For 628 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 3.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Denby's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Winter's Bone
Lowest review score: 10 Wild Wild West
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 628
628 movie reviews
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    Apart from this going-postal moment, and a nice song from Frank the Pug (a resident alien from the original, played by the same dog), MIIB is pretty much a disaster -- repetitive beyond belief, and so busily inconsequential that it neuralizes your brain and leaves you with nothing to respond to. [8 July 2002, p.84]
    • The New Yorker
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    The movie is all whoosh and whack and abrupt closeups -- jerky digital punctuation. It's alienating experience, without emotional resonance or charm. [28 March 2011, p. 116]
    • The New Yorker
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    If the rest of the movie had been on Travolta's level of sly knowingness, it might have been a hip classic, rather than what it is -- a summertime debauch. [23 July 2012, p. 81]
    • The New Yorker
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    Spanglish chokes on an excess of sincerity and guilt, and, in retrospect, its failure may turn out to be momentous for a sincere and guilty community--Hollywood liberals in a state of post-election dismay.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    In the Cut is completely controlled and all of a piece, and yet, apart from one performance (Mark Ruffalo), it's terrible--a thriller devoid of incidental pleasures or humor, or even commonplace reality. [27 October 2003, p. 112]
    • The New Yorker
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    xXx
    In itself, XXX is not worth getting bothered about -- a half-dozen big pictures as bad as this one come out every year. At the very worst, it will kick off a pointless new movie franchise. [19 & 26 August 2002, p.174]
    • The New Yorker
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    Feels like a pointlessly nagging play.
    • The New Yorker
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    Overwrought and unpleasant nonsense.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    The movie collapses into banality. The marriages hang together, but fear and guilt provide the glue. Perhaps the biggest insult to women here is the idea that they can't get better men than these two vacuous guys. [14 March 2011, p. 78]
    • The New Yorker
    • 30 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    Falls below even minimal standards of dramatic decency. John Q is a trashy, opportunistic piece of pop demagoguery. [4 Mar 2002, p. 90]
    • The New Yorker
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    The movie rages on for a hundred and fifty minutes and then just stops, pausing for the next sequel.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    The kind of bad movie that makes a reviewer feel terrible. It has been put together with great sincerity, and yet, impassioned and affecting as some of it is, 21 Grams is also an arrogant failure. [24 November 2003, p. 113]
    • The New Yorker
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    The movie is hectic, exhausting, and baffling. It's an embarrassment.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    The only thing that Butler and Aniston have in common, however, is identical Aruba-bronze skin tones: they seem to have been sprayed with the same can.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    The style of the movie veers unsuccessfully between humorless piety and opéra-bouffe clownishness.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    Brown and now Ron Howard have added an incendiary element to trash--open hostility toward the Catholic Church.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    The quarter-century-old disgruntled fantasies of two English comic-book artists, amplified by a powerful movie company, and ambushed by history, wind up yielding a disastrous muddle.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    It's a shame that Fox entrusted Luhrmann with this project, because audiences were probably ready for a big-boned realistic movie spectacle.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    It’s time for this talented man (Assayas) to pull himself together. He may have something serious to say about the brutal impersonality of global capitalism, yet he’s caught somewhere between insight and exploitation.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    Kill Bill is what’s formally known as decadence and commonly known as crap...Coming out of this dazzling, whirling movie, I felt nothing--not anger, not dismay, not amusement. Nothing. [13 October 2003, p. 113]
    • The New Yorker
    • 28 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    Pfeiffer, enormously likable in the role, almost saves the movie. [28 Jan 2002, p. 90]
    • The New Yorker
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    The sensibility of the movie is naggingly adolescent -- less erotic than squeamish and giggly. [11 Mar 2002, p. 92]
    • The New Yorker
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    Maybe some of the audience should wonder if they aren't performing the Devil's work by sitting so quietly through movies that turn wonders into garbage.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    The movie is like a monstrous balloon that keeps re-inflating. If Salinger were around, he would reach for a pin.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    What it's really about, of course, is the very delicate marketing problem of turning a super-bland pop star into an acceptable human being onscreen. [4 Mar 2002, p. 90]
