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 4.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Denby's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Bloody Sunday
Lowest review score: 10 Dreamcatcher
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 626
626 movie reviews
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Spielberg must have sensed that he owed us some fun, and the movie has a sleek and carefree look -- the lightness of a sixties comedy, made with the extraordinary speed and panache of our most fluent director. This is a true holiday film, a gift from some genuine pros who know how to entertain without sweat. [23 & 30 December 2002, p. 166]
    • The New Yorker
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    You come out of the movie both excited and soothed, as if your body had been worked on by felt-covered drumsticks.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The Spanish director Isabel Coixet works with candor, directness, and simplicity. She isn't afraid of lengthy scenes of the two actors just talking to each other, mixed with lavish but respectful attention to Cruz's body, especially her bare chest, which is treated as one of the wonders of all creation.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The plot, with its matched, escalating acts of revenge, may be a contrivance, but within that contrivance Changing Lanes plays earnest and well. [6 May 2002, p. 138]
    • The New Yorker
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Infinitely charming new romantic comedy.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Zodiac is superbly made, but it's also a strange piece of work.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The faults of the movie, semi-excusable as self-vindicating ploys, are nothing compared with its strengths.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Powerful, concise, fully sustained.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Central Park is at first discomforting, then enraging, then illuminating.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    In this movie, Fonda really is iconic. 3:10 to Yuma may be familiar, but, at its best, it has a rapt quality, even an aura of wonder.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Burnett used many kinds of African-American music on the soundtrack, and the movie itself has the bedraggled eloquence of an old blues record. The amateur actors, who occasionally burst into fury, combined with the black-and-white cinematography, bring the poverty of Watts closer to us emotionally.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    You can see the jokes coming well in advance, but you still laugh uncontrollably.
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Claudel turns out to be very good at the psychology of intimacy. An observant man, he has assembled a large (and, to us, unknown) cast of actors around his star, and he dramatizes her slow reawakening with an infinite number of small, sharply etched details.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Eminem does not come off as a megalomaniac in 8 Mile, but he expects people to be very, very impressed. I doubt he could lend himself to a fiction that said anything else: his eyes couldn't tell any story but his own. [11 November 2002, p. 195]
    • The New Yorker
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    A genuine love story might be difficult for a young audience to handle, but this fantasy is blissful madness--an abstinence fable sexier than sex.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Abrupt and fragmentary, but powerful. [Dec 10 2001, p. 111]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    A wonderfully entertaining movie.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    One of the most eloquent records we have of a tragedy that brought out some of the most impressively alive men and women in New Orleans.
    • 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
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Bright and crisp and funny, the movie turns dish into art--or, if not quite into art, then at least into the kind of dazzling commercial entertainment that Hollywood, in the days of George Cukor or Stanley Donen, used to turn out.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    A film that cannot, in the normal sense of the word, be enjoyed, but it can be endured in a spirit of tempered anticipation -- The movie becomes an anguished demand that the dream be fulfilled. [26 Nov 2001, p. 122]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Allen can be literal-minded about his thematic polarities, but, in this movie, he has put actors with first-class temperament on the screen, and his writing is both crisp and ambivalent: he works everything out with a stringent thoroughness that still allows room for surprise.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Along with “No End in Sight,” this movie is one of the essential documentaries of the ongoing war.
    • 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.

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