25th Hour

Thoughtful, emotional look at a man’s last day of freedom before he goes to jail. Ed Norton generates sympathy without overplaying the issue; Philip Seymour Hoffman reins in the creepy lecherousness of his teacher character; and Barry Pepper is very strong as the emotionally walled-off Wall Street asshole. (The world needs more Barry Pepper.) The closing sequence is particularly poignnant, containing the seeds of both hope and doubt, and leaving the final choice to the viewer.