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

David Denby's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 March of the Penguins
Lowest review score: 10 Wild Wild West
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 626
626 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    Many documentaries are good at drawing attention to an outrage and stirring up our feelings. Ferguson's film certainly does this, but his exposition of complex information is also masterly. Indignation is often the most self-deluding of emotions; this movie has the rare gifts of lucid passion
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Up
    The movie is packed with lovely jokes, some of them funny in inexplicable ways.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    A deeply satisfying aesthetic and pedagogic experience--though Americans may find themselves wondering how such terrific children can grow into such irritating adults.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    Marston would probably have made an interesting movie no matter how he had shot it, but the way he dramatized the material seems instinctively right: he goes detail by detail, emotion by emotion, eliding nothing, exaggerating nothing.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    A brilliant documentary about an American saint and fool--a man who understands everything about nature except death.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Bob Nelson wrote the script, which Payne has been mulling over for nine years, and some of it, enhanced by the deliberate pacing of his direction, is funny in a deadpan, black-comedy way. But the absurdist atmosphere feels thin: the movie is like a Beckett play without the metaphysical unease, the flickering blasphemies and revelations.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    Has a beautifully modulated sadness that's almost musical. Eastwood once made a movie about Charlie Parker ("Bird"), but this picture has the smoothly melancholic tones of Coleman Hawkins at his greatest.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    Field achieves so convincing a picture of everday normality that when violence breaks out one feels the same disbelief that one feels when it breaks out in life. [26 Nov 2001, p. 121]
    • The New Yorker
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    Almodóvar has brought an extraordinary calm to the surface of his work. The imagery is smooth and beautiful, the colors are soft-hued and blended. Past and present flow together; everything seems touched with a subdued and melancholy magic. [25 November 2002, p. 108]
    • The New Yorker
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    It's hard not to see Beasts as an expression of post-affluent America. And here's the surprise: the grinding Great Recession may never offer up a movie as happy, or as inspired by poetry and dream, as this one. [23 July 2012, p.80]
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The movie is about preservation and restoration and the power of art. But with what gain in knowledge? It's as if Szpilman had no soul, and no will, apart from an endless desire to tickle the keys. [13 January 2003, p. 90]
    • The New Yorker
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Vital, honest, and engaging.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    An Education is perceptive and entertaining, but it doesn’t have the jolting vitality of, say, “Notes on a Scandal,” which dramatized an even more unconventional liaison--older woman, fifteen-year-old boy.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    In brief, Marshall Curry, the young director of Street Fight, has hit the documentary jackpot: the movie will become the inescapable referent for media coverage of the new campaign. And rightly so.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    Judged both as reporting and as art -- many of Wiseman's films have a poetic density of structure -- it is a series without parallel in movie history. [11 Feb 2002, p. 92]
    • The New Yorker
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    One might call Neil Young: Heart of Gold soothing, even becalmed, but mellowness and ripeness, when they exist at this high level of craft, should have their season, too.
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    Fruitvale Station is a confident, touching, and, finally, shattering directorial début.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    Milk is a rowdy anthem of triumph, brought to an abrupt halt by Milk's personal tragedies and the unfathomable moral chaos of Dan White.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    If Sauper is fired up by anti-globalist conviction, his instincts as an artist and as a man rule out any kind of rhetoric or cheapness. Darwin’s Nightmare is a fully realized poetic vision.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    As close as we are likely to come on the screen to the spirit of Greek tragedy (and closer, I think, than Arthur Miller has come on the stage). The crime of child abuse becomes a curse that determines the pattern of events in the next generation. [13 October 2003, p. 112]
    • The New Yorker

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