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

David Denby's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 The Hours
Lowest review score: 10 Dreamcatcher
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 605
605 movie reviews
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    Morning Glory has a depressed, rancid air. [22 Nov. 2010, p. 141]
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    The futility of a noodling movie star is hardly a revelation of the absurdity of the human condition, or whatever this movie is supposed to be about. [20 & 27 Dec. 2010, p. 146]
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    The Green Hornet is what you get when someone who dropped out of high school to do standup comedy, then spent a decade in movies and television, conceives a Hollywood "passion project." [24 Jan. 2011, p. 82]
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    May have been written by a young woman, but it feels like a middle-aged man's fantasies about young people. The dialogue is actually - to retrieve an old word - vulgar. [7 Feb. 2011, p. 82]
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    As director, Foster, working with Kyle Killen's screenplay, treats the goofy premise with a literal earnestness-as a family drama about separation and reunion-that seems all wrong. A little wit would have helped.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    War Horse is a bland, bizarrely unimaginative piece of work. [2 Jan. 2012, p.79]
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    Much of what Oskar says in the book is amusingly beside the point. Onscreen, however, the sound of a hyper-articulate boy talking semi-nonsense becomes very hard to take.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    Burroughs invented a primal fiction: a man winds up on another planet, and has to find his way among strange creatures. Sticking to that fable, which was central to "Avatar," might have saved John Carter, but Stanton loses its appealing simplicity in too many battles, too many creatures, too many redundant episodes. [26 March 2012, p.108]
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    The Dictator, like its predecessors, is short (eighty-three minutes), but it runs down fast, and the lewd jokes pile up. [28 May 2012, p. 76]
    • 79 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    The two characters are ciphers, and the script, which Sachs co-wrote with Mauricio Zacharias, is by turns underwritten or banal.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    The movie is messily ineffective. Daniels likes charged, discordant scenes, with sudden explosions of violence. He shoves the camera in people's faces, and he can't convincingly stage a scene with more than two people in it. [8 Oct. 2012, p.86]
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    The movie isn’t a desecration, but it’s action filmmaking, not America, that needs to be reborn.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    The movie is pervaded by a cataclysmic sense of loss, but we don’t need to be chastised with the ideal of Christian love to understand that sex isn’t enough. And someone might tell Malick that beauty isn’t enough, either. Only a major filmmaker could have made To the Wonder, but nothing in it adds up.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    Luhrmann's vulgarity is designed to win over the young audience, and it suggests that he's less a filmmaker than a music-video director with endless resources and a stunning absence of taste. [13 May 2013, p.78]
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    It seems that the director, who also made "The Incredible Hulk" and "Clash of the Titans," will do anything to distract us from the emptiness to which he has devoted himself. [10 & 17 June 2013, p.110]
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    The Canyons is not porn, but it has the demoralized second-rateness and the lowlife inanity of the porn world.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    As you watch, you don't think of the decline of American civilization; you think that these are good actors giving themselves a hell of a workout in a misbegotten movie. [6 Jan. 2014, p.72]
    • 76 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    In this movie, Phoenix turns himself inside out, but Cotillard’s reserved performance doesn’t move us. Bruno advances in his confused way, Ewa resists, and, despite Jeremy Renner’s flickering presence, the movie becomes dour and repetitive. Looking at them, you finally think, Enough! Life must be elsewhere.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    What it's really about, of course, is the very delicate marketing problem of turning a super-bland pop star into an acceptable human being onscreen. [4 Mar 2002, p. 90]
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    Apart from this going-postal moment, and a nice song from Frank the Pug (a resident alien from the original, played by the same dog), MIIB is pretty much a disaster -- repetitive beyond belief, and so busily inconsequential that it neuralizes your brain and leaves you with nothing to respond to. [8 July 2002, p.84]
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    The style of the movie veers unsuccessfully between humorless piety and opéra-bouffe clownishness.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    A classic case of Hollywood hypocrisy and ineptitude.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    xXx
    In itself, XXX is not worth getting bothered about -- a half-dozen big pictures as bad as this one come out every year. At the very worst, it will kick off a pointless new movie franchise. [19 & 26 August 2002, p.174]
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    The sensibility of the movie is naggingly adolescent -- less erotic than squeamish and giggly. [11 Mar 2002, p. 92]
    • 28 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    Pfeiffer, enormously likable in the role, almost saves the movie. [28 Jan 2002, p. 90]
    • 30 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    Falls below even minimal standards of dramatic decency. John Q is a trashy, opportunistic piece of pop demagoguery. [4 Mar 2002, p. 90]
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    Feels like a pointlessly nagging play.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    Kill Bill is what’s formally known as decadence and commonly known as crap...Coming out of this dazzling, whirling movie, I felt nothing--not anger, not dismay, not amusement. Nothing. [13 October 2003, p. 113]
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    In the Cut is completely controlled and all of a piece, and yet, apart from one performance (Mark Ruffalo), it's terrible--a thriller devoid of incidental pleasures or humor, or even commonplace reality. [27 October 2003, p. 112]
    • 70 Metascore
    • 30 David Denby
    The kind of bad movie that makes a reviewer feel terrible. It has been put together with great sincerity, and yet, impassioned and affecting as some of it is, 21 Grams is also an arrogant failure. [24 November 2003, p. 113]