For 614 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 6.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Denby's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 The Hours
Lowest review score: 10 Arthur
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 614
614 movie reviews
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    12 Years a Slave is easily the greatest feature film ever made about American slavery.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    In Ratatouille, the level of moment-by-moment craftsmanship is a wonder.
    • 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
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    Brilliantly entertaining and emotionally wrenching.
    • 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.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    What follows is astounding: a thirty-minute fight, which, in its bitterness, complication, and psychological revelation, recalls episodes from Ingmar Bergman's "Scenes from a Marriage." [27 May 2013, p.86]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    A small classic of tension, bravery, and fear, which will be studied twenty years from now when people want to understand something of what happened to American soldiers in Iraq. If there are moviegoers who are exhausted by the current fashion for relentless fantasy violence, this is the convincingly blunt and forceful movie for them.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    Apparently, the movie has caused annoyance in some quarters because it criticizes the American way of life. This it does, and with suavity and supreme good humor. WALL-E is a classic, but it will never appeal to people who are happy with art only when it has as little bite as possible.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    In this role Giamatti gives his bravest, most generously humane performance yet. Women may be repelled, but men will know this man, because, at one time or another, many of us have been this man.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    Schnabel’s movie, based on the calm and exquisite little book that Bauby wrote in the hospital, is a gloriously unlocked experience, with some of the freest and most creative uses of the camera and some of the most daring, cruel, and heartbreaking emotional explorations that have appeared in recent movies.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    I would be surprised if this brilliant and touching film didn't become required viewing for teachers all over the United States. Everyone else should see it as well--it's a wonderful movie.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    An enthralling and powerfully eccentric American epic.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    Moreau's nocturnal wanderings are made unbearably poignant by an exquisite Miles Davis jazz score that became famous in its own right.
    • 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
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    In its lived-in, completely non-ideological way, Winter's Bone is one of the great feminist works in film.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    For the viewer, the miracle of Bloody Sunday is that firm moral judgment can exist side by side with a wild and bitter exhilaration in the sheer physicality of violence. [7 Oct 2002, p. 108]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    The movie is an O. Henry-like conceit--the slenderness of the initial premise is part of the charm--but the anecdote becomes almost momentous as it goes on.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    Altman achieves his dream of a truly organic form, in which everyone is connected to everyone else, and life circulates around a central group of ideas and emotions in bristling orbits. [14 Jan 2002, p. 92]
    • The New Yorker
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    Greengrass’s movie is tightly wrapped, minutely drawn, and, no matter how frightening, superbly precise.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    To begin your career with a masterpiece is so remarkable a feat that one can only hope Jarecki finds another subject as rich as this family, which was obsessed with itself but needed a filmmaker to begin to see itself at all. [2 June 2003, p. 102]
    • 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
    • 80 David Denby
    Not much happens, but Coppola is so gentle and witty an observer that the movie casts a spell. [15 September 2003, p. 100]
    • The New Yorker
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    Though the facts in No End in Sight are well known, the movie is still a classic.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    He [Bahrani] encloses his two characters in a motel room, but he doesn't make them buddies, as a Hollywood movie would. They are characterized in great detail as separate beings.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The project lacks the variety of sensuous pleasures that a great movie has to provide.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    Small-scaled and limited, Capote is nevertheless the most intelligent, detailed, and absorbing film ever made about a writer's working method and character--in this case, a mixed quiver of strength, guile, malice, and mendacity.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    This movie makes one grateful that a serious European art cinema still exists. [15 April 2002, p. 88]
    • The New Yorker
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    The movie, Polley's feature début, is a small-scale triumph that could herald a great career.