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 Capturing the Friedmans
Lowest review score: 10 Dogville
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 628
628 movie reviews
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    Consistently beautiful and often exciting -- despite some dead passages here and there, it's surely the best big-budget fantasy movie in years. [24 & 31 Dec 2001, p. 126]
    • The New Yorker
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    This is an elegant and stirring entertainment about the hard-drinking, hard-smoking reporters of "See It Now," the show that Murrow and the producer Fred Friendly put together every week.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    Complex and devious beyond easy recounting, Bad Education is about the fallout from the ending of a "pure" love between boys, consecrated in an Almodóvaran temple--a movie theatre.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    As the real-life Ronald Woodroof, he (Mcconaughey) does work that is pretty much astounding. [4 Nov. 2013, p.116]
    • The New Yorker
    • 49 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    Hancock suggests new visual directions and emotional tonalities for pop. It's by far the most enjoyable big movie of the summer.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    Some of the menacing atmosphere, and even a few scenes, descend from the first two “Godfather” movies. But, in fact, Chandor has done something startling: he has made an anti-“Godfather.”
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    A sombrely beautiful dream of the violent Irish past. Refusing the standard flourishes of Irish wildness or lyricism, Loach has made a film for our moment, a time of bewildering internecine warfare.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    All in all, Pirates of the Caribbean is the best spectacle of the summer: the absence of pomp is a relief, the warmth of the comedy a pleasure. [28 July 2003, p.94]
    • The New Yorker
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    “Inside Llewyn Davis” and “Nebraska” are the current standards of what a serious Hollywood movie looks like. American Hustle offers so many easy pleasures that people may not think of it as a work of art, but it is. In the world that Russell has created, if you don’t come to play you’re not fully alive. An art devoted to appetite has as much right to screen immortality as the most austere formal invention.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    This is cinema, more rhetorical, spectacular, and stirring than cable-TV drama: again and again, DuVernay’s camera (Bradford Young did the cinematography) tracks behind characters as they march, or gentles toward them as they approach, receiving them with a friendly hand.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    The movie turns into a serious and rather audacious study in the sexiness of a nonsexual relationship, though by the end the audience may be rooting for the two to quit risking life and limb and just go to bed together. [15 July 2002. p. 90]
    • The New Yorker
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    A satirical comedy--ruthless and heartbreaking, but a comedy nonetheless. The movie is also about disintegration and the possibility of rebirth. In other words, it’s a small miracle.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    What makes the movie extraordinary, however, is not so much the portrait of a poet as the accuracy and the detail of the period re-creation.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    The movie dramatizes the destruction of a society from within that society. Watching “Hell on Earth” is not an easy experience; I can’t recall another documentary with so many corpses. It’s a grief-struck history of cruelty, haplessness, and irresponsibility—a moral history as well as a history of events.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    This movie is an emotionally coherent work--a burning experience of desperation and fleeting exhilaration. [1 September 2003, p. 130]
    • The New Yorker
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    An uproarious and touching picture.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    If the notoriously squeamish and slumberous members of the Academy can pull themselves together and face Monster, they should know whom to vote for as the best actress of the year. [26 January 2004, p. 84]
    • The New Yorker
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    Compliance is a small movie, but it provides insight into large and frightening events, like the voluntary participation of civilians in the terrible crimes of the last century.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    For the Coens, the plot elements are a given; the telling is all. [20 & 27 Dec. 2010, p. 144]
    • The New Yorker
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    The brilliant Paprika, directed by Satoshi Kon--a masterly example of Japanese anime, intended for adults--is partly hand drawn, and features multiple areas of visual activity layered at different distances from the picture plane.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    When The Company Men stays with its real business -- the calamity of joblessness -- it is first rate. [20 & 27 Dec. 2010, p.145]
    • The New Yorker
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    Life of Pi, at its best, celebrates the idiosyncratic wonders and dangers of raw, ravaging nature, and Lee wrings more than enough meaning from the excitement of that spectacle; we need nothing higher. [26 Nov.2012, p.86]
    • The New Yorker
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    An extraordinarily precise and well-made political thriller--the best thing Polanski has done since the seventies, when he brought out the incomparable “Chinatown” and the very fine “Tess.”
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    This is a fully felt, morally alert, marvellously acted piece of work. Despite the grim subject, it's a sweet-tempered movie, with moments of explosive humor-an entertainment.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    Gravity is not a film of ideas, like Kubrick's techno-mystical "2001," but it's an overwhelming physical experience -- a challenge to the senses that engages every kind of dread. [7 Oct. 2013, p.88]
    • The New Yorker
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    This movie will never need reviving. Brown’s innovative rhythms will always make his music sound contemporary.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    It's a movie that approaches novelistic richness. [7 Oct. 2013, p. 89]
    • The New Yorker
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    The virtue of Zero Dark Thirty, however, is that it pays close attention to the way life does work; it combines ruthlessness and humanity in a manner that is paradoxical and disconcerting yet satisfying as art.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    Milk is a rowdy anthem of triumph, brought to an abrupt halt by Milk's personal tragedies and the unfathomable moral chaos of Dan White.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    Villeneuve has what I keep looking for in directors: a charged sense of the way the world actually works.

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