For 628 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 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Denby's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Farewell
Lowest review score: 10 Wild Wild West
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 628
628 movie reviews
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    One may be horrified by these two, or laugh at them, but both horror and laughter give way to amazement at the human talent for survival.
    • 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
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Observant and true. The pleasure of it lies not in its emotions, which are distinctly on the tepid side, but in the intimacy of its reporting. [28 July 2003, p.94]
    • The New Yorker
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    A genial, messy comedy of marital discord and mismatched lovers.
    • 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
    • 70 David Denby
    Goodbye, Lenin! is often drab--the color is washed out, the lighting flat. Yet the movie is sweetly enjoyable as a sardonic elegy for a dream that went bust. [8 March 2004, p. 92]
    • The New Yorker
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Ends with a burst of movie-ish mayhem, and then a burst of sentiment, but when Brewer, Howard, and Ludacris stick to the bitter texture of South Memphis failure and success they produce a modest regional portrait that could become a classic of its kind.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    Compliance is a small movie, but it provides insight into large and frightening events, like the voluntary participation of civilians in the terrible crimes of the last century.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    No more than a shallow, style-mad entertainment, but it never flags or loses its balance, and, despite the theatricality of the staging and the acting, it’s precisely the materiality of the cinema--that makes us devour it with pleasure. [29 March 2004, p. 103]
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The movie is exhilarating in a way that only hard-won knowledge of the world can be.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    At its best when the characters sit around, dither, and ruminate. Moviemaking seems to have become almost magically easy for this independent writer-director. He builds a detailed atmosphere, brings his good people and his bad together, and lets them jabber at one another; the virtuosity is rhetorical rather than visual.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Good summer fun, but it’s only about two-thirds the picture it could have been. Since Edward Norton has nothing to play against, the rivalry at the heart of the movie never heats up. [16 & 23 June 2003, p. 200]
    • 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
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Russian Dolls offers touristic views of London, Paris, and St. Petersburg, where Wendy and Xavier both go for the wedding of another former roommate, and many pretty faces and bodies; it's froth with a sprinkling of earnest reflection.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    This Franco-Italian-Scottish co-production, directed by Damian Pettigrew, is an extraordinarily controlled piece of film. [14 April 2003, p.88]
    • The New Yorker
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    It captures the city's bitter, wire-taut mood after September 11th, and I hope that Disney -- finds some way to bring this acrid and brilliant little picture to the large audience it deserves. [13 January 2003, p. 90]
    • The New Yorker
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Fahrenheit 9/11 offers the thrill of a coherent explanation for everything, but parts of the movie are no better than a wild, lunging grab at a supposed master plan. [28 June 2004, p. 108]
    • The New Yorker
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The Armstrong Lie goes on forever, perhaps because Gibney can’t believe that, like everyone else, he’s been had. Again and again, he looks for elements of moral clarity (never mind remorse) in Armstrong, and the cyclist looks back at Gibney (and at us) as if he were a fool.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    In this handsomely traditional movie, Kevin Costner has tried to fix the Western myth for all time in the stern contours of Duvall’s face and the guttural beauty of his voice. [1 September 2003, p. 130]
    • The New Yorker
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Powerful, concise, fully sustained.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Stewart chose the great Iranian actress Shohreh Aghdashloo to play Bahari’s mother, but, with her tragic face and her magnificent contralto voice, she plays a tiny role as if she were in an amphitheatre.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    This square movie, at its best, is very powerful.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    One of the gentlest, most charming American movies of the past decade. Its subject is less food as something to cook than food as the binding and unifying element of dinner parties, friendship, and marriage.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    An amiable family comedy one step above a TV sitcom (and several steps below “Moonstruck.”
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Certainly holds one's attention, but it's a strange and grim experience, ice-cold and borderline pointless. [28 October 2002, p. 119]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    By the end, Soderbergh’s movie subverts common belief far more effectively than some of the fantasy movies knocking around this summer. It’s a vertiginous experience that grows increasingly hilarious, and the joke is on us.

Top Trailers