A family's moral codes are tested when Ray Tierney investigates a case that reveals an incendiary police corruption scandal involving his own brother-in-law. For Ray, the truth is revelatory, a Pandora's Box that threatens to upend not only the Tierney legacy but the entire NYPD.
The 25th Hour depicts the last day of freedom for a young man before he begins serving a seven-year jail term for drug dealing. Prowling through the city until dawn with his two close male friends and his girlfriend, he is forced to re-examine his life and how he got himself into his predicament, which leads to a shocking, disturbing finale. Written by
Justin Harris <email@example.com>
'I tattooed 'survive' on my hand the night before I went away to prison. And I did. We do what we have to do to survive.'
I don't think I can remember a film that has put me more on an emotive level with the main character as this film has. Edward Norton plays Monty Brogan he's not the nicest of people by anyone's standards and certainly no one you should feel sorry for. But having said that, I have never felt so sorry for the bad guy as I did watching this film. We watch the anguish of Monty during his last 24 hours on the 'outside' before he must go to prison for seven years, knowing completely what is in store for him on the 'inside'.
Set in post 9/11 New York City, we are constantly reminded of humanity and the need to bond together and to make the most of the little time we have; as do Monty's friends, including Jacob Elinsky (Hoffman), a confused and self-tortured school teacher who has strong feelings for one of the students in his class, Mary (Paquin of X-Men and The Piano fame). Although not about to die, Monty's world is about to turn severely bad, and there's nothing he can do about it. Norton's performance made me feel nervous and quite scared on his behalf, almost to the point of feeling nauseous. It made me want to forgive him, forget about his crimes and let him go (he seemed sorry for what he did he was no longer a drug dealer he was trying to make an effort). His performance worked. He had successfully transformed the criminal figure into your best mate and buddy, perhaps even yourself, and you genuinely feel sorry for him.
Director Spike Lee's films usually deal with African-American themes, so it came as a surprise to me to find that this film was something very different proving that Lee's talent extends across multiple genres and styles.
I highly recommend 25th Hour, not just for the brilliant story, but for the emphatic feelings the film imparts on the viewer.
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