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

David Denby's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 One Last Kiss
Lowest review score: 10 Dogville
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 628
628 movie reviews
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    To Rome with Love is light and fast, with some of the sharpest dialogue and acting that he's put on the screen in years. [2 July 2012, p.84]
    • The New Yorker
    • 54 Metascore
    • 20 David Denby
    The disgraceful script is by Duncan Kennedy, Donna Powers, and Wayne Powers. Directed with occasional flashes of nasty wit by Renny Harlin.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    An obscene, ridiculous, and occasionally very funny movie, and if it ever gets to the Middle East it will roil the falafel tables on both sides of the Arab-Israeli divide.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    Lucas shifts back and forth between this kind of original invention and a dependence on pompous dead-level dreck, a grade-B cheapness that he's obviously addicted to. [20 May 2002, p. 114]
    • The New Yorker
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Somehow the movie that Rob Marshall has made from Golden's novel is a snooze. How did he and the screenwriter, Robin Swicord, let their subject get away from them?
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    It's emotionally more alive than anything Allen has done since "Sweet and Lowdown," in 1999. I was absorbed in it, and I liked parts of it. And I wish to God it were better.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Estevez has made a vague gesture at a large, metaphoric structure without having the dramatic means to achieve it. His choreography of the panic and misery in the hotel after the shooting is impressive, and some of the actors do fine in their brief roles. But his script never rises above earnest banality, and we are constantly being taught little lessons in tolerance and humanity:
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    This bio-pic, written by Abi Morgan and directed by Phyllida Lloyd, is an oddly unsettled compound of glorification and malice. It whirts around restlessly and winds up nowhere. [2 Jan. 2012, p.78]
    • The New Yorker
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    This literal-minded movie sells old pieties and washes away fear so thoroughly that it creates a new kind of fantasy, in which all's right with a very troubled world. [21 April 2014, p.110]
    • The New Yorker
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    A virtual textbook of action clichés.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The filmmakers peddle fear and then try to claim the moral high ground; the treatment is foolish, confused, and borderline irresponsible.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    As broad and obvious as Wanderlust is, it's often very funny. [5 March 2012, p. 87]
    • The New Yorker
    • 53 Metascore
    • 20 David Denby
    The Book of Eli combines the maximum in hollow piety with remorseless violence. [18 Jan. 2010, p.82]
    • The New Yorker
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    It's a shame that Fox entrusted Luhrmann with this project, because audiences were probably ready for a big-boned realistic movie spectacle.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    The sensibility of the movie is naggingly adolescent -- less erotic than squeamish and giggly. [11 Mar 2002, p. 92]
    • The New Yorker
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Redacted is hell to sit through, but I think De Palma is bravely trying to imagine his way inside an atrocity, and that he’s onto something powerful with his multisided approach.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    An accomplished, intelligent, often exciting piece of work, but I can't help wishing that Haggis had figured out how to make it more fun. [22 Nov. 2010, p. 140]
    • The New Yorker
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The movie ends in bitterness. Unable to prevent catastrophe, the most honorable man in this entire affair - an outcast among frauds and the cannily acquiescent - considers himself a failure.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    300
    Pop has always drawn energy from the lower floors of respectability; this movie, in which fan-boy cultism reaches new levels of goofy chaos and sexual confusion, draws energy from the subbasement.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    There’s a big hole in the middle of the movie: the director, Tom Tykwer, and the screenwriter, Eric Warren Singer, forgot to make their two crusaders human beings.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    There are many scenes of mock-lucha wrestling, which become as boring as actual wrestling. Nacho Libre, naïvely made kids’ stuff, lacks such minor attributes as a decent script and supporting cast.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    This movie, though perfectly pleasant, does not have a great script.
    • The New Yorker
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Moderately enjoyable, in its exhausting way. [5 March 2012, p. 87]
    • The New Yorker
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Even though we can see it coming, this gruff, inarticulate, half-embarrassed love between men, arrived at after many setbacks, is one of the stories that action movies never tire of telling and that many of us, even though we may laugh it off the next day, still find moving. [17 & 24 June 2002, p. 176]
    • The New Yorker
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    Two winter-season entertainments -- "Haywire" and Contraband with the minimalist but inexorable Mark Wahlberg -- have no greater ambition than to engage our dreams of behaving badly. Of the two, Contraband is the more absorbing. [30 Jan. 2012, p.79]
    • The New Yorker
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Much of the writing is good, and the acting is superb, but the constant wrangling wore me out at times.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    Burroughs invented a primal fiction: a man winds up on another planet, and has to find his way among strange creatures. Sticking to that fable, which was central to "Avatar," might have saved John Carter, but Stanton loses its appealing simplicity in too many battles, too many creatures, too many redundant episodes. [26 March 2012, p.108]
    • The New Yorker
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Singer honors a child's desire not only for adventure but for noble deeds, for loyalty and friendship. [18 March 2013, p.87]
    • The New Yorker
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    Overwrought and unpleasant nonsense.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    In brief, The Brown Bunny, however antagonistic and borderline tedious, is an art work of sorts, and Gallo himself, though an egomaniac of staggering solemnity-a priest of art longing for a cult-is not a fake.

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