5.7/10
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Never Die Alone (2004)

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

Director:

Ernest R. Dickerson (as Ernest Dickerson)

Writers:

Donald Goines (novel), James Gibson (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
DMX ... King David
Michael Ealy ... Michael
Drew Sidora ... Ella
Antwon Tanner ... Blue
Robby Robinson Robby Robinson ... Man in Apartment
Luenell ... Jasper (as Luenell Campbell)
David Arquette ... Paul
Clifton Powell ... Moon
Wealthy Linn Gener Wealthy Linn Gener ... Asian Girl
Jeff Sanders Jeff Sanders ... Sentry Guard #1
Tommy 'Tiny' Lister ... Rockie
Shakira Vanise Gamble Shakira Vanise Gamble ... Co-Worker
Big Daddy Wayne Big Daddy Wayne ... Red
Damion Poitier ... Alvin
Eric Payne Eric Payne ... Orderly
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

No king rules forever.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Fox Searchlight

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 March 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chronique mortelle See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,089,993, 28 March 2004, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$5,644,575, 6 June 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the same year, Michael Ealy co-starred in November with David Arquette's ex-wife Courteney Cox. See more »

Quotes

Michael: What the fuck is a white boy like you doin' uptown in a dead man's car?
See more »

Connections

References Scarface (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Harvest
Written and Performed by Martin Blasick
Courtesy of Lavish Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
a bit better than one might expect
15 January 2005 | by Buddy-51See all my reviews

Since truth is indeed sometimes stranger than fiction, often the movie with the most unlikely scenario is the one that turns out to be the most believable. This is the case with "Never Die Alone," an urban crime drama with a plot just loopy enough to keep us interested and just goofy enough to make us believe it.

David Arquette plays a white reporter who hangs around in a predominantly black section of the city soaking up the "atmosphere" for articles and books he hopes to write. One night, he attempts to save the life of a black drug kingpin (played by DMX) by driving the man to the hospital after he's been left for dead in a revenge killing. Immediately before his death, the man, who goes by the name "King David," bequeaths his car and other earthly possessions to this inner city Good Samaritan. Included in the haul is an assortment of tapes David recorded detailing his experiences as a successful drug pusher in LA. Thus, as Paul listens to these recordings, a full picture of the kind of man David was soon emerges.

The best thing about "Never Die Alone" is that it doesn't flinch from displaying the ugly, harsh realities of its blood-splattered world. It shows how even the innocent and the good eventually fall victim to the evils of drug addiction and crime. The film is not afraid to kill off characters in a random way, often surprising us with just who ends up dying and who ends up surviving. And it does not attempt to sugarcoat "King David," for despite all his comments about redemption and making up for the evil he's done, David is one hell of an amoral bastard who does some pretty horrible things to some truly undeserving people - and the film does not shy away from depicting that reality.

Although, on the surface, the film seems like just another in a long line of sordid crime dramas involving crack heads, dope fiends and armed-to-the-teeth ghetto gangstas, "Never Die Alone," perhaps because it is willing to hold nothing back in what it chooses to show us, has a certain ring of truth about it. Whatever the reason, "Never Die Alone" is a cut above the average.


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