Ebert give "The Life of David Gale" Zero Stars based on unrevealed ending...

Here’s his review:


In his desire that we be allowed to be as disgusted as he was in discovering the awful ending, one so bad it seems to have been practically his entire basis for giving this ZERO stars, he does not reveal what that ending is.

Since I’m never going to see the film, but am terrifically intrigued at what could be so bad that it made Ebert give it ZERO stars and yet not reveal it (especially with Ebert being the guy who gave away the ending to Crying Game.)

So if anyone has seen it, or sees it today, or knows someone who’s seen it, please post in a spoiler box what the ending is (and roughly what leads up to it) and why it’s so horrific.

Ebert did not reveal the ending to The Crying Game. In fact, he gave it four stars and said, stay away from reviews until you can see the movie yourself.


It was Gene Siskel who revealed the ending.

As for “David Gale”, Ida Know, but I’m intrigued and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.


I really like the song “Just Another Bleeding Heart” that they play really loud on the trailer for The Life of David Gale. I’m probably not going to see the movie after reading that review, though.

He needs a spoiler box. :wink:

BTW-- the Washington Post said it stunk too.

Mr Cranky gave it a once over:

(spoilers in link!)

I was looking forward to this one - but damn it looks awful now. I’m willing to bet that Roger E was right.

Oh yeah, the reviewer in the Wash. Post Style section (Rita Kempley, can I give her name?) did -not- like “David Gale” at all! Am waiting to see what Arch Campbell on Channel 4 gives it. LOL

Arch Campbell, sheesh! How on earth does he keep his job? Is he related to the owner or something? It’s like having Mr. Rogers reviewing punk rock bands…

This would be a good place to post the address of http://www.themoviespoiler.com/ – a terrific resource if you don’t want to bother seeing a movie to find out what happened. That page has a link to the Movie Pooper, which is similar, except that it lists only a one-sentence distillation of the ending, not a complete wrap-up of the plot like the Spoiler does.

Oh, forgot – the movie doesn’t appear to be on either of those sites yet, but it should be soon.

I, too am curious about what makes this film go from merely awful into I Spit On Your Grave territory.

It’s a rough morning for Hollywood: every David Gale review I’ve read has been negative, as has every review of Gods and Generals.

“every David Gale review I’ve read has been negative, as has every review of Gods and Generals.”
That’s not surprising as both are currently running at 0% in the "cream of the crop rating at www.rottentomatoes.com and below 20% in the general rating.

Both films sounded quite interesting but I guess they were poorly-executed.

Is this the only other movie he’s given zero stars to besides North?

No. Ebert may not give out many zeros, but he’s given out at least 26 since 1985, as I found out by searching his web page. More recent titles include Freddy got Fingered and Tomcats.

It was all a dream.

This is not a spoiler. This is an ending that would make me give it zero stars, though.

It could be an Alan Parker thing: while a lot of people thought his Pink Floyd movie was brilliant, I thought it was on the same level as the drawings bored high school boys scrawl on their peachie folders. But then there have been some Alan Parker films that I did like that others did not.

As for Roger Ebert, in his otherwise competent review of “Gods and Generals” he remarked that nobody was nicknamed “Buster” before Buster Keaton. “Buster” is an old, old nickname referring to its bearer’s prowess at seducing virgins.

Doesn’t the Chicago Sun Times have interns to check this sort of thing so its big-shot columnists aren’t revealed to have the same gaps between their opinions and their facts as the rest of us?

I know I could e-mail him from the review sight, but just because I am an internet crank doesn’t mean I have to act like one all the time.

Glenn Kenny, in Premiere, also gave it zero stars. He basically says in the review that he wishes he could fully tell us why it sucks so bad, but to do so would be to give too much of the film away. I assume now that he’s talking about the ending as well, after reading the Ebert review.

It’s a shame; the trailer makes the film look interesting. But after the reviews I’ve been reading, sounds like it might not be worth it. Alan Parker is definitely hit or miss as a director, and it sounds like he missed big time on this one, if the reviews are to be believed. I’ll still go see it, to decide for myself, of course, but I’m not really looking forward to it anymore.

I just wanted to mention that I came to the Cafe today with the exact same thought as the OP (and after I’d already visited themoviespoiler.com and had no luck) just to find out what the incredibly bad twist ending is.

So who is going to make a sacrifice for the cause and go to see this thing to aid in the fight against ignorance?

I read the spoiler at the mr. cranky site, and would like to post it here. I hope your spoiler tags function properly. The “murder victim” and David Gale were in cahoots all along. She sacrifices her life by committing suicide (she has leukemia, so she figures she’s going to die anyway), and makes it look like murder. David Gale colludes in his own framing, also sacrificing himself by willingly being executed for a murder that he did not commit. The reporter is duped into uncovering and proving his innocence when it is too late to stop the execution. The whole conspiracy between the two is an attempt to make the point that, because the death penalty has resulted in the execution of a proven innocent man, it must be abolished (David Gale and the “murder victim” are anti-death penalty activists, you see).

Now to preview and make sure the tags worked. . .

Okay, we’re ready to roll.

Ebert’s about 50/50 as far as agreement for me, but I’ve gotten to know how to read his reviews to see if I would like the film even if he didn’t, or vice versa. In this case, it sounds like I wouldn’t like it. The reviews on rottentomatoes pretty much confirm the worst.

Dammit… Kate Winslet’s first new movie in over a year, and it sounds horrid. sigh I’ll see it anyway, just for her, but maybe not in the theatre.

—Doesn’t the Chicago Sun Times have interns to check this sort of thing so its big-shot columnists aren’t revealed to have the same gaps between their opinions and their facts as the rest of us?—

Ebert seems to have a growing habit of dropping snooty little gems of historical criticism that turn out to be misinformed. I especially liked his review of FOTR in which he complained that it wasn’t enough like the book… yet his complaints weren’t like the book either, making me suspect that he read it a long time ago and didn’t remember it too well.