For 605 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: 65
Highest review score: 100 The Class
Lowest review score: 10 Arthur
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 605
605 movie reviews
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    On the Road is always on the verge of imparting some great truth, but it never arrives. [14 Jan. 2013, p.79]
    • The New Yorker
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The Oxford theory is ridiculous, yet the filmmakers go all the way with it, producing endless scenes of indecipherable court intrigue in dark, smoky rooms, and a fashion show of ruffs, farthingales, and halberds. The more far-fetched the idea, it seems, the more strenuous the effort to pass it off as authentic.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The extreme innocence of Rose (Andrea Riseborough), the young girl whom Pinkie seduces in order to keep her quiet, is no longer very convincing, or even interesting.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    I'm more than ready to welcome a new style and a new metaphysic, but I still respond with skepticism and exasperation to Weerasethakul's work, which is sensuous and ruminative but also flat, almost affectless. [28 March 2011, p. 116]
    • The New Yorker
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Moderately enjoyable, in its exhausting way. [5 March 2012, p. 87]
    • The New Yorker
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    If you were to watch Lockout a few months from now, at home alone, it wouldn't produce more than a shrug. Movies this bad need to be revered in public places. Go see it in a mall, and try to sneak a beer or two in with you.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The battle scenes are extraordinarily mucky and violent, but here, as in Tavernier's "Let Joy Reign Supreme," the intricate protocols of aristocratic sexual passion are the most startling elements. The movie, however, is opaque at its center. [25 April, 2011 p. 89]
    • The New Yorker
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    This bio-pic, written by Abi Morgan and directed by Phyllida Lloyd, is an oddly unsettled compound of glorification and malice. It whirts around restlessly and winds up nowhere. [2 Jan. 2012, p.78]
    • The New Yorker
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Yet, despite the good acting, the middle section of the film, set at the Capitol, is attenuated and rhythmless — the filmmakers seem to be touching all the bases so that the trilogy’s readers won’t miss anything.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Almost nothing engages us emotionally. [8 Oct. 2012, p.86]
    • The New Yorker
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Pretty much a miscalculation from beginning to end. [26 Nov. 2012, p.87]
    • The New Yorker
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The film is perceptive and shrewd about such matters as the awkwardness of two kinds of aristocracy and power brought face to face. But "Hyde Park" never catches fire.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The movie is so discreet and respectful that, outside the classroom, within whose walls the glory of French literature and language triumph, it never quite comes to life. [16 April 2012, p. 86]
    • The New Yorker
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Movies are good at this sort of brute physicality, but the trouble with The Impossible is that is also tells a rather banal story. [28 Jan. 2012, p.81]
    • The New Yorker
    • 84 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Holy Motors is full of larks and jolts, but the movie is so self-referential that it's mainly aroused by itself. The audience, though eager to be pleased, is left unsatisfied. [22 Oct. 2012, p.88]
    • The New Yorker
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The scenes of the musicians rehearsing or talking about music, with the actors playing parts of Opus 131 themselves (the longer stretches are played by the Brentano Quartet), are fascinating and moving for anyone who loves this music; the rest of the movie is conventional.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Like so many earnestly conceived morality tales, Promised Land is built around a man's quandaries. Any actor less skilled and sympathetic than Damon might have betrayed the material into obviousness. [14 Jan. 2013, p.78]
    • The New Yorker
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Cool, violent, a cigarette dangling from his mouth, Gosling reprises his inexorable-loner routine from “Drive.” Cianfrance and the screenwriters Ben Coccio and Darius Marder wrote thirty-seven drafts of the script, but gave him almost nothing to say. He rides, he smokes, he knocks over banks, he loves his baby, and that’s it.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Nothing in the movie makes sense, but I prefer to think that Ride Along is just a badly told joke, rather than an insult to its audience.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The Wolf of Wall Street is a fake. It’s meant to be an exposé of disgusting, immoral, corrupt, obscene behavior, but it’s made in such an exultant style that it becomes an example of disgusting, obscene filmmaking. It’s actually a little monotonous; spectacular, and energetic beyond belief, but monotonous in the way that all burlesques become monotonous after a while.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Transcendence is a muddle; it takes more creative energy than this to catch up to the present. [28 April 2014, p.86]
    • The New Yorker
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The movie, bad as it is, will do as a demonstration of a talented man’s freedom to choose different ways of being himself.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    This literal-minded movie sells old pieties and washes away fear so thoroughly that it creates a new kind of fantasy, in which all's right with a very troubled world. [21 April 2014, p.110]
    • The New Yorker
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    While re-creating the vast swing of German forces in and out of Russia, Kadelbach tries to capture the inner turmoil of two men. Call it half a victory.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The revelation is Wilde. A slender beauty with high cheekbones, she makes Anna a full-fledged neurotic, candid and demanding and changeable, shifting abruptly from snuggling happiness to angry defiance.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    Amelia is handsome yet predictable and high-minded--not a dud, exactly, but too proper, too reserved for its swaggering subject.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    Even Frances McDormand, the salt-of-the-earth actress who has warmed so many of the Coen brothers movies, falls into a queasy dead zone.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    The movie is a technological and publicity triumph, and a calamity in every other way.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    Crowe is attempting a modern screwball comedy--the kind of thing that, sixty years ago, Howard Hawks, directing Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck, would have turned into romantic farce--but he has scaled the movie as an epic and turned his gabby heroine into a fount of New Age wisdom.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    Unfortunately, it's also maddeningly repetitive, and dependent on the kind of strained English whimsy that leaves your throat sore from laughter that dies in the glottal region.