The 21st Century’s Most Unfortunate Best Picture Snubs

25th Hour (2002)

Those of you who jeered our inclusion of Spike Lee in the list of great directors frequently overlooked by the Academy owe it to yourselves to seek out this 2002 drama. Lee’s film version of David Benoiff’s novel wasn’t intended to be a mediation on post-9/11 New York (and, by extension, America); it just kind of worked out that way, as Lee and Benoiff (who wrote the screenplay) adapted the story to the devastated city around them. Seen now, it captures that specific moment better than any documentary could — and it’s also a smart, compelling tale in its own right.