculous to happen but it never did which is why the film is so good. most movies you can predict. this one was so simple that all of my guesses of what was going to happen were wrong. and i love to be wrong. the camera angles and views were terrific. also, the film touched base on real life problems. norton is shaping into one of the best actors of this century. Expand
  12. VincenzoC.
    Jul 16, 2003
    9
    Ed Norton did it again!
  13. [Anonymous]
    Feb 10, 2004
    9
    Great direction, great actors, deep and touching, congratulation mr. lee.
  14. DanC.
    Apr 30, 2004
    10
    I just saw this movie yesterday and I was completely blown away! This is Lee's best work since Malcolm X! Every single actor is perfect! Ed Norton's monologue is one of the most memorable moments of the new milennium!
  15. AngelM.
    Jul 4, 2004
    10
    What a great movie. Spike Lee's directing is superb and Edward Norton's performance is as great as usual. If you think this movie was "too strong" for you, your ignorant. Lee told it how it is!
  16. pamb.
    May 23, 2005
    10
    Execellent!!!
  17. LanceN.
    Oct 20, 2006
    10
    Great.
  18. pabloe.
    Oct 23, 2007
    10
    This movie got me from the start. The intensity of the human drama is very high, like in a Bergman movie.
  19. EddieC.
    Oct 6, 2003
    10
    This movie was one of the most moving films i have ever seen. It keeps me thinking for days after seeing it each time. It tributes and depicts new york fantastically and being a native new yorker i see this movie as a fantasy but at the same time so incredibly true. Do you know how many Boys in a private NY H.S. that seem to have it all going and use their intelligence for something so This movie was one of the most moving films i have ever seen. It keeps me thinking for days after seeing it each time. It tributes and depicts new york fantastically and being a native new yorker i see this movie as a fantasy but at the same time so incredibly true. Do you know how many Boys in a private NY H.S. that seem to have it all going and use their intelligence for something so easy and rewarding as dealing drugs? Its crazy but true, i grew up in that scenario and sometimes these "good boys" go to far and pay the ultimate price. Loss of love, friends, family, self. This movie impacted me greatly and lead me to think again about my actions, especially when the viewer has his father whom he loves and would never want to let down, his lover he never wants to leave, his best friends since childhood who would do anything for him but regret they didint do something sooner, and his "other friends" who are not realy friends at all. I was moved and enthralled by this fantastic movie about the greatest city in the world and all the s**t that goes down in it. Expand
  20. Wheeler
    Feb 28, 2003
    8
    I enjoy "conversation" films and this is the best I've seen in years.
  21. YippieK.
    Mar 29, 2003
    9
    Very interesting characters and good music in a great film!
  22. JulieT.
    May 1, 2003
    10
    Wow.
  23. JasonZ.
    May 27, 2003
    8
    This is a great film - with amazing performances from Dawson, Hoffman, Pepper, and Cox. Norton is okay, but lacks the typical fire & depth of a Lee protagonist. Lee's directorial vision is simply capitivating as he seamlessly blends authentic "real" dialogue between characters we quickly CARE about with one of the best film soundtracks of all time. Lee has much to say about our This is a great film - with amazing performances from Dawson, Hoffman, Pepper, and Cox. Norton is okay, but lacks the typical fire & depth of a Lee protagonist. Lee's directorial vision is simply capitivating as he seamlessly blends authentic "real" dialogue between characters we quickly CARE about with one of the best film soundtracks of all time. Lee has much to say about our post-9/11 culture in The 25th Hour ... and most of it's not good or nationalistic. Those of you expecting a film with a beginning, middle or end will be disappointed. This is about a "day in the life". There are no happy endings. Just pain and uncertainty. If you can watch this film and somehow get comfortable with the pain, then you will hear what the film is trying to tell you ... we have lost our innocence in this country and we don't yet know how to respond. Expand
  24. JanS.
    Jun 21, 2003
    10
    This was a riveting film, with the poignancy and loss of 9-11 woven into a story about regrets. The acting was superior, the directing was Lee at his stylized best, and the music was especially moving - underscoring the sadness of the story. I would love to own a copy of the soundtrack.
  25. MikeT.
    Jun 22, 2003
    9
    This is a very powerful movie. I have no clue how Brian L. could say that there was no depth to the characters played by great actors. Maybe if you had stayed for the entire movie, you wouldn't be so ingorant about it.
