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 5.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Denby's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Maria Full of Grace
Lowest review score: 10 Dogville
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 625
625 movie reviews
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Unconvincing and ineffective; the many patches of ideological montage, growing like kudzu throughout the film, weaken the impact of its best moments.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The trouble with Holofcener's scheme is that the center of the movie is dead. Olivia has no drives or hopes or powerful regrets. She has nothing to say, and Aniston does most of her acting with her lower lip.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Near the end of the journey, chronicling Sunni car bombers in Iraq, he (Baer) talks sorrowfully of Muslims killing Muslims, and he concludes that suicide bombing has lost any coherent political meaning and has taken on an irresistible life of its own as a glamorous cult.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    There are many scenes of mock-lucha wrestling, which become as boring as actual wrestling. Nacho Libre, naïvely made kids’ stuff, lacks such minor attributes as a decent script and supporting cast.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Is this a case of spectacularly rotten timing, or is something being kept from us? The account of why the friends cross the border isn’t very persuasive…The young men may be clueless, but the filmmakers’ habit of obfuscating key points makes us wonder whether somebody is lying.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The audience decided to sell Snakes to itself, and that became the event--the actual movie could never have been more than another exploitation picture.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Babel is an infuriatingly well-made disaster.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Even judged by the not excessively demanding standards of middle-aged renovation fantasies, A Good Year isn’t much.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Wilson and the director, Steven Shainberg, draw on Arbus's family and on many elements from her life and her art, only to turn the material into feeble nonsense.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Estevez has made a vague gesture at a large, metaphoric structure without having the dramatic means to achieve it. His choreography of the panic and misery in the hotel after the shooting is impressive, and some of the actors do fine in their brief roles. But his script never rises above earnest banality, and we are constantly being taught little lessons in tolerance and humanity:
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    In brief, I fell cheated by these clever, narrative-disrupting films. They seem to miss the point. After all, every fiction film is magical--an artifice devoted to “What if?”
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    It's a peculiar movie, frantic and useless, with a hyperactive camera that gives us no more than fleeting impressions of Edie ecstatic at parties, Edie strung out on drugs, Edie lying mostly naked on a bed, with her skin splotchy from injections.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The unexciting look and feel of the movie wouldn’t have bothered me if the filmmakers had penetrated Hanssen’s skull a little.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    A virtual textbook of action clichés.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    At key moments, Lucky You loses its nerve.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Soderbergh ends the movie with a few jokes, which is casual and neat but leaves you wondering whether the practice of making enormous movies about nothing isn't a little mad.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    This is one of the rare movies that are too sensitive for their own good.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Sean Penn’s Into the Wild is certainly visual--it’s entirely too visual, to the point of being cheaply lyrical.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The characters observe no boundaries, and neither does the movie--Baumbach hasn’t worked out the struggle between speaking and withholding, as Bergman did. People simply blurt out scathing remarks, so there’s little power in the revelations and betrayals. “Margot” is sensually as well as dramatically impoverished.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The movie’s heart is certainly in the right place--it’s a quietly outraged work--but I wish there were more excitement in it from moment to moment.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The Bucket List will quickly be kicked into oblivion, but, at a lifetime-achievement-award ceremony, Nicholson’s tempest will fit nicely into a montage of Crazy Jack moments.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Walk Hard runs down quickly, and suffers further from having the wide-eyed and weightless Reilly as its star.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    [Downey] can make offhandedness mesmerizing, even soulful; he passes through the key moments in this cloddish story as if he were ad-libbing his inner life.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Crystal Skull isn't bad--there are a few dazzling sequences, and a couple of good performances--but the unprecedented blend of comedy and action that made the movies so much more fun than any other adventure series is mostly gone.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The Dark Knight is hardly routine--it has a kicky sadism in scene after scene, which keeps you on edge and sends you out onto the street with post-movie stress disorder.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Kevin Smith turns out to be reverent after all: he wants to separate true love from mere copulating for money, but his story mixes romance and porn so inextricably that he seems confused, and the movie trips over its own conceits.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The movie's conceits are just barely endurable, but the sharpness of Dörrie's eye--for Tokyo's electric night, for Fuji's iconographic landscapes, for cherry blossoms--sustains emotion even when story logic fails.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The movie leaves us with the sense that, twelve years after Biggie Smalls's death, a lot of people are trying to extract whatever profit or pride they can from the chaotic life of a young man who was, as he well knew, a work in progress.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Inglourious Basterds is not boring, but it’s ridiculous and appallingly insensitive.

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