The Life of David Gale - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Life of David Gale Reviews

April 22, 2003
It would take an intellect far superior to mine to explain the rationale -- or, for that matter, the release -- of David Gale.
April 4, 2003
I ended up feeling sorry for Mr. Spacey, Ms. Winslet and Ms. Linney, so contrived was the foolishness in which they found themselves embroiled.
March 6, 2003
Grading on the curve, I give it high marks for trying something different, but somewhat lower ones for entertainment value.
March 2, 2003
Low thrills and high dudgeon are a bad mix.
February 24, 2003
A dazzling mess.
February 21, 2003
One to add to the list of recent films not worthy of Spacey's talents.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
February 21, 2003
For the most part, David Gale just feels cluttered and artificial.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
February 21, 2003
By the end, it reveals itself as too pat, too absurd and -- as a polemic against capital punishment -- philosophically self- defeating.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
February 21, 2003
A convoluted mystery that thinks it's way smarter than it is.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
February 21, 2003
A movie that at first glance seems to be using the mystery/suspense genre as a lure for a serious discussion of the death penalty, but turns out to be merely exploiting capital punishment arguments for easy goosebumps.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
February 21, 2003
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
February 21, 2003
Parker and screenwriter Charles Randolph throw plausibility to the wind at every turn, and every emotional moment feels contrived.
February 21, 2003
A snide, juvenile, plot-twisting story about capital punishment that should provoke activists truly concerned about the death penalty to rage, and guilty-pleasure seekers to lament that the movie fails even as decent trash.
Read More | Original Score: 1/4
February 21, 2003
Deserves the chair for its brutal assault on subtlety.
February 21, 2003
The very things that give the picture its entertainment value -- the suspenseful contrivances of the story -- are precisely what undermine its ostensible message.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
February 21, 2003
After two hours of bludgeoning by Parker's moralistic mallet, even those who came in sympathetic to his views may leave with second thoughts.
February 21, 2003
I am sure the filmmakers believe their film is against the death penalty. I believe it supports it and hopes to discredit the opponents of the penalty as unprincipled fraudsters.
Full Review | Original Score: 0/4
February 21, 2003
The Life of David Gale is the world's first movie with a penalty phase.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
February 21, 2003
Does Kevin Spacey have a weird secret? Um, yeah, as always. But this death-penalty fable is so overwrought, no one will care.
February 20, 2003
Not a great film, and it's doubtful its 'surprise' endings will surprise many people, but it manages to be both smoothly entertaining and engaging while carrying a strong point of view.
Read More | Original Score: B
February 20, 2003
The script constantly trips over small points.
Read More | Original Score: C-
February 20, 2003
So nasty, hysterical and long-winded -- and unintentionally makes capital punishment foes look so twisted -- you wish someone had administered a lethal injection to this dreck in its planning stages.
Read More | Original Score: 1/4
February 20, 2003
Suspenseful but overworked death penalty thriller.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
February 20, 2003
Almost unbearably sanctimonious -- not to mention preposterous.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
February 20, 2003
It's fine, even admirable, to make movies with a definite point of view but not if heavy-handed opinion overwhelms the entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
February 20, 2003
Instead of mounting a fierce argument against socially sanctioned killing, Parker gives the other side ammunition and allows those predisposed to executions to exit feeling smug and reassured in their beliefs.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
February 20, 2003
Parker uses the same overbearing touch in David Gale that he did in Angela's Ashes and Mississippi Burning.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
February 20, 2003
David Gale may be the first liberal-leaning movie that could be brought up on assault charges since its director, Alan Parker, made Midnight Express.
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/5
February 20, 2003
Parker's tendency to smash through stories ends up being brutal on Spacey and Winslet.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
February 20, 2003
Overwrought and over-directed, The Life of David Gale has ideas worth considering, but its largest group of advocates will be the already converted.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
February 20, 2003
An obvious and smug sermon on the death penalty.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
February 20, 2003
Although I've never before seen Winslet flounder like this, it's Spacey who really needs help -- his desire to be St. Kevin is turning him into a joke.
February 20, 2003
This is a movie that rivets the attention and stirs our emotions before collapsing into wild, unconvincing melodrama.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
February 20, 2003
Yes, it is a polemic of sorts, but it can be pretty entertaining, thanks to the actors.
Read More | Original Score: B-
February 20, 2003
Wherever you stand on the death penalty, there ought to be a law against a message movie this contrived.
Full Review | Original Score: C
February 19, 2003
Going through the motions of a liberal-Hollywood polemic with the sweaty, mounting hysteria of a bad liar, The Life of David Gale is foremost an overheating gotcha machine.
February 11, 2003
Punches the expected buttons without being entirely convincing.
February 11, 2003
Contrivances and manipulation at the expense of character rob its dramatic developments of even a hint of veracity.