Never Die Alone

  • Review Date: July 14, 2004
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 85 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Violent movie starring rapper DMX is not for kids.
  • Review Date: July 14, 2004
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 85 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The characters are engaged in crime and corruption.


Extreme peril and graphic violence, many character deaths. Extreme peril.


Explicit sexual references and situations, nudity.


Extremely strong language, including the n-word.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters deal drugs, drug use, overdoses, drinking, smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is about people who are engaged in crime and corruption. It has constant and extreme violence, including many graphic murders. The main characters are drug dealers, and the movie includes drug use (heroin and cocaine) and overdoses, including a mother whose overdose is discovered by her children. Characters use extremely strong and hostile language, including the "N" word, and they treat each other with emotional as well as physical brutality. There are explicit sexual references and situations, including a graphic sex scenes and a threesome involving twins.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In NEVER DIE ALONE, "King" David (rap star DMX) is a drug dealer who returns to New York to make his peace with his former boss, Moon (Clifton Powell). David took Moon's drugs to California and started his own drug business. He offers to pay Moon whatever he asks to make up for it, but the transaction heats up and David is mortally wounded. Paul (David Arquette) finds David and drives him to the hospital. David asks Paul to find his son and tell him that "his old man was a warrior," and leaves Paul his car. In the car, Paul finds tapes hidden in a hollowed-out Bible – David's spoken-word diaries. Paul is a writer searching for a way to tell the story of the streets and he's fascinated with David's "nobility." As Paul listens to the tapes, we follow David's story from his arrival in L.A., where he cozies up with small-time starlet who helps him build his business. David meets a woman he really cares for because she is "beautiful, intelligent, and uncorrupted." Then he corrupts and destroys her, because caring for her made him feel weak. Abusing her made him feel "loved and appreciated."

Is it any good?


This movie's greatest strength is also its greatest weakness -- it wants to be more than the usual drug dealer shoot-em-up. It deserves some credit for its ambitions. But those ambitions tip it over into pretentious melodrama that only emphasizes how far short of its aspirations it falls.

DMX gives David power and dignity. But the character is already so corrupt and empty that it is impossible to find the "nobility" Paul sees in him. David does not learn or grow or change for the better or worse, and so there is no sense of journey to move the story forward. Overly melodramatic flourishes and overly symbolic images also separate us from the characters. A coffin is pushed into the flames of a crematorium as a car drives into a tunnel. A writer banging on a typewriter instead of a laptop and a slinky nightclub chanteuse recall the gangster movies of the 1930's. And a relationship revealed at a critical moment is intended to bring everything full circle, but just feels manipulative.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the characters decided what was important to them. Who are their role models? Why? What does it mean to say that "we reap what we sow?"

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 25, 2004
DVD release date:July 12, 2004
Cast:David Arquette, DMX, Drew Sidora
Director:Ernest Dickerson
Studio:Fox Searchlight
Run time:85 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong violence, drug use, sexuality and language

This review of Never Die Alone was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 5, 6, 7, 10, 10, and 17 year old Written byCharlie The Cat December 22, 2011

No One Under 18 Admitted

No Minors (Under 9) or Majors (9-17)
Teen, 17 years old Written byTheTrillionaire November 24, 2012


What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byerinw2 October 19, 2014
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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