For 608 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 52% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Denby's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Osama
Lowest review score: 10 Dogville
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 608
608 movie reviews
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    A small classic of tension, bravery, and fear, which will be studied twenty years from now when people want to understand something of what happened to American soldiers in Iraq. If there are moviegoers who are exhausted by the current fashion for relentless fantasy violence, this is the convincingly blunt and forceful movie for them.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    This production, directed by Michael Hoffman, is like a great night at the theatre--the two performing demons go at each other full tilt and produce scenes of Shakespearean affection, chagrin, and rage.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    An enthralling and powerfully eccentric American epic.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    I would be surprised if this brilliant and touching film didn't become required viewing for teachers all over the United States. Everyone else should see it as well--it's a wonderful movie.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    Schnabel’s movie, based on the calm and exquisite little book that Bauby wrote in the hospital, is a gloriously unlocked experience, with some of the freest and most creative uses of the camera and some of the most daring, cruel, and heartbreaking emotional explorations that have appeared in recent movies.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    Hyper-articulate and often breathtakingly intelligent and always brazenly alive. I think it's easily the strongest American film since Clint Eastwood's "Mystic River," though it is not for the fainthearted.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    In Ratatouille, the level of moment-by-moment craftsmanship is a wonder.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    Essentially a romantic adventure story with politics in the background--an old-fashioned movie, I suppose, but exciting and stunningly well made.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    Has a beautifully modulated sadness that's almost musical. Eastwood once made a movie about Charlie Parker ("Bird"), but this picture has the smoothly melancholic tones of Coleman Hawkins at his greatest.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    Greengrass’s movie is tightly wrapped, minutely drawn, and, no matter how frightening, superbly precise.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    Small-scaled and limited, Capote is nevertheless the most intelligent, detailed, and absorbing film ever made about a writer's working method and character--in this case, a mixed quiver of strength, guile, malice, and mendacity.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    If Sauper is fired up by anti-globalist conviction, his instincts as an artist and as a man rule out any kind of rhetoric or cheapness. Darwin’s Nightmare is a fully realized poetic vision.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    A brilliant documentary about an American saint and fool--a man who understands everything about nature except death.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    The sigh you will hear across the country in the next few weeks is the sound of a gratified audience: a great movie musical has been made at last.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    One of the most impressive movies ever made about espionage.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    The movie is an outright miracle. [8 March 2004, p. 92]
    • The New Yorker
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    For the viewer, the miracle of Bloody Sunday is that firm moral judgment can exist side by side with a wild and bitter exhilaration in the sheer physicality of violence. [7 Oct 2002, p. 108]
    • The New Yorker
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    This movie makes one grateful that a serious European art cinema still exists. [15 April 2002, p. 88]
    • The New Yorker
    • 65 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    An Altman-influenced movie made without the master's acrid bitterness. The Last Kiss may come out of Italian opera and comedy, but in spirit it's Shakespearean -- objective, impassive, and at peace with a world in which men and women manage to be both ordinary and extraordinary. [5 August 2002, p.80]
    • The New Yorker
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    I've rarely seen so selfless a collection of performances and, in a war movie, so general an absence of rhetoric or guff. [25 & 31 Dec 2001, p. 127]
    • The New Yorker
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    Altman achieves his dream of a truly organic form, in which everyone is connected to everyone else, and life circulates around a central group of ideas and emotions in bristling orbits. [14 Jan 2002, p. 92]
    • The New Yorker
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    The twin themes of The Hours are the variety of human bonds, especially the bond of love, and the gift that the dying make to the living. The miracle is that such sombre notions fit together as surely and lightly as the dancers in a Balanchine ballet. [23 & 30 December 2002, p. 166]
    • The New Yorker
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    Field achieves so convincing a picture of everday normality that when violence breaks out one feels the same disbelief that one feels when it breaks out in life. [26 Nov 2001, p. 121]
    • The New Yorker
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    Almodóvar has brought an extraordinary calm to the surface of his work. The imagery is smooth and beautiful, the colors are soft-hued and blended. Past and present flow together; everything seems touched with a subdued and melancholy magic. [25 November 2002, p. 108]
    • The New Yorker
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    To begin your career with a masterpiece is so remarkable a feat that one can only hope Jarecki finds another subject as rich as this family, which was obsessed with itself but needed a filmmaker to begin to see itself at all. [2 June 2003, p. 102]
    • The New Yorker
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    As close as we are likely to come on the screen to the spirit of Greek tragedy (and closer, I think, than Arthur Miller has come on the stage). The crime of child abuse becomes a curse that determines the pattern of events in the next generation. [13 October 2003, p. 112]
    • The New Yorker
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    Marston would probably have made an interesting movie no matter how he had shot it, but the way he dramatized the material seems instinctively right: he goes detail by detail, emotion by emotion, eliding nothing, exaggerating nothing.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    Brilliantly entertaining.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    Judged both as reporting and as art -- many of Wiseman's films have a poetic density of structure -- it is a series without parallel in movie history. [11 Feb 2002, p. 92]
    • The New Yorker
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    A perfect family movie, a perfect date movie, and one of the most eye-ravishing documentaries ever made.