Become a Premium Member | Only $2 a month

► You're making sure we survive
► Exclusive previews
► No more ads


The Life of David Gale



Although our site is very popular, the current economic climate has reduced our revenues just when we need extra security to prevent attacks from hackers who don't like what we do. If you think what we do is worthwhile, please donate or become a member.


Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

 [more »]

Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10

MPAA Rating: R

In a strange twist of fate, an outspoken death penalty abolitionist (Kevin Spacey) is sentenced to death for the rape and murder of a fellow activist and co-worker (Laura Linney). With only three days before his scheduled execution, he agrees to give a young and ambitious reporter (Kate Winslet) an exclusive interview, and she becomes convinced that he's innocent and his life is in her hands. Also with Gabriel Mann and Matt Craven. [2:10]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - A young woman seduces an older man: she kisses him (we see her tongue in his mouth), he rips her panties off, we see their bare buttocks, and we see him thrusting from behind. A man and a woman have sex (we see them kissing and thrusting in bed and we see his bare back and buttocks and her bare legs and the side of her bare breast). We see a fully nude woman in several scenes (she's dead in a few of them). A case is discussed including descriptive details of a rape. References are also made to child pornography. A young woman (a college student) propositions and an older man (a professor). A man asks a woman into his hotel room, but she does not go. A man and a woman hug, and a man kisses a woman on the forehead. Women wear outfits that reveal cleavage and bare abdomens in many scenes. Men make sexual gestures and noises toward a woman, and a man makes a gesture by thrusting his hips. People are shown dancing at a party. A man comes out of a restroom fastening his pants. A man wears swim trunks.

VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - We watch a video of a woman struggling before she dies: she has a plastic bag on her head and her hands are tied behind her back (we see this several times). Another woman re-enacts this scene and we see her struggling and hear her crying for help (she is freed before she dies). We see photographs of a woman lying dead on the floor with her hands tied behind her back and a plastic bag over her head. We see photographs of dead people, some with bloody wounds. We hear a description of the procedures for lethal injection. Two men drive cars recklessly and one nearly runs into a moving train. A woman runs along a road and a truck swerves before hitting her. A woman scratches a man's buttock (we see blood), and he bites her shoulder during sex. A rape and murder case is discussed in several scenes. Protestors start shoving each other and yelling angrily. A woman stabs herself in the stomach during a play. A man runs out of an office and beats up a telephone in anger. A woman is found unconscious and is taken into a hospital on a stretcher. A woman is frightened when she finds her hotel room door ajar, and a woman is visibly shaken after a man in a truck watches her (she's in a dark and isolated rest area). A man touches the hot engine of a car and flinches. Two men debate an issue passionately (they yell at each other).

PROFANITY 6 - 17 F-words, 1 obscene hand gesture, 5 sexual references, 15 scatological terms, 8 anatomical terms, 5 mild obscenities, 6 religious profanities, 8 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Capital punishment, rape, murder, pornography, the justice system, serial killers, contempt of court, lust, fantasy, principles, eye for an eye, an assassination method referred to as "secure tot method," infidelity, Socrates' death sentence, St. Jude, child custody, leukemia, martyrdom.

MESSAGE - Happiness is in seeking a fantasy. Hate is not fun if you keep it to yourself..

(Note: People are shown drinking to excess and smoking cigarettes. There are discussions of a character having a drinking problem.)

Special Keywords: S6 - V7 - P6 - MPAAR

Our Ratings Explained

Tell Friends About Our Site

Become a Member

A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

INAPPROPRIATE ADS? We have little control over ads since we belong to ad agencies that serve ads automatically; a standing order should prevent provocative ads, but inappropriate ads do sneak in.
What you can do



Become a member: You can subscribe for as little as a couple of dollars a month and gain access to our premium site, which contains no ads whatsoever. Think about it: You'll be helping support our site and guarantee that we will continue to publish, and you will be able to browse without any commercial interruptions.


Tell all your friends: Please recommend to your friends and acquaintances; you'll be helping them by letting them know how useful our site is, while helping us by increasing our readership. Since we do not advertise, the best and most reliable way to spread the word is by word-of-mouth.


Alert local & national media: Let major media know why you trust our ratings. Call or e-mail a local newspaper, radio station or TV channel and encourage them to do a story about our site. Since we do not have a PR firm working for us, you can be our media ambassadors.

Copyright © 1992- Critics. All rights reserved. "Kids-In-Mind™" and "Movie Ratings That Actually Work™" are Service Marks of Critics. For legal queries please see our Terms of Use; for comments or questions see our contact page.