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 Beasts of the Southern Wild
Lowest review score: 10 Dreamcatcher
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 628
628 movie reviews
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Red Eye, which is exactly eighty-five minutes long, has been made with classical technique and bravura skill, and it's leaving moviegoers in a rare state of satisfaction.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Not one of Scorsese's greatest films; it doesn't use the camera to reveal the psychological and aesthetic dimensions of an entire world, as "Mean Streets," "Taxi Driver," "Raging Bull," and "Goodfellas" did. But it's a viciously merry, violent, high-wattage entertainment, and speech is the most brazenly flamboyant element in it.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Up
    The movie is packed with lovely jokes, some of them funny in inexplicable ways.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Some of the episodes are ripely satirical, others almost heartbreaking. Allison Janney appears as a coarse drunk who taunts her kids; Maggie Gyllenhaal is a pushy New Age mom whose aggressive virtue saps the strength of everyone around her.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    It’s a well-crafted, handsome period piece, and pleasant to watch, but the intensity of an obsessional style--something that matches Florentino’s crazy single-mindedness--is beyond Newell’s range. The director of “Donnie Brasco” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral” doesn’t paint with the camera; he doesn’t seize on certain visual motifs, as he should, and turn them into the equivalent of a lover’s devotion to fetishes.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The actor Tony Goldwyn, directing his first movie, and working from a fine screenplay by Pamela Gray, beautifully captures a moment in which the straitened moral world of the lower-middle-class Jewish characters is beginning to open up -- with necessarily painful results.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    What happens at the dam, filmed at night, with only shimmering light, is the most nerve-racking sequence in recent movies. Reichardt, despite the film’s absences, has achieved an impressive control over the medium.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The movie is a methodical and entirely absorbing thriller, featuring a complicated plot (Brian Helgeland adapted the Michael Connelly novel) in which clues are carefully planted, and understanding slowly gathers in the mind of the hero. [19 & 26 August 2002, p. 174]
    • The New Yorker
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    This square movie, at its best, is very powerful.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    A seriously scandalous work, beautifully made, and it deserves a sizable audience that might argue over it, appreciate it -- even hate it. [1 April 2002, p. 98]
    • The New Yorker
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The movie re-creates Sam's miserable days with enough sympathy to come within hailing distance of such emblematic works of American disillusion as Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" and Saul Bellow's "Seize the Day."
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The sinews in Holly Hunter's neck and arms tighten like cables hauled in by a winch; she's all wired up, and in Richard LaGravenese's lovely comedy about loneliness in New York she uses the tension as a source of comedy.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Shot by shot, scene by scene, Mann, whose recent work includes “Heat” and "The Insider," may be the best director in Hollywood. Methodical and precise, he analyzes a scene into minute components.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Marvellous, though it is smaller in emotional range than such earlier Mike Leigh films as the goofy bourgeois satire "High Hopes" (1988), the candid and piercing "Secrets & Lies" (1996), and the splendid theatrical spectacle "Topsy-Turvy" (1999).
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The movie is expert piffle for grownups, directed with great energy by John McTiernan and written with verve by Leslie Dixon and Kurt Wimmer.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Ali
    Michael Mann is a fluent, evocative filmmaker, and the movie is well written, expertly staged, and beautifully edited. [24 & 31 Dec 2001, p. 126]
    • The New Yorker
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Eastwood has become tauntingly tough-minded: “You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?” he seems to be saying. And, with the remorselessness of age, he follows Chris Kyle’s rehabilitation and redemption back home, all the way to their heartbreaking and inexplicable end.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Offers considerable insight into the Nixon mystery, without solving it; the movie is fully absorbing and even, when Nixon falls into a drunken, resentful rage, exciting, but I can't escape the feeling that it carries about it an aura of momentousness that isn't warranted by the events.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    At first, you may think, Oh, it’s that damn prison movie again, but Starred Up has a much more intimate texture of affection and disdain than most genre films. You’re held by every exchange, every fight.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    At the end of the movie, when Gloria looks at herself appraisingly in a mirror, we seem to be seeing her for the first time. [20 Jan. 2014, p.79]
    • The New Yorker
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    For many of this movie's likely viewers, the sting built into Food, Inc. is the realization that, without unending effort, they are not all that much freer in their choices than that hard-pressed family.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Like a finely wrought short story, and it's all but perfect.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    It’s all fascinating. Gilroy is an entertainer.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Contagion is serious, precise, frightening, emotionally enveloping.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The pace of the movie is rapid, almost hectic, the touch glancing. Until the confrontation between Frank and Richie at the end, nothing stays on the screen for long, although Scott, working in the street, or in clubs and at parties, packs as much as he can into the corners of shots, and shapes even the most casual scenes decisively.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The Counterfeiters is a testament to guile. Ruzowitzky scored the picture with tangos, and the tangos are meant to be Sally’s music--seductive, insolent, triumphant.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    This is a movie of great spirit and considerable charm. It’s about the giddiness of promise--the awakening of young talent, after years of the Depression, to a moment when anything seems possible.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    To Rome with Love is light and fast, with some of the sharpest dialogue and acting that he's put on the screen in years. [2 July 2012, p.84]
    • The New Yorker
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    If Ross had merely told his story and re-created the media folk culture of the thirties, the movie might have been a classic. [4 August 2003, p. 84]
    • The New Yorker
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, for all its terrible matter-of-factness, produces tumultuous feelings of amazement and revolt.

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