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
    • 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
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    A film that cannot, in the normal sense of the word, be enjoyed, but it can be endured in a spirit of tempered anticipation -- The movie becomes an anguished demand that the dream be fulfilled. [26 Nov 2001, p. 122]
    • The New Yorker
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Coraline is a beautifully designed, rather scary answered-prayer story.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    Unfortunately, it's also maddeningly repetitive, and dependent on the kind of strained English whimsy that leaves your throat sore from laughter that dies in the glottal region.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    This is an elegant and stirring entertainment about the hard-drinking, hard-smoking reporters of "See It Now," the show that Murrow and the producer Fred Friendly put together every week.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Offers considerable insight into the Nixon mystery, without solving it; the movie is fully absorbing and even, when Nixon falls into a drunken, resentful rage, exciting, but I can't escape the feeling that it carries about it an aura of momentousness that isn't warranted by the events.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    A perfect family movie, a perfect date movie, and one of the most eye-ravishing documentaries ever made.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Combines pulse-of-the-city drama and comedy with an elaborate revenge plot, but mostly the movie is about New Yorkers talking.
    • The New Yorker
    • 79 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    The film turns into a triumph for Don Cheadle, who never steps outside the character for emotional grandstanding or easy moralism.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    Some of the menacing atmosphere, and even a few scenes, descend from the first two “Godfather” movies. But, in fact, Chandor has done something startling: he has made an anti-“Godfather.”
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Central Park is at first discomforting, then enraging, then illuminating.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    Playful and happy and even naughty. It's partly a scientific brief, partly a song of sex, and it's enormously enjoyable.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Murray’s linking up with Jim Jarmusch is a case of Mr. Cool meeting Mr. Cool, and the result is intriguing and elegant, but not quite satisfying.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Claudel turns out to be very good at the psychology of intimacy. An observant man, he has assembled a large (and, to us, unknown) cast of actors around his star, and he dramatizes her slow reawakening with an infinite number of small, sharply etched details.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Flags of Our Fathers is an accomplished, stirring, but, all in all, rather strange movie
    • 79 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    A Serious Man, like “Burn After Reading,” is in their bleak, black, belittling mode, and it’s hell to sit through.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    A tender, indignant, but also very worldly movie.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    In truth, I’ve never seen so much lovemaking in an aboveground film, but the revelation, and great triumph, of Lou’s work is that these scenes are never pornographic--that is, never separated from emotion.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    [Downey] can make offhandedness mesmerizing, even soulful; he passes through the key moments in this cloddish story as if he were ad-libbing his inner life.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    At its best, the movie is an exhilarating, surf-topping ride. With Minnie Driver providing the voice of a deliciously flirtatious Jane.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    David Mamet has adapted and directed Terence Rattigan's 1946 play, which was based on a true story, with a fidelity so profound that one doesn't know whether to be amazed or depressed by it.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    A seriously scandalous work, beautifully made, and it deserves a sizable audience that might argue over it, appreciate it -- even hate it. [1 April 2002, p. 98]
    • The New Yorker
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    Life of Pi, at its best, celebrates the idiosyncratic wonders and dangers of raw, ravaging nature, and Lee wrings more than enough meaning from the excitement of that spectacle; we need nothing higher. [26 Nov.2012, p.86]
    • The New Yorker
    • 79 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    The two characters are ciphers, and the script, which Sachs co-wrote with Mauricio Zacharias, is by turns underwritten or banal.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    Off the dance floor, however, Black Swan is trashy and incoherent. Aronofsky, for all his gifts, is a gaudy maestro, opportunistic and insecure as an artist.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    It's a movie that approaches novelistic richness. [7 Oct. 2013, p. 89]
    • The New Yorker
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Langella is superb, and Starting Out in the Evening is a classy film.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Cate Blanchett, who played Blanche on Broadway only a few years ago, gives the most complicated and demanding performance of her movie career. The actress, like her character, is out on a limb much of the time, but there’s humor in Blanchett’s work, and a touch of self-mockery as well as an eloquent sadness.

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