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 Mystic River
Lowest review score: 10 Dreamcatcher
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 626
626 movie reviews
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    An extremely well-crafted exercise in physical invention and fear. Yet within those limits--the limits of a pop-digital survival drama--Poseidon is an exciting show.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Cronenberg has made an eccentric and beautiful-looking movie - a languid, deadpan, conceptualist joke.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    It has a gentle, unforced rhythm, and what’s there is good and true. But there’s not enough of it--the movie needs more plot, more complication, more conflict.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    There's a sourness, a relentlessness about the movie which borders on misanthropy. In both the social and the personal scenes, the conversational tone veers between idiotic pleasantries and fathomless bile, with nothing in between.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The movie ends in bitterness. Unable to prevent catastrophe, the most honorable man in this entire affair - an outcast among frauds and the cannily acquiescent - considers himself a failure.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    It's a seize-the-day movie, even though the day is a long time coming. [7 May 2012, p.80]
    • The New Yorker
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The Duchess is enragingly elusive and possibly mad; the General is very direct and also possibly mad.
    • 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
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Judi Dench is especially good; playing a vulnerable character, for a change, she allows her habitual toughness to give way to uncertainty, fear, and moments of gathering resolve, and she delivers one of her most wide-ranging and moving performances. [7 May 2012, p. 81]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    I don't know if Beethoven and a sympathetic newspaper reporter can redeem a messy American city, but this movie makes a plausible case for so fervent a dream.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    We are entertained, but we see this squalid world clearly. The great cinematographer Chris Menges keeps the images cool and crisp. [15 September 2003, p.100]
    • The New Yorker
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The movie is immensely pleased with itself, in the manner of adorable kids who know they can get away with anything--the commercial opportunism is so self-confident in its silliness that you can’t really fight it. [7 July 2003, p. 84]
    • The New Yorker
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    For Apatow, one guesses, the only things that can forestall death are comedy (the movie is full of superb comics, including Albert Brooks and Melissa McCarthy) and the flourishing of his children, Maude and Iris, who appear in the movie as Debbie and Pete's daughters.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    By the end, Soderbergh’s movie subverts common belief far more effectively than some of the fantasy movies knocking around this summer. It’s a vertiginous experience that grows increasingly hilarious, and the joke is on us.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Kasdan is shrewd and funny about such things as the ease with which powerful people can mimic, when they need to, the forms of sincerity and concern. The satire is unrelenting but not too broad; it stays close to common observation.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    So well made, and so compelling as a portrait of a man at war with himself, that, right up until the end, many people will probably be entertained by its intricately preposterous story.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    They are Abbott & Costello with dirty mouths--indomitable, ungovernable, and possibly immortal.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.

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