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
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Defiance, as it turns out, makes insistent emotional demands, and those who respond to it at all, as I did, are likely to go all the way and even come out of it feeling slightly stunned.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The new movie continues the "Bourne" tradition of exciting, reality-based thrillers, but when the series lost its star it lost most of is soul. [13 & 20 Aug. 2012, p.96]
    • The New Yorker
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Ewan McGregor’s bright-eyed Ian, following in the footsteps of characters in Allen’s “Crimes and Misdemeanors” and “Match Point,” is a study in guilt-free violence. But Colin Farrell’s Terry is something new. Terry is a decent guy with many weaknesses, and, after the crime is committed, Farrell gives him a piteous self-loathing that is very touching.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    A genial, messy comedy of marital discord and mismatched lovers.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    No stranger man - not even Nixon - has ever been at the center of an American epic.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Redford’s patient earnestness — not always a virtue in his earlier work as a director — produces something honorable and absorbing.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The Box turns into a kind of sacrilegious Christian fable; it’s haunted by God, but it delivers a vicious doctrine. At the risk of impoliteness, I would suggest that Kelly drop his reliance on religio-mystico-eschatological humbug and embrace, in realistic terms, the fantastic possibilities in ordinary acts of murder, fear, heroism, and death. If he pulls himself together, he could be the next Hitchcock.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    A lightweight retelling of Page's life, a sketch, really, which doesn't probe very deeply into Page's bizarre mixture of exhibitionism and piety. But some scenes that might have been borderline exploitation, or just corny…turn out to be ineffably beautiful.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    Has some of the wittiest writing Sayles has ever done for the movies and some of the best acting he's ever coaxed out of his performers, and the picture is a pleasant, if unexciting, experience. [8 July 2002, p.84]
    • The New Yorker
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    Harmless, but it gave me a pain. Why make such a fuss over middle-aged bodies anyway? [22 & 29 December 2003, p. 166]
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    Slamming different kinds of experience together, Lee tries to do with montage what he cannot do with dramatic logic.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    Poky but often charming.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    The memoir is strongly written, and I wish that the movie, directed by John Curran (Marion Nelson did the adaptation), had more excitement to it.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    Smart, willful, and perverse, this Frida is nobody's servant, and the tiny Hayek plays her with head held high. You may want to laugh now and then, but you won't look away. [11 November 2002, p. 195]
    • The New Yorker
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    It’s the right role for Cruise, but the movie is so devoted to him, so star-driven, that it begins to seem a little demented.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    Seven Psychopaths is the kind of movie that can lift someone who's had a crappy day out of a funk. It's an unstable mess filled with lunatic invention and bizarre nonsense, and some of it is so spontaneous that it's elating. [22 Oct. 2012, p.88]
    • The New Yorker
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    Crowe has an animal quickness and sensitivity, a threatening way of penetrating what someone is up to, a feeling for weakness in friends as well as opponents. He seems every inch a great journalist; it's not his fault that the filmmakers let the big story slip through their fingers.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    The scenery, of course, could stop the heart of a mountain goat, and Wild has an admirable heroine, but the movie itself often feels literal-minded rather than poetic, busy rather than sublime, eager to communicate rather than easily splendid.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    The movie won't do much for anyone who doesn't have an academic or fanboy absorption in junk.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    In 2002, Carnahan made an intense and violent little cop film, "Narc," with Jason Patric and Ray Liotta. He seemed to have absorbed the influences of John Cassavetes and Martin Scorsese and come up with a style of his own. I was a fan of that movie, but Smokin’ Aces feels like Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill" pushed much further along into lethal absurdity.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    One of the main virtues of John Rabe is to demonstrate that, however much we know about the worst of all wars, it still has little-known corners that can amaze us.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    An obscene, ridiculous, and occasionally very funny movie, and if it ever gets to the Middle East it will roil the falafel tables on both sides of the Arab-Israeli divide.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    The movie is overwrought and unfocussed.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 David Denby
    This Kong is high-powered entertainment, but Jackson pushes too hard and loses momentum over the more than three hours of the movie. The story was always a goofy fable--that was its charm--and a well-told fable knows when to stop.

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