Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 12 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: A richly literate film noir about King David (DMX), a hard-boiled, stylish criminal who returns to his hometown seeking redemption and finding only violent death. (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 28
  2. Negative: 13 out of 28
  1. 88
    Never Die Alone is [Dickerson's] best work to date, with the complexity of serious fiction and the nerve to start dark and stay dark, to follow the logic of its story right down to its inevitable end.
  2. That the film finds its own groove is due largely to the eye of director Ernest Dickerson. Not surprisingly, he began his career as a cinematographer, working on Spike Lee’s early films.
  3. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Largely overcomes key cast weaknesses to deliver a jazzy, darkly textured rendering of the ghetto pulp of late African-American ex-con author Donald Goines.
  4. Reviewed by: Angel Cohn
    DMX delivers a surprisingly solid and convincing performance, but he's easily overshadowed by the very talented Ealy, who makes his secondary character truly memorable.
  5. 30
    Though steeped in both subgenres, Never Die Alone subverts that vicarious enjoyment by showing violence and abuse so unrelentingly ugly that only a sadist could derive the least bit of pleasure from it.
  6. 25
    Most of the film simply wallows in gangsta hyperbole - it's all bling bling, bang bang.
  7. 0
    If Never Die Alone had even a smidgeon of comic relief (or even, say, a bunch of zombies) to offset some of its relentlessly downbeat brutality, it might have been at best tolerable. But it doesn't, and it's not.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Tor
    Aug 19, 2007
    the rest of these critics really need to get some fucking taste and not underrate films like these (Boondock Sanits Running Scared, Never Die Alone) This will soon get its respect soon enough. last I remember Scarface was panned like this as well as simply being trashy. Expand
  2. NickM.
    Sep 29, 2005
    Terrific , just amazing, i thought it was going to be bad, but it was birlliant.
  3. Sep 16, 2013
    Dark, jazzy, with a saturated visual style and engaging narrative that examines a drug pusher and his need to return home to the New York and make amends to a small time drug lord he pilfered a stash of heroin from a decade earlier. Much of films failure commercially is due to the poor advertising and marketing which tried to sell it as a "Gangsta thriller" when in fact it's an introspective and literate urban noir that shows the domino effect one mans life can have on those around him. David Arquette's aspiring novelist in the ghetto is a smart fit when you examine that he is meant to be out of place in this milieu. DMX makes a brutal and charismatic screen presence who makes his character David more interesting then you would think and the supporting roles are well cast and deeper than what you would expect. Credit to Michael Ealy as a somber and reflective runner for the local drug lord and director Ernest Dickerson creates a layered and intelligent film from Donald Goines 1970's novel. The last 20 minutes, when the film's arc really comes full circle is impressive and rewarding. Expand
  4. AraH.
    Jan 16, 2006
    This movie was utter and complete garbage. The acting was bad, DMX's narration was plain unnecessary, the pacing and editing were utterly horrible and the story was painfully week. I saw the ending coming halfway through the film. Ernest Dickerson should never be given money (not even his own) to make another movie. I am disappointed that Ebert could give this movie 3 1/2 stars! Expand

See all 7 User Reviews