For 614 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 6.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Denby's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 The Social Network
Lowest review score: 10 Arthur
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 614
614 movie reviews
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Along with “No End in Sight,” this movie is one of the essential documentaries of the ongoing war.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    Nothing has exploded on the screen in recent years as violently as that mad quarrel in a tiny room - a room that is Israel itself. [16 April 2012, p.86]
    • The New Yorker
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    The movie turns into a serious and rather audacious study in the sexiness of a nonsexual relationship, though by the end the audience may be rooting for the two to quit risking life and limb and just go to bed together. [15 July 2002. p. 90]
    • The New Yorker
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The Dark Knight is hardly routine--it has a kicky sadism in scene after scene, which keeps you on edge and sends you out onto the street with post-movie stress disorder.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    For the battered American independent cinema, Linklater's movie is the highest form of life seen in the last couple of years. [12 Nov 2001, p. 138]
    • The New Yorker
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    I can’t think of another film portrait of higher education that matches this one for comprehensiveness, intellectual depth, and hope.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    A new kind of affectionate satire which is all but indistinguishable from an embrace. [5 May 2003, p. 104]
    • The New Yorker
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    Juno is a coming-of-age movie made with idiosyncratic charm and not a single false note.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    It's powerfully and richly imagined: a genre-busting movie that successfully combines the utmost in romanticism with the utmost in realism.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    This tenacious artist has now given his father a proper memorial and has reasserted, with power and grace, the history and identity of his nearly effaced country.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    What makes the movie extraordinary, however, is not so much the portrait of a poet as the accuracy and the detail of the period re-creation.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Fish tank may begin as a patch of lower-class chaos, but it turns into a commanding, emotionally satisfying movie, comparable to such youth-in-trouble classics as "The 400 Blows." [18 Jan. 2010, p. 83]
    • The New Yorker
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The movie is simultaneously a police procedural, an analysis of language and imagery, a philosophical debate about law and justice, and a very, very dry Romanian Martini--so dry that, at first, one doesn't quite taste much of anything.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    It would be lovely to announce that the new Bond movie is scintillating, or at least rambunctiously exciting, but Skyfall, in the recent mode of Christopher Nolan's "Batman" films, is a gloomy, dark action thriller, and almost completely without the cynical playfulness that drew us to the series in the first place. [12 Nov. 2012, p.94]
    • The New Yorker
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    The twin themes of The Hours are the variety of human bonds, especially the bond of love, and the gift that the dying make to the living. The miracle is that such sombre notions fit together as surely and lightly as the dancers in a Balanchine ballet. [23 & 30 December 2002, p. 166]
    • The New Yorker
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Despite all this desolation and depression, however, Still Life is an extremely beautiful movie.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The movie version of the hit Broadway musical Hairspray is perfectly pleasant--I smiled to myself all the way through it--but it’s not as exhilarating as the show.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    This Kong is high-powered entertainment, but Jackson pushes too hard and loses momentum over the more than three hours of the movie. The story was always a goofy fable--that was its charm--and a well-told fable knows when to stop.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Midnight has one big problem: Allen hardly gives Gil a perceptive moment. He's awestruck and fumbling - he doesn't possess, to our eyes, the conviction of a writer. But who knows? He's young.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    The brilliant Paprika, directed by Satoshi Kon--a masterly example of Japanese anime, intended for adults--is partly hand drawn, and features multiple areas of visual activity layered at different distances from the picture plane.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    Complex and devious beyond easy recounting, Bad Education is about the fallout from the ending of a "pure" love between boys, consecrated in an Almodóvaran temple--a movie theatre.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Pretty much a miscalculation from beginning to end. [26 Nov. 2012, p.87]
    • The New Yorker
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    The movie comes closer to pure happiness than anything else in the theatres at the moment, and it has an intriguing and moving subtext: the Cubans' buried but irrepressible love of things American.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    At first, you may think, Oh, it’s that damn prison movie again, but Starred Up has a much more intimate texture of affection and disdain than most genre films. You’re held by every exchange, every fight.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    We need another movie, one that shows us why some charter schools work and others don't. And there's an issue that needs to be addressed by Guggenheim and such people as Bill Gates, who appears in the movie as an advocate for charter schools, which he has generously funded.It is the question of scale.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    She's infuriating, but the movie, for all its morose impassivity, is beautiful and haunting.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    For many of this movie's likely viewers, the sting built into Food, Inc. is the realization that, without unending effort, they are not all that much freer in their choices than that hard-pressed family.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    Pride is brilliantly entertaining just as it is, so I trust that no one connected with the film will be insulted if I say that, despite the existence of shows with similarly stirring themes, like “Billy Elliot” and “Kinky Boots,” the story would make a terrific musical.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    For the Coens, the plot elements are a given; the telling is all. [20 & 27 Dec. 2010, p. 144]
    • The New Yorker
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    An intimate epic.
    • The New Yorker