38 user 56 critic

Never Die Alone (2004)

0:35 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

A drug kingpin's return home touches off a turf war.


(as Ernest Dickerson)


(novel), (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Belly (1998)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A pair of violent Men have spiritual awakenings.

Director: Hype Williams
Stars: Nas, DMX, Taral Hicks
Death Toll (2008)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.5/10 X  

New Orleans has the No. 1 per capita murder rating in the nation. A decade earlier the city was dubbed the "Murder Capital of the Country." Drugs and violence controlled the streets, taking... See full summary »

Director: Phenomenon
Stars: Lou Diamond Phillips, DMX, Keshia Knight Pulliam
DMX: Soul of a Man (TV Series 2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

You know about DMX; the rapper, actor and controversial figure always in trouble with the law. Now meet Earl Simmons, up close and personal. Find out about his inner demons and what drives him and what makes him: the Dark Man X.

Stars: DMX
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A jewel thief's daughter is kidnapped after he steals a collection of prized black diamonds, which aren't at all what they seem.

Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak
Stars: Jet Li, DMX, Mark Dacascos
Exit Wounds (2001)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Orin Boyd, a tough cop in an inner-city precinct discovers a web of dirty cops and corruption.

Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak
Stars: Steven Seagal, DMX, Isaiah Washington
Last Hour (2008)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.3/10 X  

How would you react if three years after the death of your father, you receive a letter signed by him inviting you to visit an abandoned house in the middle of nowhere in China? Curious in ... See full summary »

Director: Pascal Caubet
Stars: DMX, Michael Madsen, Pascal Caubet
Father of Lies (Video 2007)
Drama | Fantasy | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  
Director: Phenomenon
Stars: Clifton Powell, DMX, Vivica A. Fox
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  

Can a young person in the South Bronx pursue a dream that isn't tied to crime, gang-banging, prostitution, violence, and racism? Tommy is a natural leader and a gifted artist. When Allen, a... See full summary »

Director: Val Lik
Stars: Frankie Negron, Val Lik, Ramses Ignacio
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An avenging cop seeks out his brother's killer and falls for the daughter of a businessman who is involved in a money-deal with his father.

Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak
Stars: Jet Li, Aaliyah, Isaiah Washington
The Bleeding (2009)
Action | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3/10 X  

Surrounded by carnage, slaughter, brutal crashes and total mayhem, Shawn Black is in a race to save the world from pure evil.

Director: Charlie Picerni
Stars: Michael Madsen, Vinnie Jones, Armand Assante
Waist Deep (2006)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

An ex-convict (Tyrese) gets tangled up with a gang after his car is hijacked with his son inside.

Director: Vondie Curtis-Hall
Stars: Tyrese Gibson, Meagan Good, Larenz Tate
South Central (1992)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A man is sent to prison for 10 years. Coming out of prison he wants to live a normal life and stop crime but his son has now followed the criminal path of his father.

Director: Stephen Milburn Anderson
Stars: Byron Minns, Glenn Plummer, Lexie Bigham


Cast overview, first billed only:
King David
Robby Robinson ...
Man in Apartment
Jasper (as Luenell Campbell)
Wealthy Linn Gener ...
Asian Girl
Jeff Sanders ...
Sentry Guard #1
Shakira Vanise Gamble ...
Big Daddy Wayne ...
Eric Payne ...


A film noir centering around a hard-boiled, stylish kingpin drug dealer, called King David, who returns to his hometown seeking redemption--but ends up only finding violent death. King David's final moments are spent with Paul, an aspiring journalist who knew him for just a few minutes; yet King David would forever more have an impact on Paul's life. Half preacher, half Satan, and all street smarts, King David had recorded the story of his exploits on audiotape, leaving behind an often-poetic sermon on villainy and its consequences. The tapes reveal that the cycle of violence and retribution, which his actions have spawned, has come back to him, full circle, as he suspected they might all along. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


No king rules forever.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, drug use, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

26 March 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chronique mortelle  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,089,993 (USA) (26 March 2004)


$5,644,575 (USA) (4 June 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This movie is based on a book written by Donald Goines. Same title. See more »


Blue: [after beating and robbing the man in apartment] Don't worry man, I'll leave you enough to buy a pack of Newports...
See more »


References Scarface (1983) See more »


Written by Kevin Winston
Courtesy of Associated Production Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A very dark, and very underrated charater study of a monstrous person
15 July 2004 | by (The Thuderdome, b**ch!!) – See all my reviews

Never Die Alone opens up with a scene that full blown gives away a pivotal event in the film, where we see the main character, King David, lying in a casket, eyes closed, hands on his chest. It's no big secret that he's dead, to me, this movie isn't about the events, but simply about the story and the characters, and that's really all that matters. What I like first about this movie is that it has the power to make the audience not care if the ending is revealed, or if any other event is told before it happens. I don't think this movie is about the ending, but it's simply about King David and his monstrous nature/personality.

Again, the movie opens up with King David in a casket, obviously dead. He gives a narration, and talks about reincarnation and how some say that when you die in one life, you'll pay back for your mistakes in the next one. Immediately, one can wonder why this man would mention this.

