25th Hour Screen 4 articles

25th Hour

2002

25th Hour Poster
  • 25th Hour is Lee’s best feature since Do the Right Thing, and part of what’s so impressive about it is the way it gets us to think as well as feel — about things we’re almost never asked to consider, such as what it means to send drug dealers to prison.

  • The present has been saved because Monty has been reintroduced back into it. All this talk of restorative power of time might recall Chris Marker’s La Jetée, perhaps the definitive film about time-travel, in which scientists try to retroactively avert World War III by sending prisoners to various points in history, hoping to “Call past and future to the rescue of the present.” Those words, imparted to the viewer in a hypnotic drone, resound like a mission statement for cinema itself.

  • Seems even more poignant now than it likely was then, all that beaten-down bluster and self-destructive determination only more ridiculous in hindsight, knowing how much further things would fall. A portrait of a wounded country, still defensively full of itself, still lusting after teens and gaming the stock market, all the same sins, now just committed with a self-critical sense of melancholy.

  • It’s a dark, desperate, utterly necessary movie. 25th Hour is a model for how to make a movie about recent history, which isn’t to say that other 9/11 movies—be they precise reenactment or fiery political fare—are inherently insufficient. They’re simply the kind of movie we tend, instinctively, to want to make about these atrocities. 25th Hour, meanwhile, wasn’t meant to be a 9/11 movie; it was forced to become one by history, and that circumstance is central to its success.

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