A shock ending may be the best hope for this film, a convoluted mystery that thinks it's way smarter than it is. Kevin Spacey stars as David Gale, a Texas prof on death row for raping and killing a fellow activist (Laura Linney) against — oh, the irony! — the death penalty. Kate Winslet plays the reporter to whom Gale gives his last interview. Working from a script by first-timer Charles Randolph, director Alan Parker alternately engages and infuriates. Parker's flash works in some movies (Midnight Express, The Commitments) and exposes the hollowness of others, such as Evita and this one. Except for Linney, the actors ride the surface. Spacey, hopeless in a flashback drunk scene, is all bogus emotion. And the usually solid Winslet is reduced to mostly crying and running, possibly in reaction to a race-against-the-clock ending that shocks, yes, but only by jerking our chain.
The Life of David Gale
- The Life of David Gale
- Kevin Spacey, Laura Linney
- Directed by Alan Parker
From The Archives Issue 917: March 6, 2003
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Around the Web
CrackedThe 5 Greatest Movie Sex Scenes
SalonThe 7 Most Tragic Band Deaths In Rock History
SpinThe 50 Best Rock Bands Right Now
Mental FlossWhere Are 10 Key Players in The O.J. Simpson Trial Now?
Diffuser27 of the Most Offensive Band Names Ever
Cracked5 Famous People Who Lost Everything (For Stupid Reasons)
- Watch Beyonce's Surprise New Video 'Formation'
- Rick Rubin: My Life in 21 Songs
- The Koch Brothers' Dirty War on Solar Power
- Inside the Replacements' Disastrous 'Saturday Night Live' Debut
- 'Silence of the Lambs' at 25: 'It Broke All the Rules'
- Kanye West Blends Sacred and Profane on Startling, Gospel-Inflected New LP
- Ring of Honor's Declaration of Independence
- Watch Kristen Wiig's Awkward Peyton Manning Impersonation on 'Fallon'