The Life of David Gale was once set for a December release, perhaps looking for Oscar awareness. That plan was dropped, however, and instead was released a few months later - this is never a good sign. Critic reviews were not kind, and the movie was gone rather quickly. This is one of those movies where the critics know not what they say.
Granted, I am a critic, but one of the few that actually liked this Kevin Spacey and Kate Winslet thriller. The movie perhaps is a little heavy handed (or at least quite obvious) on its issues about the death penalty, but still manages to be entertaining and engaging.
Spacey stars as a college professor just a few days shy of his execution; he was convicted of raping and murdering his friend (Laura Linney), a fellow anti-death penalty advocate. Kate Winslet plays a reporter who begins to suspect that Spacey is innocent, and that there is a videotape somewhere out there that proves it.
The Life of David Gale will surprise some and be very predictable to others. The movie has a few twists here and there, but nothing so complex that they cannot be figured out ahead of time (like the ending, for instance). Regardless, it can be entertaining and intriguing. To me, the ending was a little disappointing because it was so predictable, but the rest of the movie kept me engaged.
The acting is good. With Kevin Spacey involved, that is all that really needs to be said.
The Life of David Gale is no award-winner, but has everything needed for a moderately good thriller.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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