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Tuesday, September 2, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  25th Hour cinematronic
  director

Spike Lee

cast

Ed Norton, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Barry Pepper, Rosario Dawson, Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Tony Siragusa

year

2002

rating rating cinematronic
  With "25th Hour," director and quintessential New Yorker Spike Lee has made one of his best movies, as well as the first film drama clearly and specifically set in post-9/11 Manhattan. On one level, it's a well-acted character piece showing how convicted drug dealer Monty Brogan faces a life-changing ordeal. Given complexity and compassion by star Edward Norton, Monty isn't a hardened criminal. He's a working-class guy who chose a certain path to advancement. Now, he has one more day of freedom before he's sent to prison: 24 hours to reconnect with his childhood pals (Philip Seymour Hoffman, Barry Pepper) and his dad (Brian Cox), and to make peace with his girlfriend (Rosario Dawson). By virtue of its setting, "25th Hour" also reflects a city that, like Monty, must live with tragic, unexpected transformation. There are typical Spike Lee tics, such as a breaking-the-fourth-wall monologue, but they give "25th Hour" a distinctive personality. In particular, Monty's love/hate rant about New York is a moving moment in a film full of Lee's affection for his skyscraping hometown, whether sparkling and glorious or bruised and unbowed.  
cinematronic
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