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 Footnote
Lowest review score: 10 Wild Wild West
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 628
628 movie reviews
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Yet, despite the good acting, the middle section of the film, set at the Capitol, is attenuated and rhythmless — the filmmakers seem to be touching all the bases so that the trilogy’s readers won’t miss anything.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    In all, this is a movie that is partial to youth as a state of being. The grownups seem finished, as frozen in their lifetime roles as creatures out of myth or the Bible. But Oliver and Jordana have the freedom to go anywhere, do anything, become anything. Submarine is an exhilarating surprise.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    An uproarious and touching picture.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Spielberg must have sensed that he owed us some fun, and the movie has a sleek and carefree look -- the lightness of a sixties comedy, made with the extraordinary speed and panache of our most fluent director. This is a true holiday film, a gift from some genuine pros who know how to entertain without sweat. [23 & 30 December 2002, p. 166]
    • The New Yorker
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    The movie is overwrought and unfocussed.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    Happy Valley is a devastating portrait of a community — and, by extension, a nation — put under a spell, even reduced to grateful infantilism, by the game of football.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    This is tricky, ambiguous material, seemingly better fitted to a short literary novel than to a movie, and it could have gone wrong in a hundred ways, yet Baumbach handles it with great assurance.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    They also try to one-up each other as men, vying for professional success and for the attention of the invariably lovely women they meet. Sharks have duller teeth than Coogan and Brydon. Both movies, in fact, are about the impossibility — and the necessity — of male friendship.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    It's an odd movie - mild in tone and circumspect, yet darkly funny, and done in a hybrid form that I don't think has been used so thoroughly before.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    It's essentially a skit idea, not a dramatic idea, and the best the movie does with it is to repeat it. What saves Bridesmaids is Feig's love of performers - in particular, his love of actresses.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    Fiennes and his team have mounted a handsome re-creation of Victorian England, but the Dickens-Ternan affair isn't much of a story -- at least, not as realized here. [6 Jan. 2014, p.73]
    • The New Yorker
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The faults of the movie, semi-excusable as self-vindicating ploys, are nothing compared with its strengths.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Audiard's work is tense, vivid, and alert, and he's got the right actor as Tom, an irresistibly attractive guy who's pushing thirty yet has no more control over his impulses than a chaotic boy.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    What happens at the dam, filmed at night, with only shimmering light, is the most nerve-racking sequence in recent movies. Reichardt, despite the film’s absences, has achieved an impressive control over the medium.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Téchiné is unusually adroit at manipulating a complex set of relations within a very mixed group of people. This movie is easy to take--chatty and sociable, with a brightly lit, even sunshiny gloss and an open sensuality.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    A sharply intelligent and affecting view of suburban blues.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The Wolf of Wall Street is a fake. It’s meant to be an exposé of disgusting, immoral, corrupt, obscene behavior, but it’s made in such an exultant style that it becomes an example of disgusting, obscene filmmaking. It’s actually a little monotonous; spectacular, and energetic beyond belief, but monotonous in the way that all burlesques become monotonous after a while.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    In Side Effects, the working out of the thriller plot is accomplished with too much verbal explanation. [11 & 18 Feb. 2013, p.114]
    • The New Yorker
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    A Prairie Home Companion has many lovely and funny moments, but there's not a lot going on. Dramatically, it's mellow to the point of inertia. There may not be any sweat, but there isn't any heat, either.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Mario Van Peebles creates what can only be called a lucid fantasia; the movie quickly reaches a pitch of manic activity and stays there. It’s an exhausting, and exhaustingly pleasurable, entertainment. [31 May 2004, p. 88]
    • The New Yorker
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    The other Grant, the irresistible but slippery Cary, was called to account by such strenuous and willful mates as Irene Dunne, Katharine Hepburn, and Ingrid Bergman. But Hugh Grant has never been matched with a woman who directly challenged his oddly recessive charm. [3 June 2002, p. 100]
    • The New Yorker
    • 74 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    Michael Moore has teased and bullied his way to some brilliant highs in his career as a political entertainer, but he scrapes bottom in his new documentary, Sicko.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    If the notoriously squeamish and slumberous members of the Academy can pull themselves together and face Monster, they should know whom to vote for as the best actress of the year. [26 January 2004, p. 84]
    • The New Yorker
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The joke buried in Tabloid is that this sexual obsessive is very likely not a sexual person at all.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    What Maisie Knew sees things that most of us manage to hide. James might have been shocked by the movie's profane taunts, but he would have recognized the system of betrayals, large and small, that he dramatized so well. [27 May 2013, p.87]
    • The New Yorker
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    I've rarely seen so selfless a collection of performances and, in a war movie, so general an absence of rhetoric or guff. [25 & 31 Dec 2001, p. 127]
    • The New Yorker
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    The Ground Truth is an emotionally potent work, but the great study of an Iraq vet, in either documentary or fictional form, has yet to be made.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Inception, is an astonishment, an engineering feat, and, finally, a folly.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Whitaker, in the performance of a lifetime, makes him (Idi Amin) a charismatic madman.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 David Denby
    The movie is stunningly intelligent; the concluding passages, in which the game abruptly ends for both men, are frightening and, finally, very moving.

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