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Edward Norton's 25th Hour


After about a year of prodding from a friend of mine to see the film, I finally broke down and watched 25th Hour last night. And am I ever glad I did, because Edward Norton’s performance (and the movie in general) is nothing short of amazing. For those of you who still Don’t Talk About Fight Club!, Norton (who I think is the most underrated actor in Hollywood) was even better here than he was playing opposite Brad Pitt.

The most interesting thing about 25th Hour – which is set in and has several references to the post-September 11 world – is its uniqueness. As a general rule, movies without plots stink, but this one is the exception to the rule. Norton, who delivers a monologue that should’ve made him an Oscar contender, plays the role of Montgomery, a man who has one more day of freedom before he has to begin serving a seven-year prison term for dealing heroin. The entire movie details Montgomery’s final day, which he spends with two of his best friends. Frank (Barry Pepper) and Jakob (Philip Seymour Hoffman) try to ensure that their buddy has a great last night by visiting a couple of clubs. The evening takes Monty through an apparent whirlwind of emotions, as he endures flashbacks and the eventual ride to prison. Ironically, his father (Cox) drives him there, and dishes out the film's second great monologue. I had never seen such a plotless movie that almost brought tears to my eyes.

But I can’t do 25th Hour any justice with my own words; there are too many great parts of greatness to paint a vivid picture here. The cinematography is brilliant. Rosario Dawson is brilliant. Brian Cox is brilliant. And most of all, Tony Siragusa – Yes, the former Baltimore Ravens’ lineman – makes a pretty good actor, which is reason enough to see it.

So go to your local Blockbuster, Movie Gallery, Hollywood Video, or whatever rental location is closest to you and check it out. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

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