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 Winter's Bone
Lowest review score: 10 Wild Wild West
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 628
628 movie reviews
    • 43 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    It’s a well-crafted, handsome period piece, and pleasant to watch, but the intensity of an obsessional style--something that matches Florentino’s crazy single-mindedness--is beyond Newell’s range. The director of “Donnie Brasco” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral” doesn’t paint with the camera; he doesn’t seize on certain visual motifs, as he should, and turn them into the equivalent of a lover’s devotion to fetishes.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The latest minimalist provocation from the infuriating but talented French director Bruno Dumont. [12 April 2004, p. 89]
    • The New Yorker
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The Lovely Bones has been fashioned as a holiday family movie about murder and grief; it’s a thoroughly queasy experience.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    The movie is derivative, flat, halfhearted, its squareness unrelieved by irony or fantasy. [3 March 2003, p. 94]
    • The New Yorker
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Transcendence is a muddle; it takes more creative energy than this to catch up to the present. [28 April 2014, p.86]
    • The New Yorker
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The Bucket List will quickly be kicked into oblivion, but, at a lifetime-achievement-award ceremony, Nicholson’s tempest will fit nicely into a montage of Crazy Jack moments.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian is what my mother would have called a kakabarly--a large, foaming broth into which she emptied the forlorn and highly miscellaneous contents of her icebox.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The movie is amiable enough: the young Australian actress Teresa Palmer is lovely and crisp, and the Canadian writer-director Michael Dowse manages the party traffic well. [14 March 2011, p.79]
    • The New Yorker
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Nothing in the movie makes sense, but I prefer to think that Ride Along is just a badly told joke, rather than an insult to its audience.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    The movie isn’t a desecration, but it’s action filmmaking, not America, that needs to be reborn.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Is it art? Not remotely. But, up to the final scenes, it’s a tremendous piece of engineering. After all, the narratives have to synch up visually, which can’t be easy to manage. And the hurtling force of Vantage Point is fun to watch.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    The movie is like a monstrous balloon that keeps re-inflating. If Salinger were around, he would reach for a pin.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 20 David Denby
    The story, devised by David Benioff and Skip Woods, is largely meaningless, and the emotions are no more than functional—they set up the next fight.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    The Green Hornet is what you get when someone who dropped out of high school to do standup comedy, then spent a decade in movies and television, conceives a Hollywood "passion project." [24 Jan. 2011, p. 82]
    • The New Yorker
    • 39 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    Poky but often charming.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 10 David Denby
    The movie is exhausting, utterly without feeling, and pointless -- though Smith looks great in his Western outfit.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The revelation is Wilde. A slender beauty with high cheekbones, she makes Anna a full-fledged neurotic, candid and demanding and changeable, shifting abruptly from snuggling happiness to angry defiance.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Reitman is a witty filmmaker, but here he seems a little disconnected, too.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    Amelia is handsome yet predictable and high-minded--not a dud, exactly, but too proper, too reserved for its swaggering subject.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Considered as a sequel, Be Cool is not an insult, but it’s a lazy, rhythmless, and redundant piece of moviemaking.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    Penn gives a strenuous, at times shrewd and acid performance, which has been embedded, unfortunately, in a clumsy and ineffective movie.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 10 David Denby
    Has so many things wrong with it that one can only stare at the screen in disbelief. [25 April, 2011 p. 89]
    • The New Yorker
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    The Canyons is not porn, but it has the demoralized second-rateness and the lowlife inanity of the porn world.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    The movie is hectic, exhausting, and baffling. It's an embarrassment.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    The movie rages on for a hundred and fifty minutes and then just stops, pausing for the next sequel.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 10 David Denby
    In the end, Dreamcatcher is an abominable-worm picture. The movie is also an unholy mess, a miserably organized and redundant collection of arbitrary scares and thrills without a unifying visual or poetic idea. [31 March 2003, p. 106]
    • The New Yorker
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    This disposable date movie is not so much written and acted as cast—just about every young actor in the country is in it.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    There is evidence that at some point this project (which was initiated by Oliver Stone) might have been serious, but Campbell has produced little more than a churning, vivid backdrop for romance. [10 November 2003, p. 129]
    • The New Yorker
    • 31 Metascore
    • 20 David Denby
    The self-confident fatuity and condescension of the movie is offensive.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 20 David Denby
    One of those hyper-articulate messes which inspire awe and a kind of nauseated pity. [3 March 2003, p. 94]
    • The New Yorker
    • 30 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    Falls below even minimal standards of dramatic decency. John Q is a trashy, opportunistic piece of pop demagoguery. [4 Mar 2002, p. 90]
    • The New Yorker
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    The movie is all whoosh and whack and abrupt closeups -- jerky digital punctuation. It's alienating experience, without emotional resonance or charm. [28 March 2011, p. 116]
    • The New Yorker
    • 28 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    Pfeiffer, enormously likable in the role, almost saves the movie. [28 Jan 2002, p. 90]
    • The New Yorker
    • 27 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    What it's really about, of course, is the very delicate marketing problem of turning a super-bland pop star into an acceptable human being onscreen. [4 Mar 2002, p. 90]
    • The New Yorker
    • 27 Metascore
    • 20 David Denby
    Carrey, unable to pretzel himself in this role, has to do a normal job of characterization, but he never fills in the blank spaces in Peter Appleton. [28 Jan 2002, p. 90]
    • The New Yorker
    • 25 Metascore
    • 20 David Denby
    This shameless piece of sentimentality is indignantly on the side of feelings and spontaneity and against coldhearted technique, as if those were the only two choices in training doctors.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    The only thing that Butler and Aniston have in common, however, is identical Aruba-bronze skin tones: they seem to have been sprayed with the same can.

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