Critic Reviews



Based on 36 critic reviews provided by
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.
Philadelphia Inquirer
Plot contrivances, including an ominous cowboy-hatted figure who stalks Bitsey and her tagalong intern (Gabriel Mann), undermine the story's serious political themes.
By turns brilliant and simplistic, moving and preposterous, the movie takes one of the ultimate hot-button American issues -- the morality of capital punishment -- and dissolves it into a volatile mix of psychological thriller and socio-political fable.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Damned if Parker hasn't done it again. An intermittently good filmmaker but a consistently bad polemicist, he may well sway opinion here -- but, oops, not in the hoped-for direction.
Entertainment Weekly
A self-righteous mishmash that can't decide whether to be a tribute to the fanatical leftist passion that thrives in college towns, an indictment of that very same fanaticism, or a ghoulishly didactic snuff-video thriller.
A shock ending may be the best hope for this film, a convoluted mystery that thinks it's way smarter than it is.
By the end, it reveals itself as too pat, too absurd and -- as a polemic against capital punishment -- philosophically self- defeating.
Soon, the audience feels its own sense of despair -- for a movie that might have worked but didn't.
New York Daily News
In trying to disguise his themes within the structure of a noir thriller, Parker was simply more successful at fooling himself than us.
More concerned with quickening our pulses than broadening our minds.
Wall Street Journal
Unlike "Dead Man Walking" and many honorable dramas before it, "David Gale" has nothing coherent to say about capital punishment, or anything else. It's a dead film lurching.

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