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  • Writer's pictureJames Rutherford

'25th Hour': The Terse, Hard-Hitting Tale of a Convicted Drug Dealer’s Final Day of Freedom

Movie poster for the film 25th Hour starring Edward Norton and Rosario Dawson

"25th Hour" (2002) is a hard-hitting drama starring Edward Norton as Monty Brogan, a convicted drug dealer sentenced to 7 years in prison for distribution of narcotics. The storyline is dedicated to the titular 25 hours that remain of Monty’s freedom before his father James (Brian Cox) has agreed to deliver him to the Federal Correctional Institution.

Focusing his remaining time on one final opportunity to party with his closest friends Frank (Barry Pepper) and Jacob (Philip Seymour Hoffman), as well as his girlfriend Naturelle (Rosario Dawson), Monty is dismayed when his associate Kostya (Tony Siragusa) suggests that Naturelle may have been responsible for his sudden, puzzling arrest. Ultimately forced to face his employer “Uncle Nikolai” (Levan Uchaneishvili) and address the DEA raid that undermined the caustic Russian’s business dealings, Monty is startled by the revelations that unfold—though his pending incarceration is left entirely inescapable.

Adapted by David Benioff (“Game of Thrones”) from his 2001 debut novel "The 25th Hour” and directed by the iconic Spike Lee (“Do the Right Thing”, “Inside Man”), “25th Hour” is a stirring and emotive tale of stark personal reckoning. Norton delivers a faultlessly aggrieved performance as man whose time has run out entirely, and must embrace newly manifest self-actualization as a harbinger of his own personal fate. One of the first films to depict a post-9/11 New York City to audiences, it’s a galvanizing place-in-time conception and wholly memorable cinematic experience.


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