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 6.4 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
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Fish tank may begin as a patch of lower-class chaos, but it turns into a commanding, emotionally satisfying movie, comparable to such youth-in-trouble classics as "The 400 Blows." [18 Jan. 2010, p. 83]
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    This is tricky, ambiguous material, seemingly better fitted to a short literary novel than to a movie, and it could have gone wrong in a hundred ways, yet Baumbach handles it with great assurance.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Bellocchio gets the opera-buffa and the carnival side of Italian Fascism, and parts of the movie are excruciatingly funny.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Like a finely wrought short story, and it's all but perfect.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The movie’s story is conventional in shape, but it has passages of crazy exhilaration and brilliant invention.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    This austere production has fire enough; it captures the elemental Bronte passions. [14 March 2011, p. 79]
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Reichardt is trying, as she was in her previous film, "Wendy and Lucy," for a mood of existential objectivty. She takes us from the florid grandiosity of Western myth to the bone-wearying stress of mere life. [11 April, 2011 p.89]
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Source Code is a formally disciplined work -- a triumph of movie syntax -- made with rhythm and pace. Jones, unlike most commercial directors, accelerates the tempo without producing visual gibberish. [11 April, 2011 p. 88]
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    In all, this is a movie that is partial to youth as a state of being. The grownups seem finished, as frozen in their lifetime roles as creatures out of myth or the Bible. But Oliver and Jordana have the freedom to go anywhere, do anything, become anything. Submarine is an exhilarating surprise.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    When the movie was over, a young boy sitting behind me said, "That was great!" He was satisfied, and rightly so.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Friends with Benefits is fast, allusive, urban, glamorous - clearly the Zeitgeist winner of the summer.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    By far the best spectacle movie of the season, and one of the few films to use digital technology for nuanced dramatic effect.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Contagion is serious, precise, frightening, emotionally enveloping.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Statistics and their alleged true meaning are at the heart of Moneyball, but it's also one of the most soulful of baseball movies - it confronts the anguish of a tough game.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    It's an expertly made, intentionally minor movie, though when Monroe, doping herself with everything available, lies in bed, confused and hapless, there are depressing intimations of the end to come.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The movie is also about a man without fear. It is often funny and stirring, but as you are watching you know what the game will lead to; dictatorships are not known for their sense of humor. [5 March 2012, p. 86]
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Sex is the subtext of everything that happens, yet this may be one of the least erotic movies ever made. It's stern and noble, very much in the Rattigan spirit. [26 March 2012, p.108]
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The Farrelly brothers, who directed, take physical comedy to levels of intricacy not seen since silent movies.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Scott may always have had an eye on the box office, but from "Alien" and "Thelma & Louise" on, he has made women into heroines. In that regard, he's still ahead of the curve. Rapace's scene is a classic of its kind; it tops John Hurt's notorious misfortunes in "Alien."
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Abe is blustery and self-pitying, but, with Solondz's new tender mercies fully engaged, Gelber makes you feel close to a guy for whom nothing was ever meant to go right.
    • 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]
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Part thriller, part character study, Arbitrage is Nicholas Jarecki's first feature, and it moves swiftly and confidently, with many details that feel exactly right. [24 Sept. 2012, p.98]
    • 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]
    • 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]
    • 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]
    • 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]
    • 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.