The Life of David Gale 2003 R CC

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(310) IMDb 7.5/10
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Oscar winners Kevin Spacey and Kate Winslet star in this unpredictable thriller that begins when a respected professor who may - or may not - be guilty is charged with a brutal crime.

Kate Winslet, Cleo King
2 hours, 11 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller
Director Alan Parker
Starring Kate Winslet, Cleo King
Supporting actors Constance Jones, Kevin Spacey, Laura Linney, Lee Ritchey, Gabriel Mann, Matt Craven, Brandy Little, Cindy Waite, Jim Beaver, Leon Rippy, Jesse De Luna, Vernon Grote, Rhona Mitra, Kimberly Tortorice, Katie Lott, Noah Truesdale, Larissa Wolcott, Chuck Cureau
Studio NBC Universal
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Newman VINE VOICE on February 5, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Great movie from the opening sequence to the very last shot! Worth seeing again to see what you missed the first time. This movie is the type where the director and editor did not put any "filler" into. Every scene is important.
Keving Spacey is great and Kate Winslett convincingly drops her British accent in a tale of an anti-death penalty advocate who is awaiting execution for the murder of one of his fellow advocates. Winslett's character (Bitsy) is a reporter who has the assignment of getting Gale's story before he dies and proving his innocence. As the Gale's story unfolds one scene early on is very important. That is where Gale is in a televised debate with the governer of Texas over the merits of the death penalty. The debate turns into a shouting match with Gale cornering the governer into stating that if Gale could name one "innocent" person who received the death penalty, that he would sign an order to abolish the penalty in Texas. As the movie winds towards a climatic ending we begin to realize that it is more important that Bitsy can prove Gale's innocence, than save him from leathal injunction.
The movie is full of plot-twists and incredible suspense with a few scenes that will startle you.
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66 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 23, 2003
Format: DVD
THE LIFE OF DAVID GALE is, I believe, a much better film than many fellow reviewers would indicate. Perhaps they are influenced by the reviews that came out in the media at the time of the film's theatrical release, perhaps the Editorial slam on the Product Page by Bret Fetzer taints opinion. I would urge you to see and/or buy this DVD, keep an open mind, and witness the effect on your own emotional response.
Kevin Spacey fleshes out the title role as a believable philosophy professor who speaks against capital punishment in the state of Texas which just happens to be the place where more executions are performed than any other state. He is not without problems: alcohol, a drunken sexual relationship with a former student, and an awkward but deeply significant relationship with Constance (Laura Linney) who later when found 'murdered and raped' on videotape results in the arrest and conviction of Spacey's Gale, now facing death on death row. Laura Linney is most credible as a driven anti-death penalty activist for reasons we discover are beyond the range of civil rights reponsibilty. The third part of this triangle is the reporter brought in to investigate Gale's claim to innocence in the last four days of his wait on death row. Kate Winslet captures all the parameters of this contemporary woman with seamless detail. To tell more of the story would be injurious to the unfolding of this worthwhile drama.
For a 2 hour plus movie THE LIFE OF DAVID GALE manages to hold our interest, encouraging us as viewers to keep our invetigatory eyes and ears open and struggle along with Winslet and her cohort to finally put together all the pieces of the puzzle. Others have complained that the clues are in every scene: isn't that true of most crime investigations?
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 17, 2004
Format: DVD
scanning the negative reviews posted here, the nay-sayers seem to be divided into two camps: those who say the movie was too predictable; and those who say they can't believe the ending. presumably, one reason the latter group is incredulous is because they didn't see it coming. funny how you get completely opposite views.
me, i didn't see the ending coming, but i do think it made perfect sense. many objected that spacey and linney undermined their own cause by their "stunt". i don't agree. first, the full story wasn't meant to be disclosed to the public, only to the reporter. second, and more important, the ending was not done solely to prove a point, as many have suggested. in fact, linney was already terminally ill and spacey's fortunes had fallen to the point where he had little to live for. the so-called "stunt" was really a way to make their lives - and their inevitable deaths - more meaningful. making a point about capital punishment was only one part of it, the public dimension. there were very real private considerations as well.
many also commented that the ending didn't make sense. i think it does. spacey knows that he's used winslet to convey his public AND private message (to his son). it's to assuage his guilt that he sends the tape at the end. how does he know that winslet won't tell all? because she's proven that she can be trusted to respect the confidentiality of her sources: if she won't betray "kiddy porn scum", why would she betray an innocent man?
but even if the public doesn't know the whole truth, won't spacey still be an "anti-captial punishment nuthead" (to paraphrase one reviewer) in winslet's eyes? maybe. and only she would know.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. Wyatt on March 8, 2004
Format: DVD
After watching this very good movie on DVD I would definitely have to say that it would've been nice to have watched it on the silver screen. "The Life of David Gale" is a remarkably well told story that albeit fiction could very easily be a true story based on the convictions of those who agree with either side of the death penalty debate. From the overall theme or premise of this story to the performances, "The Life of David Gale" is most definitely a very good story that falls into the category of films which makes you think your way through it. Although many films in this particular genre suffer at the hands of predictability, this film doesn't in the least.
Performance wise, Kevin Spacey does his normal great job of playing your somewhat average to just above average American in this film. I believe that is what most people find appealing about his performances in major films; he's pretty much your average guy. I believe that prior to watching this film the only thing I had ever watched Kate Winslet in was "Titanic" and we all know how well that worked out for this beautiful British actress. Her performance in this film is a very good one; it would be nice to see her in future films. Laura Linney does her usual job of great acting in this film as well. No matter what films I've ever watched her in she always gives a compelling performance.
Director Alan Parker does a wonderful job with this film from every aspect of telling this story. The amazing thing about how he directed the film is that when it comes to the death penalty debate, he keeps the film itself neutral, not leaning too heavily in either direction, despite his own convictions.
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