King David comes back to his hometown to make amends with a drug dealer that he stole from. This drug dealer is Moon. David offers to give back the 15 thousand he stole in drugs, plus another fifteen thousand for interest. Moon sends two of his boys, Blue and Mike, to make the pickup. During the scene in which Moon tells the two to meet up with David, Mike's reaction sparks up some question, because he gets noticeably angry. We the audience question the history that David and Mike, and ask what the deal is between them. The pickup goes wrong, and King David ends up getting stabbed in the process, right across from a bar. In the bar across the street is aspiring reporter, Paul, a man who hangs out in ghetto areas to gather up information on his novel. David comes to the aid of David, and drives him to the hospital. During this beginning scene, we actually start to feel sympathy for King David, as he pleads to Paul to `Not let him die alone.' This line is somewhat sad, but at this point we have no idea what kind of person David is. David of course dies, and hands over practically everything he has to Paul, probably because he was caring enough to bring him to the hospital and not let him die in the gutters. Among the things Paul gets from David are jewelry, money, and a nice car. Paul eventually finds a collection of audio cassettes, each one an audio diary chronicling the last ten years of David's monstrous life. Then the real story begins.

Through these audio tapes, we realize that David probably never wanted redemption and had no apology for the monstrous acts he's done. We at first feel sorry for his character, and not want him to die, but as the movie chronicles the last ten years, all of that care and sympathy that we had the character disappears as we see King David for who he really is: A monstrous man who has no compassion for anyone. King David charms women, gets to know them, then hooks them on cocaine, THEN switches them to heroin without them knowing, so that they have an unwanted dependence on him. King David is an unapologetic man, who seems to purely like the suffering of others. He single-handedly destroys these women's lives without remorse. He is able to look back on these events and tell them as if he were proud about them. This is his character. Unlike most drug movies, the character isn't sugarcoated, the character isn't sold as a cold blooded killer who still feels remorse for some people. The King David character is the complete opposite. He is written truthfully, without trying to hold back the grim events in his life.

DMX has made a few films in the past, the two most recent (I'm pretty sure) are Exit Wounds, and Cradle 2 The Grave, both mindless action films for the genre fans. Those two movies were there to simply make money, and to entertain people with fights and explosions. I liked those two movies, but I don't those movies were able to expand DMX's acting talents because of what kinds of movies they are. Never Die Alone brings out the performance in DMX that most people probably didn't even know existed. Unlike in Cradle 2 The Grave and Exit Wounds, DMX is able to give his character depth, and is able to define him in ways that most actors cant do. He is able define his character in the most monstrous way possible, and even though this character is monstrous and evil in the movie, DMX cloaks this evil vindictive side, and is able to appear normal, and I think this is the dynamic force of the character, he knows he's evil, he knows he's a horrible person, but he acts as if it's all just an everyday activity to ruin people's lives, and DMX pulls this characteristic off amazingly well. He wrecks people's lives, and he does it with so much ease and so little care, and DMX really brings this character trait to the surface.

David Arquette plays an aspiring reporter, who, like I mentioned earlier, finds King David's audio diaries and discovers the truth about the man he just met. Arquette's character isn't onscreen very much, and he only interacts a few times with other people, with the exception of King David. His character isn't really developed, but he's one of those film characters where he can be developed and presented with only a few sentences. What we can learn about this character is that he simply is willing to go where most people wouldn't dare to go, and he never intends harm to anyone else. The character is simply there to be the good hearted person who doesn't enforce any kind of hate or violence. He's the modern character of the movie, the everyday person. His character is drawn into the complex character of King David. Before he listens to the cassettes, he obviously doesn't know who King David is, but he probably thinks that David isn't that bad of a person, just like the audience. But as he listens to the tapes and hears the monstrous things he's done, we cant really tell what he thinks about the guy afterwards. We don't know whether he still feels some kind of remorse for him, or if he feels that he deserved to die. There might still be some remorse left in Arquette's character, but the movie doesn't really emphasize whether that care and remorse was diminished after he listened to the tapes. Each time this character was onscreen, I sat there wanting the movie to go back to King David's `adventure', mainly because Arquette's character wasn't interesting, and the movie tended to slow down every time they showed him. However, regardless of that problem, it doesn't hurt the movie that much, but I think it could have been fixed in some way.

The nature of this movie is dark and grim, so of course, the movie's setting has to be dark and grim, and it is. The lighting effects obviously reflect the movie's nature, and maybe even it's main character. The locations are perfectly fitting for the dark and depressing tone that the movie tries to set, and the lighting most of the time is perfect, because it maintains a depressing look that has lots of style. Whether or not the movie's look was done just for the sake of looking good, of if it was done to reflect the characters and situations, either way, it was very stylistic.

With DMX's name printed above the title, and with DMX on the front cover with two handguns at hand, most people will think this movie is another mindless action film in the tradition of Exit Wounds and Cradle 2 The Grave. I thought that it was an action film at first, but I had no idea that it was a serious movie dealing with serious characters and serious situations. Never Die Alone is a smart, taught, dark, and stylistic low budget drama that'll either disgust audiences or serve them a dark drama that takes you into the monstrous world of a vicious drug pusher, either way, the audience will despise it for the first reason, and maybe love it for the latter reason. I liked it for the latter.

Score: 9 ½ out of 10.

Very underrated dark drama that deserves some more recognition. Easily one of the best films of 2004.

28 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Am I the only sane one??? supercash79
DMX's acting servercat
Was David doing Juanita in the butt? DAlst8
What Goines book would you want to see as a movie? hbwild
This Movie Will Die Alone tbone100486
wow....Ebert gave this 3 1/2 stars Dreamcast2001
Discuss Never Die Alone (2004) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: