Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 72 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: David Gale (Spacey) is a man who has tried to live by his principles, but in a bizarre twist of fate, this devoted father, popular professor and respected death penalty opponent finds himself on Death Row for the rape and murder of a fellow activist (Linney). He decides to confide in a reporter (Winslet) who quickly realizes that a man's life is in her hands. (Universal Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 36
  2. Negative: 15 out of 36
  1. 75
    The picture is neither flawless nor foolproof, but it's smart and tight enough to keep audiences off-balance and entertained for the running length.
  2. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    As I've implied, this is a great midnight movie: I enjoyed every patchily edited, ham-fisted scene. But I don't like seeing the wonderful Kate Winslet look stupid, or the wonderful Laura Linney abase herself.
  3. 50
    There's no real artistry to this: It's as though Parker has just seen "Seven" and suffered some sort of David Fincher flashback.
  4. 40
    Becomes more and more preposterous with each scene -- it's almost like performance art.
  5. Some of this stuff should give you some good laughs. Unfortunately, the film's not a comedy, and once the conservative-bashing wears off, the alleged thriller elements kick in. Too bad that for you, the viewer, there's still another hour to go.
  6. 25
    Positively reeks of self-importance -- the jokey, ham-fisted, pseudo-socially relevant, punch-pulling kind. It reeks worse of acting -- the Jack-Lemmon-in-a-coma Kevin Spacey kind.
  7. Unlike "Dead Man Walking" and many honorable dramas before it, "David Gale" has nothing coherent to say about capital punishment, or anything else. It's a dead film lurching.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 35
  2. Negative: 10 out of 35
  1. Sep 9, 2010
    Sorry for the translation, in mechanical.

    The news: "Abuse a child and then kill."

    For "his" father and "his" mother open the doors of
    "non-sense of Life."
    I, as a reaction manifest emotional reading or hearing this news?
    Anger, rage, anger, disgust, contempt and then?
    And then return to "my" peaceful world, shut off "the others and their problems.

    "One more news, unfortunately."
    There is only one name to give to my attitude. Indifference.
    It 'a very serious illness, experts say.
    Symptoms: Do not want to understand, not wanting to speak, not wanting to participate in drama to make an informed choice. The "never happen to me" is the motto of indifference.
    Is not a film to change the "certainty" of people.
    One film, if done well, can help you reflect, perhaps to illuminate the shadows still unexplored. Discussions, debates, meetings, research, well-being. The target is centered.
    Falls into error, I think, who think that "The Life of David Gale" is a film for the Texans, or other states, far from it.
    Texas does not need these films. Why? Becouse this people familiar with the offenses that can lead you to lethal injection.
    It is, however, a punch in the stomach for the rest of the globe,
    this drama lives it only indirectly.

    Think, is not fiction stage for the parties involved, who live "intus et in cute" the execution of a sentence, most often immutable.

    Time adversary, inquisitorial, indictment, the bench, reading the verdict, death row, employees injection, printing, Forum for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and so on.

    It 's a tragedy without end, even turns into tragedy when curtain time and alternate judges as much on the trial. So what about the victims on the attackers.

    The Life of David Gale, in my opinion, a good movie. Is in the dialogues that I see so much sap. Are endless dialogues to release particles of emotional intensity, giving strength and character to most of the work.
    Philosopher and rookie screenwriter Charles Randolph gives to Alan Parker, director, a strong screenplay.
    The film is a work with content suitable for persons who want to think, reflect, ask questions, put a strain on their beliefs.

    Who wants to do, sit in a chair, will not be disappointed.
    Spacey (philosophy professor) and Laura Linney (Constance) are people "triadic" - body, mind, spirit, are committed to a very noble goal. Fight for "life" of those condemned to death.

    Question: - The film's characters are presented as the fanatical extremists of an idea, a proposal or as a people full of passion, transport for that idea? This is important, I think the difference is substantial advantage or disadvantage of static or dynamic of the film, it does not deserve, I believe, hasty judgments.
    Bitsey Bloom (Kate Winslet), a young but established journalist is asked by David Gale, sentenced to death three days before the execution to hear his story. During the three meetings the journalist did not "only limited to listening," onset of action. A story to follow with a final not so obvious.


    Personally privilege the person who asks questions and I have many reservations for who is considered the holder of certainties. I prefer the question mark (?) That exclamation mark (!). Good Ciak!
  2. LarsT.
    Nov 19, 2006
    Great film with a great Kevin Spacey.
  3. Jul 6, 2011
    the first few minutes of the film are very bearable, and you can see the movie is being supported by actors who are very good at what they do and a nice director. the movie brings so many questions and doesn't answer them, sometimes it's not necessarily a bad thing, but in this case - it's very bad. you feel like it wants to be a very exciting thriller but it fails exactly when it gets to the last scene, after you see it it seems like they wanted to grab everyone's attention and make the film memorable - didn't work on me. not worth watching - next Expand
  4. Feb 11, 2014
    This is Dead Man Walking by amateurs. It's plot is convoluted, the acting is dull, and the ending is an insult. It just doesn't give any arguments regarding the death penalty, all it does is repeat the same message over and over again, bludgeoning you over the head. Thankfully this became a box office bomb. Expand

See all 35 User Reviews