.

The Life of David Gale

Kevin Spacey, Laura Linney

Directed by Alan Parker
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 2
Community: star rating
5 2 0
February 21, 2003

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.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Stillness Is the Move”

    Dirty Projectors | 2009

    A Wim Wenders film and a rapper inspired the Dirty Projectors duo David Longstreth and Amber Coffmanto write "sort of a love song." "We rented the movie Wings of Desire from Dave's brother's recommendation, and he had me go through it and just write down some things that I found interesting, and they made it into the song," Coffman said. As for the hip-hop connection, Longstreth explained, "The beat is based on T-Pain. We commissioned a radio mix of the song by the guy who mixes all of Timbaland's records, but the mix we made sounded way better, so we didn't use it."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com