For 626 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 5.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Denby's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Dreamgirls
Lowest review score: 10 Arthur
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 626
626 movie reviews
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Ayer should have dropped the movie-within-a-movie, which is confusing in an unproductive way -- we share the men's point of view without it. [24 Sept. 2012, p. 98]
    • The New Yorker
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    This documentary film, about the deconstruction of a great American city, is surprisingly lyrical and often very moving.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    We get tired of watching Whip fail, and we're caught between dismayed pity and a longing to see him punished. Only a great actor could have pulled off this balancing act. [12 Nov. 2012, p.94]
    • The New Yorker
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Central Park is at first discomforting, then enraging, then illuminating.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    May be the most exquisitely crafted movie ever made about a bunch of nitwits. [10 & 17 June 2013, p. 110]
    • The New Yorker
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    World War Z is the most gratifying action spectacle in years, and one reason for its success if the Pitt doesn't play a superhero. [1 July 2013, p.76]
    • The New Yorker
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Cate Blanchett, who played Blanche on Broadway only a few years ago, gives the most complicated and demanding performance of her movie career. The actress, like her character, is out on a limb much of the time, but there’s humor in Blanchett’s work, and a touch of self-mockery as well as an eloquent sadness.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The Spectacular Now goes a little soft at the end, but most of it has the melancholy sense of life just passing by — until, that is, someone has the courage to grab it and make it take some meaning and form.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Watergate has never really gone away for those of us who lived through it, and, in Penny Lane's Our Nixon, a shrewdly edited collection of news footage and "home movies" taken by members of the Nixon White House staff, there they are again, our familiars. [9 Sept.2013, p.91]
    • The New Yorker
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Unimaginable as anything but a movie. It’s largely wordless, sombrely spectacular, vast and intimate at the same time, with a commitment to detailed physical reality that commands amazed attention for a tight hundred minutes.
    • 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
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Noah may not make much sense, but only an artist could have made it. [7 April 2014, p.74]
    • The New Yorker
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Jude Law, saying farewell once again to his youthful good looks (Dom has scars and a little too much weight), makes this hyper-articulate ruffian the most intricately soulful character in current movies. [7 April 2014, p.75]
    • The New Yorker
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The movie is a moralized historical fantasy, mixing love and politics in Old Hollywood style. Yet I can’t bring myself to be indignant about its inventions. Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who was born in Oxford and has acted since she was a child, speaks her lines with tremulous emotion and, finally, radiant authority. Austen, I think, would have been thrilled.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    If you don't mind the gore, you can enjoy Snowpiercer as a brutal and imaginative piece of science-fiction filmmaking. [7 & 14 July 2014, p.94]
    • The New Yorker
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Still, it's le Carre's material; it was shot in dark, lurid, vital Hamburg; Hoffman is the star; and I was completely held. [28 July 2014, p.79]
    • The New Yorker
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    They also try to one-up each other as men, vying for professional success and for the attention of the invariably lovely women they meet. Sharks have duller teeth than Coogan and Brydon. Both movies, in fact, are about the impossibility — and the necessity — of male friendship.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Fury is literally visceral— a kind of war horror film, which is, of course, what good combat films should be.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The principal suspense in this fascinating movie is generated by the polite, and then not so polite, ferocity of the arguments between the two men.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Robert Altman, in a benevolent mood, has made a lovely ensemble comedy from Anne Rapp's original screenplay.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Eastwood is a more forceful actor than he was twenty years ago--less opaque, less stylized, and altogether more idiosyncratic. He's too old and unsuited by temperament to play the tough city newspaper reporter in this film, but he still has an authority that few younger actors could match.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Even though we can see it coming, this gruff, inarticulate, half-embarrassed love between men, arrived at after many setbacks, is one of the stories that action movies never tire of telling and that many of us, even though we may laugh it off the next day, still find moving. [17 & 24 June 2002, p. 176]
    • The New Yorker
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The movie is not a bore, exactly, but it’s certainly a stunt and a disappointment, for at first the situation is provocative. [16 & 23 June 2003, p. 200]
    • The New Yorker
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    We are entertained, but we see this squalid world clearly. The great cinematographer Chris Menges keeps the images cool and crisp. [15 September 2003, p.100]
    • The New Yorker
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    For all the beauty and power of Road to Perdition, there's not much spontaneity in it, and the movie's flawless surface puts a stranglehold on meaning. [15 July 2002. p. 90]
    • The New Yorker
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Nothing very important happens, but, moment by moment, the movie is alive with the play of gesture and glances, aggression and withdrawal. [31 March 2003, p.106]
    • The New Yorker
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The movie feels not only like a trial but like a trial in absentia. [7 Oct 2002, p. 108]
    • The New Yorker

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