For 625 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 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Denby's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Capote
Lowest review score: 10 Dogville
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 625
625 movie reviews
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Tintin is exhausting, and, for all its wonders, it wears one out well before it's over.
    • 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
    • 50 David Denby
    Damon may be too young, too unformed, to play an amnesiac. Gazing at that blank face, we can't imagine that Bourne has any experiences or memories to forget. [17 & 24 June 2002, p. 176]
    • 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
    • 50 David Denby
    Unconvincing and ineffective; the many patches of ideological montage, growing like kudzu throughout the film, weaken the impact of its best moments.
    • 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
    • 50 David Denby
    The trouble with Holofcener's scheme is that the center of the movie is dead. Olivia has no drives or hopes or powerful regrets. She has nothing to say, and Aniston does most of her acting with her lower lip.
    • 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
    • 50 David Denby
    The movie, bad as it is, will do as a demonstration of a talented man’s freedom to choose different ways of being himself.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Cool, violent, a cigarette dangling from his mouth, Gosling reprises his inexorable-loner routine from “Drive.” Cianfrance and the screenwriters Ben Coccio and Darius Marder wrote thirty-seven drafts of the script, but gave him almost nothing to say. He rides, he smokes, he knocks over banks, he loves his baby, and that’s it.
    • 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
    • 60 David Denby
    That the story is true (and based on an expertly written book by Jonathan Harr) doesn't make A Civil Action any more satisfying dramatically -- there's a streak of obviousness in the moral melodrama that dampens one's interest.
    • 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
    • 60 David Denby
    The boyfriend, one Aldous Snow (Russell Brand), a Brit rocker and professional sex god, turns out to be the best thing in the movie.
    • 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
    • 50 David Denby
    For all its handsomeness and its occasional moments of piercing intelligence, it's a fundamentally depressing piece of work--not because it deals with tragic events and memories but because the characters seem hapless and even stupid, and the writer-director can't, or won't, take control.
    • 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
    • 60 David Denby
    Slamming different kinds of experience together, Lee tries to do with montage what he cannot do with dramatic logic.
    • 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
    • 50 David Denby
    The movie is a divertissement; it's lightweight and almost meaningless except for the fights, which are extraordinarily violent. [30 Jan. 2012, p.79]
    • The New Yorker
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The scenes of the musicians rehearsing or talking about music, with the actors playing parts of Opus 131 themselves (the longer stretches are played by the Brentano Quartet), are fascinating and moving for anyone who loves this music; the rest of the movie is conventional.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Powerful, concise, fully sustained.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    The movie goes like the wind, but it's more a technological exercise than anything else.
    • 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

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