For 626 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 4.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Denby's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 United 93
Lowest review score: 10 Dogville
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 626
626 movie reviews
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The principal suspense in this fascinating movie is generated by the polite, and then not so polite, ferocity of the arguments between the two men.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The movie was not written for Eastwood, but it still seems to be all about him--his past characters, his myth, his old role as a dispenser of raw justice.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    If Ross had merely told his story and re-created the media folk culture of the thirties, the movie might have been a classic. [4 August 2003, p. 84]
    • The New Yorker
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Buoyant and observant, 50/50 is a small winner; the director, Jonathan Levine ("The Wackness"), has a great touch, mordant but light-handed.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    War Horse is a bland, bizarrely unimaginative piece of work. [2 Jan. 2012, p.79]
    • The New Yorker
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    After we’ve heard three or four versions of the joke, the words no longer shock. They describe not acts but fantasies, and the movie becomes a celebration of the infinite varieties of comic style.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Who are these men, so eager for asceticism, violence, and martyrdom? At first, we think that’s what we’ll learn from The Oath, a fascinating documentary directed, produced, and shot by Laura Poitras. We don’t really, but what we do find out is of equal interest, and oddly reassuring.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Menzel strings his sequences together with great affection and skill, but the movie, an absurdist picaresque, doesn't have much cumulative impact, and perhaps the hero is too much a lightweight to hold an epic together.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    The movie is strange and muddled -- a disorganized epic -- but Day-Lewis, disporting himself with royal assurance, does what he can to hold it together. [23 & 30 December 2002, p. 166]
    • The New Yorker
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    The Theory of Everything makes a pass at the complexities of love, but what’s onscreen requires a bit more investigation.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    The French creators of the dance numbers take their work very seriously; they speak of it in terms that would have shamed George Balanchine. That they are sincere in their ideas, however, doesn't mean that they aren't provincial in their own way and long out of date; nor does it mean, to our astonishment, that their show isn't repetitive, solemn, and slightly boring.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    All in all, this twerpy little movie is one of the most entertaining pictures to be released so far this year.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The movie is expert piffle for grownups, directed with great energy by John McTiernan and written with verve by Leslie Dixon and Kurt Wimmer.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    I couldn't imagine anyone better suited to play the role. But this movie is a lot less interesting than it might be. Though it's not bad--in fact, it's rather sweet--it's too simple a portrait of a very complicated and calculating entertainer.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Antal has concocted a phantasmagoria-outlandish and jumpy-but, at the same time, the movie is three-dimensional and weighted, with a melancholy soulfulness that becomes surprisingly touching.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Allen's new movie, Match Point, devoted to lust, adultery, and murder, is the most vigorous thing he's done in years.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    For all its missteps, the movie powerfully suggests that Wal-Mart is capable of demoralizing a community so thoroughly that it doesn't have the spirit to carry on its life outside the big box.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Thank You for Smoking is a nifty but slight movie. Some of the writing is obvious, and the dramatic structure is flimsy, if not downright arbitrary. But Eckhart, in a sure-handed performance, holds the picture together.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Red Eye, which is exactly eighty-five minutes long, has been made with classical technique and bravura skill, and it's leaving moviegoers in a rare state of satisfaction.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    22 Jump Street is hardly fresh, but the picture has enough energy to get by.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    This is a bleak but mesmerizing piece of filmmaking; it offers a glancing, chilled view of a world in which brief moments of loyalty flicker between repeated acts of betrayal.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    I have a vision of eight-year-olds leaving the movie in bewilderment. Why are the creatures so unhappy? That question doesn’t return a child to safety or anywhere else. Of one thing I am sure: children will be relieved when Max gets away from this anxious crew.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Shot by shot, scene by scene, Mann, whose recent work includes “Heat” and "The Insider," may be the best director in Hollywood. Methodical and precise, he analyzes a scene into minute components.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The ineluctable downward pull of absolutely everything in this movie is more exasperating than moving. [12 January 2004, p. 86]
    • The New Yorker
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Citing Chekhov at this early time in Swanberg's career may be unfair, but an amiable movie like Drinking Buddies cried out for the revelations that a great dramatist--or even a talented screenwriter and director working together--can give us. [9 Sept. 2013, p.90]
    • The New Yorker
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 David Denby
    This movie will never need reviving. Brown’s innovative rhythms will always make his music sound contemporary.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Among other things, Our Brand Is Crisis is about the failure of good intentions--a potent American theme at the moment. As the movie suggests, this failure, born of American arrogance, embraces liberals as well as neocons.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    The movie's meaning seems to be: we're all crippled in some way, so just live with it--celebrate it, even. That isn't satire; it's moss-brained sentiment that turns "sensitivity" into a dimly dejected view of life.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The young Welsh-born actor Christian Bale is a serious fellow, but the most interesting thing about him--a glinting sense of superiority--gets erased by the dull earnestness of the screenplay, and the filmmakers haven't developed an adequate villain for him to go up against.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The actor Tony Goldwyn, directing his first movie, and working from a fine screenplay by Pamela Gray, beautifully captures a moment in which the straitened moral world of the lower-middle-class Jewish characters is beginning to open up -- with necessarily painful results.

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