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 12 Years a Slave
Lowest review score: 10 Wild Wild West
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 614
614 movie reviews
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The movie is about preservation and restoration and the power of art. But with what gain in knowledge? It's as if Szpilman had no soul, and no will, apart from an endless desire to tickle the keys. [13 January 2003, p. 90]
    • The New Yorker
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Eastwood is a more forceful actor than he was twenty years ago--less opaque, less stylized, and altogether more idiosyncratic. He's too old and unsuited by temperament to play the tough city newspaper reporter in this film, but he still has an authority that few younger actors could match.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Fahrenheit 9/11 offers the thrill of a coherent explanation for everything, but parts of the movie are no better than a wild, lunging grab at a supposed master plan. [28 June 2004, p. 108]
    • The New Yorker
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Goodbye, Lenin! is often drab--the color is washed out, the lighting flat. Yet the movie is sweetly enjoyable as a sardonic elegy for a dream that went bust. [8 March 2004, p. 92]
    • The New Yorker
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Putting it mildly, this style of shallow, panting composition isn't the way I’d like movies to go, but, of its kind, The Bourne Supremacy is incredibly skilled--much more exciting than its predecessor.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The movie is successful -- harsh, serious, and both exhilarating and tragic, the right tonal combination for Homer. [17 May 2004, p. 107]
    • The New Yorker
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The movie has an air of momentousness, yet most of it is conventional, though well-directed, pop mayhem.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Despite all this desolation and depression, however, Still Life is an extremely beautiful movie.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The Duchess is enragingly elusive and possibly mad; the General is very direct and also possibly mad.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    These small-scale, intelligent movies can fall into a trap: it’s hard to achieve a satisfactory dramatic climax when observation is your principal dramatic mode.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Kechiche digs a good story out of the flux, and, in the movie's final forty minutes, the suspense is terrific.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The movie is a lucid and comprehensive picture of a rotten system, but it’s a relief to know that some people in the midst of disaster were doing their jobs.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    An amiable family comedy one step above a TV sitcom (and several steps below “Moonstruck.”
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The filmmakers register their point, but I don’t think it’s entirely parochial to note that, two decades from now, the American and Japanese children will probably have many choices open to them (including living close to the land), while the Mongolian and Namibian children are more likely to be restricted in their choices to the soil that nurtured them.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Much of the writing is good, and the acting is superb, but the constant wrangling wore me out at times.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Heartbreaker, which begins as a Hollywood-style caper and turns into a romantic comedy, is no more than a luxurious trifle. But it is also enjoyable for the vast difference in temperament between its two stars.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The movie is best when it calms down and concentrates on the sinister peculiarities of the experience, and when it focuses on Franco's face. [8 Nov. 2010, p . 93]
    • The New Yorker
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    An effective political melodrama that induces a peculiar emotion--the bitterness generated by an old anger that has faded into dull exasperation and now flares up again. [8 Nov. 2010, p.92]
    • The New Yorker
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    An accomplished, intelligent, often exciting piece of work, but I can't help wishing that Haggis had figured out how to make it more fun. [22 Nov. 2010, p. 140]
    • The New Yorker
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Love and Other Drugs has many weak spots, but what it delivers at its core is as indelible as (and a lot more explicit than) the work of such legendary teams as Clark Gable and Joan Crawford, Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Taymor has played with Shakespeare's text -- switching genders, and inventing, dropping, and transposing passages -- but there's an emotional gain. [20 & 27 Dec. 2010, p. 146]
    • The New Yorker
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Ryder is devious and witchy, her eyes flashing, her crinkly voice developing knife edges. She gives an acidly brilliant performance as a desperate, lying woman. [24 Jan. 2011, p. 83]
    • The New Yorker
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The Help is, in some way, crude and obvious, but it opens up a broad new swath of experience on the screen, and parts of it are so moving and well acted that any objections to what's second-rate seem to matter less as the movie goes on. [15 & 22 August 2011, p. 96]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    A genial, messy comedy of marital discord and mismatched lovers.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Nothing that happens in this movie is in the least surprising, but it's all quite pleasant and even, at times, moving.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    A superb martial discipline has ended in a commercial movie genre--not the worst fate in the world, but the comic irony of it is of little interest to a director bent on glorification. [9 Sept. 2013, p.90]
    • The New Yorker