    • The New Yorker
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    At the center of the movie, in place of the ardent, emotionally pulverizing Judy Garland, there is James Franco...as he smirks and winks, his reflexive self-deprecation comes off as a gutless kind of cool, and it sinks this odd, fretful, uncertain movie like a boulder. [18 March 2013, p.86]
    • The New Yorker
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    300
    Pop has always drawn energy from the lower floors of respectability; this movie, in which fan-boy cultism reaches new levels of goofy chaos and sexual confusion, draws energy from the subbasement.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    A classic case of Hollywood hypocrisy and ineptitude.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    The result is an evasive, baffling, unexciting production - anything but a classic.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    A clear failure, yet Lee is getting at things that mystify him, and I was touched by parts of the movie. [13 & 20 Aug. 2012, p.97]
    • The New Yorker
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    We don’t ask for much from this kind of movie, but Knight and Day tramples on our desire for just enough plausibility to release the fun. It makes us feel like fools for wanting to be entertained by froth.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    By embracing the Roman pageant so openly, using all the emotional resources of cinema, Gibson has cancelled out the redemptive and transfiguring power of art. [1 March 2004, p. 84]
    • The New Yorker
    • 79 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    A Serious Man, like “Burn After Reading,” is in their bleak, black, belittling mode, and it’s hell to sit through.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 20 David Denby
    Full Frontal is the sort of arbitrary mess that gives experimentation a bad name. The news that the movie was shot on digital video and film in eighteen days, and that the actors drove themselves to the set and applied their own makeup, would have made a nice Sunday Times story if the movie were any good. But it isn't. [5 August 2002, p. 80]
    • The New Yorker
    • 31 Metascore
    • 20 David Denby
    One of those hyper-articulate messes which inspire awe and a kind of nauseated pity. [3 March 2003, p. 94]
    • The New Yorker
    • 25 Metascore
    • 20 David Denby
    This shameless piece of sentimentality is indignantly on the side of feelings and spontaneity and against coldhearted technique, as if those were the only two choices in training doctors.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 20 David Denby
    Carrey, unable to pretzel himself in this role, has to do a normal job of characterization, but he never fills in the blank spaces in Peter Appleton. [28 Jan 2002, p. 90]
    • The New Yorker
    • 54 Metascore
    • 20 David Denby
    The disgraceful script is by Duncan Kennedy, Donna Powers, and Wayne Powers. Directed with occasional flashes of nasty wit by Renny Harlin.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 20 David Denby
    The Book of Eli combines the maximum in hollow piety with remorseless violence. [18 Jan. 2010, p.82]
    • The New Yorker
    • 57 Metascore
    • 20 David Denby
    The plot becomes disastrously condescending: the black man, who's crude, sexy, and a great dancer, liberates the frozen white man. The handsome Omar Sy jumps all over the place, and he's blunt and grating. Francois Cluzet acts with his eyebrows, his nose, his forehead. It's an admirable performance, but the movie is an embarrassment. [28 May 2012, p.78]
    • The New Yorker
    • 40 Metascore
    • 20 David Denby
    The story, devised by David Benioff and Skip Woods, is largely meaningless, and the emotions are no more than functional—they set up the next fight.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 20 David Denby
    Painful to sit through, because you want to see someone like Paul Thomas Anderson take hold of the character and the actress and start again from the beginning. Bob Dolman understands Suzette, but the rest of the movie is composed of ham-handedly obvious scenes. [23 Sept 2002, p. 98]
    • The New Yorker
    • 31 Metascore
    • 20 David Denby
    The self-confident fatuity and condescension of the movie is offensive.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 10 David Denby
    In the end, Dreamcatcher is an abominable-worm picture. The movie is also an unholy mess, a miserably organized and redundant collection of arbitrary scares and thrills without a unifying visual or poetic idea. [31 March 2003, p. 106]
    • The New Yorker
    • 60 Metascore
    • 10 David Denby
    What Lars von Trier has achieved is avant-gardism for idiots. From beginning to end, Dogville is obtuse and dislikable, a whimsical joke wearing cement shoes. [29 March 2004, p. 103]
    • The New Yorker
    • 36 Metascore
    • 10 David Denby
    Has so many things wrong with it that one can only stare at the screen in disbelief. [25 April, 2011 p. 89]
    • The New Yorker
    • 38 Metascore
    • 10 David Denby
    The movie is exhausting, utterly without feeling, and pointless -- though Smith looks great in his Western outfit.

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