  26. Justn
    Jul 27, 2003
    9
    "ed norton did it again!". that says it all.
  27. Richard
    Dec 23, 2002
    7
    Talky and downbeat, but not without considerable rewards. Excellent performances from most of the cast, particularly Norton and Pepper. Using post-9/11 New York as a backdrop for people who seem stuck and unable to change is daring, sometimes feels shoehorned in typical Spike Lee style, but ultimately adds worthy weight to the story.
  28. Andrea
    Dec 11, 2003
    10
    That was Great!
  29. Jess
    Feb 23, 2003
    9
    Edward Norton is awesome in this movie like he was in Fight Club. I love the whole line he said when looking in the mirror.
  30. Rachel
    Apr 29, 2003
    8
    Good movie, i would have liked to see nortons charcter be more passionate and show a bigger range of emotion, dawson did nothing except for pout and look frustrated the whole movie, barry pepper was awsome and had great screen presence, i dont see how the whole student teacher lust thing fit into the plot at all , a good movie with a bad ending.
  31. PhatMan
    Jun 26, 2003
    10
    I loved this movie. Very different from all the crap coming out these days.
  32. Som3oneyoushouldlistento
    Jul 27, 2004
    10
    Norton and Pepper are great... the story is realistic and the use of the city is perfect. The use of the music is just sugar(hill) on top.
  33. JonT.
    Dec 21, 2002
    7
    Inspired but uneven. Some great performances by Norton, Pepper, Hoffman and Paquin. A couple of classic scenes. Norton cursing at himself and everything else in a bathroom mirror. The "seduction" sequence between Paquin as a sexy student and Hoffman as her uptight teacher is hilarious and wonderfully acted. I'd like to see Paquin in Hoffman in another film again. Good movie. Inspired but uneven. Some great performances by Norton, Pepper, Hoffman and Paquin. A couple of classic scenes. Norton cursing at himself and everything else in a bathroom mirror. The "seduction" sequence between Paquin as a sexy student and Hoffman as her uptight teacher is hilarious and wonderfully acted. I'd like to see Paquin in Hoffman in another film again. Good movie. Could've been great, often is. But not enough. Expand
  34. Nov 8, 2014
    7
    it does bloody grabs you from the start, one of the best first scenes in cinema history if you ask me.

    However the mid of the film felt slow to me, was plannin on giving it a 6 but the last scene really redeemed it and got it an extra point.

    so, really awesome start and perfect ending, if only the journey was as captivating..
  35. Jul 3, 2011
    9
    The one scene where Norton's character is talking to himself in the mirror of that restaurant is the one that totally sold me on this film. It was pretty good until that point but when that happened I was blown away. Great film!
  36. Dec 29, 2014
    8
    When it comes to 25th Hour, this one succeeds in spite of Spike Lee. One of my least favorite directors for the way he randomly interjects race into films that are not about race at all, he manages to largely keep his mouth shut in this one, though he did add some very useless elements of racism that just did absolutely nothing for the plot in classic Spike fashion. Now, luckily for him,When it comes to 25th Hour, this one succeeds in spite of Spike Lee. One of my least favorite directors for the way he randomly interjects race into films that are not about race at all, he manages to largely keep his mouth shut in this one, though he did add some very useless elements of racism that just did absolutely nothing for the plot in classic Spike fashion. Now, luckily for him, the film has a very interesting plot and storyline that Lee does tell well, but the true reason why 25th Hour is so successful is the acting. Truly a great cast, Edward Norton, Barry Pepper, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rosario Dawson, Brian Cox, and Anna Paquin, are all awesome in this one and truly carry it. Norton and Hoffman are two of my favorite actors of all-time, but yet I cannot help but feel as though Pepper kind of stole the show a little bit. He was just that good. Emotionally powerful at many different times, 25th Hour is a riveting tale of man facing his last 24 hours of freedom before going to prison for seven years and on the back of the acting, this one soars in spite of Lee's attempts to try and mess it all up. Expand
  37. 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.
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. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    50
    At its best, 25th Hour is a melancholy tone poem -- But the movie is also muddled by its own ambitions. There is simply no connection between the themes of Benioff's screenplay and 9/11, and every time Lee over-inflates the story, he loses its real pulse.
  2. Lee doesn't seem to have the slightest sympathy for his hero, no particular point is made, and the whole exercise seems cold and empty.
  3. Isn't Lee's most personal piece, but it may very well be his most mature.