For 592 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 46% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Denby's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 The Social Network
Lowest review score: 10 Dogville
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 592
592 movie reviews
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    It has a gentle, unforced rhythm, and what’s there is good and true. But there’s not enough of it--the movie needs more plot, more complication, more conflict.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    An amiable family comedy one step above a TV sitcom (and several steps below “Moonstruck.”
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The filmmakers register their point, but I don’t think it’s entirely parochial to note that, two decades from now, the American and Japanese children will probably have many choices open to them (including living close to the land), while the Mongolian and Namibian children are more likely to be restricted in their choices to the soil that nurtured them.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Who are these men, so eager for asceticism, violence, and martyrdom? At first, we think that’s what we’ll learn from The Oath, a fascinating documentary directed, produced, and shot by Laura Poitras. We don’t really, but what we do find out is of equal interest, and oddly reassuring.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The movie has an air of momentousness, yet most of it is conventional, though well-directed, pop mayhem.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Heartbreaker, which begins as a Hollywood-style caper and turns into a romantic comedy, is no more than a luxurious trifle. But it is also enjoyable for the vast difference in temperament between its two stars.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Much of the writing is good, and the acting is superb, but the constant wrangling wore me out at times.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    We need another movie, one that shows us why some charter schools work and others don't. And there's an issue that needs to be addressed by Guggenheim and such people as Bill Gates, who appears in the movie as an advocate for charter schools, which he has generously funded.It is the question of scale.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The movie is best when it calms down and concentrates on the sinister peculiarities of the experience, and when it focuses on Franco's face. [8 Nov. 2010, p . 93]
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    An effective political melodrama that induces a peculiar emotion--the bitterness generated by an old anger that has faded into dull exasperation and now flares up again. [8 Nov. 2010, p.92]
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    An accomplished, intelligent, often exciting piece of work, but I can't help wishing that Haggis had figured out how to make it more fun. [22 Nov. 2010, p. 140]
    • 43 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Taymor has played with Shakespeare's text -- switching genders, and inventing, dropping, and transposing passages -- but there's an emotional gain. [20 & 27 Dec. 2010, p. 146]
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Love and Other Drugs has many weak spots, but what it delivers at its core is as indelible as (and a lot more explicit than) the work of such legendary teams as Clark Gable and Joan Crawford, Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Ryder is devious and witchy, her eyes flashing, her crinkly voice developing knife edges. She gives an acidly brilliant performance as a desperate, lying woman. [24 Jan. 2011, p. 83]
    • 42 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The movie is amiable enough: the young Australian actress Teresa Palmer is lovely and crisp, and the Canadian writer-director Michael Dowse manages the party traffic well. [14 March 2011, p.79]
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Midnight has one big problem: Allen hardly gives Gil a perceptive moment. He's awestruck and fumbling - he doesn't possess, to our eyes, the conviction of a writer. But who knows? He's young.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The joke buried in Tabloid is that this sexual obsessive is very likely not a sexual person at all.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    A genial, messy comedy of marital discord and mismatched lovers.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The Help is, in some way, crude and obvious, but it opens up a broad new swath of experience on the screen, and parts of it are so moving and well acted that any objections to what's second-rate seem to matter less as the movie goes on. [15 & 22 August 2011, p. 96]
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The movie ends in bitterness. Unable to prevent catastrophe, the most honorable man in this entire affair - an outcast among frauds and the cannily acquiescent - considers himself a failure.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Buoyant and observant, 50/50 is a small winner; the director, Jonathan Levine ("The Wackness"), has a great touch, mordant but light-handed.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    No stranger man - not even Nixon - has ever been at the center of an American epic.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Nothing that happens in this movie is in the least surprising, but it's all quite pleasant and even, at times, moving.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Watching the movie, you feel the constriction and the disgust of the life below, but Holland, pacing the film well, knows when to come up for air. Each time she does, the daylight seems like a benediction. [13 & 20 Feb. 2012, p 120]
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Chronicle becomes a cautionary tale: power corrupts. Yes, and digital power corrupts absolutely. Andrew's sense of decency disappears, and so does the filmmakers' sense of humor. [13 & 20 Feb. 2012, p. 120]
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    As broad and obvious as Wanderlust is, it's often very funny. [5 March 2012, p. 87]
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Lee Hirsch and Cynthia Lowen, the filmmakers who made the moving documentary Bully, don't try to answer any questions. They avoid charts and graphs, talking heads and sociology. Their approach is more direct and, perhaps, more effective.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    It's an odd movie - mild in tone and circumspect, yet darkly funny, and done in a hybrid form that I don't think has been used so thoroughly before.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    It's a seize-the-day movie, even though the day is a long time coming. [7 May 2012, p.80]
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Judi Dench is especially good; playing a vulnerable character, for a change, she allows her habitual toughness to give way to uncertainty, fear, and moments of gathering resolve, and she delivers one of her most wide-ranging and moving performances. [7 May 2012, p. 81]