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 Dreamgirls
Lowest review score: 10 Dreamcatcher
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 628
628 movie reviews
    • 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
    • 50 David Denby
    Holy Motors is full of larks and jolts, but the movie is so self-referential that it's mainly aroused by itself. The audience, though eager to be pleased, is left unsatisfied. [22 Oct. 2012, p.88]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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
    • 90 David Denby
    The movie dramatizes the destruction of a society from within that society. Watching “Hell on Earth” is not an easy experience; I can’t recall another documentary with so many corpses. It’s a grief-struck history of cruelty, haplessness, and irresponsibility—a moral history as well as a history of events.
    • 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
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    This movie, however incomplete and frustrating, is also fully alive and extraordinarily intelligent.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Furious and entertaining little morality play.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    If you don't mind the gore, you can enjoy Snowpiercer as a brutal and imaginative piece of science-fiction filmmaking. [7 & 14 July 2014, p.94]
    • The New Yorker
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The movie is not an argument for chaos; it's an argument for making one's way through life with a relaxed will and an open heart.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    As the real-life Ronald Woodroof, he (Mcconaughey) does work that is pretty much astounding. [4 Nov. 2013, p.116]
    • The New Yorker
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    It has a gentle, unforced rhythm, and what’s there is good and true. But there’s not enough of it--the movie needs more plot, more complication, more conflict.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The trouble with experimental comedies is that it's often impossible to figure out how to end them. But at least this one is intricate fun before it blows itself up. [9 December 2002, p. 142]
    • The New Yorker
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    The movie's story may be a little trite, and the big battle at the end between ugly mechanical force and the gorgeous natural world goes on forever, but what a show Cameron puts on! The continuity of dynamized space that he has achieved with 3-D gloriously supports his trippy belief that all living things are one.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Kechiche digs a good story out of the flux, and, in the movie's final forty minutes, the suspense is terrific.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    The movie is an outright miracle. [8 March 2004, p. 92]
    • The New Yorker
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Nothing very important happens, but, moment by moment, the movie is alive with the play of gesture and glances, aggression and withdrawal. [31 March 2003, p.106]
    • The New Yorker
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    Hugo is superbly playful.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    At the end of the movie, when Gloria looks at herself appraisingly in a mirror, we seem to be seeing her for the first time. [20 Jan. 2014, p.79]
    • The New Yorker
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    In all, these men and women don't seem to have the seething ambitions and the restlessness of so many Americans. They don't expect to get rich, somehow, next year. They may be happier than we are but they're also less colorful. [28 Jan. 2012, p.80]
    • The New Yorker
    • 83 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    A shapeless mess, but at least it’s not as monotonous as “Kill Bill Vol. 1.” [19 & 26 April 2004, p. 202]
    • The New Yorker
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Marvellous, though it is smaller in emotional range than such earlier Mike Leigh films as the goofy bourgeois satire "High Hopes" (1988), the candid and piercing "Secrets & Lies" (1996), and the splendid theatrical spectacle "Topsy-Turvy" (1999).
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The movie makes it clear that, for all his snarls and outbursts, he is intelligent, candid, and easily wounded; that he is by turns inordinately proud and inordinately ashamed and, above all, intensely curious about himself, as if his own nature were a mystery that had not yet been solved.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    One of the most eloquent records we have of a tragedy that brought out some of the most impressively alive men and women in New Orleans.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The movie is so discreet and respectful that, outside the classroom, within whose walls the glory of French literature and language triumph, it never quite comes to life. [16 April 2012, p. 86]
    • The New Yorker
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The movie is best when it calms down and concentrates on the sinister peculiarities of the experience, and when it focuses on Franco's face. [8 Nov. 2010, p . 93]
    • The New Yorker
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    It’s Cluzet’s intense performance that makes this genre piece a heart-wrenching experience.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Sex is the subtext of everything that happens, yet this may be one of the least erotic movies ever made. It's stern and noble, very much in the Rattigan spirit. [26 March 2012, p.108]
    • The New Yorker
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    A sombrely beautiful dream of the violent Irish past. Refusing the standard flourishes of Irish wildness or lyricism, Loach has made a film for our moment, a time of bewildering internecine warfare.

Top Trailers