For 608 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 Osama
Lowest review score: 10 Dogville
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 608
608 movie reviews
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The Counterfeiters is a testament to guile. Ruzowitzky scored the picture with tangos, and the tangos are meant to be Sally’s music--seductive, insolent, triumphant.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    With the screenwriters Alice Arlen and Victor Levin, Hunt adapted the story from a 1990 novel by Elinor Lipman, and has turned the material into a fine, tense, unpredictable comedy of mixed-up emotions and sudden illuminations.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Allen can be literal-minded about his thematic polarities, but, in this movie, he has put actors with first-class temperament on the screen, and his writing is both crisp and ambivalent: he works everything out with a stringent thoroughness that still allows room for surprise.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    One of the most eloquent records we have of a tragedy that brought out some of the most impressively alive men and women in New Orleans.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Claudel turns out to be very good at the psychology of intimacy. An observant man, he has assembled a large (and, to us, unknown) cast of actors around his star, and he dramatizes her slow reawakening with an infinite number of small, sharply etched details.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Offers considerable insight into the Nixon mystery, without solving it; the movie is fully absorbing and even, when Nixon falls into a drunken, resentful rage, exciting, but I can't escape the feeling that it carries about it an aura of momentousness that isn't warranted by the events.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    This is tricky, ambiguous material, seemingly better fitted to a short literary novel than to a movie, and it could have gone wrong in a hundred ways, yet Baumbach handles it with great assurance.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Combines pulse-of-the-city drama and comedy with an elaborate revenge plot, but mostly the movie is about New Yorkers talking.
    • The New Yorker
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Observant and true. The pleasure of it lies not in its emotions, which are distinctly on the tepid side, but in the intimacy of its reporting. [28 July 2003, p.94]
    • The New Yorker
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    You can see the jokes coming well in advance, but you still laugh uncontrollably.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The movie is expert piffle for grownups, directed with great energy by John McTiernan and written with verve by Leslie Dixon and Kurt Wimmer.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Vignettish and offhand, but it’s extremely pleasant, and it suggests what can be done with lightweight equipment and a loose-limbed approach to the right subject. [19 May 2003, p. 94]
    • The New Yorker
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The sinews in Holly Hunter's neck and arms tighten like cables hauled in by a winch; she's all wired up, and in Richard LaGravenese's lovely comedy about loneliness in New York she uses the tension as a source of comedy.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Abrupt and fragmentary, but powerful. [Dec 10 2001, p. 111]
    • The New Yorker
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The actor Tony Goldwyn, directing his first movie, and working from a fine screenplay by Pamela Gray, beautifully captures a moment in which the straitened moral world of the lower-middle-class Jewish characters is beginning to open up -- with necessarily painful results.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    A seriously scandalous work, beautifully made, and it deserves a sizable audience that might argue over it, appreciate it -- even hate it. [1 April 2002, p. 98]
    • The New Yorker
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    If Ross had merely told his story and re-created the media folk culture of the thirties, the movie might have been a classic. [4 August 2003, p. 84]
    • The New Yorker
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Spielberg must have sensed that he owed us some fun, and the movie has a sleek and carefree look -- the lightness of a sixties comedy, made with the extraordinary speed and panache of our most fluent director. This is a true holiday film, a gift from some genuine pros who know how to entertain without sweat. [23 & 30 December 2002, p. 166]
    • The New Yorker
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    A deeply satisfying aesthetic and pedagogic experience--though Americans may find themselves wondering how such terrific children can grow into such irritating adults.
    • The New Yorker
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The plot, with its matched, escalating acts of revenge, may be a contrivance, but within that contrivance Changing Lanes plays earnest and well. [6 May 2002, p. 138]
    • The New Yorker
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The trouble with experimental comedies is that it's often impossible to figure out how to end them. But at least this one is intricate fun before it blows itself up. [9 December 2002, p. 142]
    • The New Yorker
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Ali
    Michael Mann is a fluent, evocative filmmaker, and the movie is well written, expertly staged, and beautifully edited. [24 & 31 Dec 2001, p. 126]
    • The New Yorker
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The Barbarian Invasions might be called an idyll of death. Without excessive sentiment (but without slighting sentiment, either). [24 November 2003, p. 113]
    • The New Yorker
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    When he follows his nose -- say, by tracing his own connections to Eric Harris, one of the Columbine shooters -- he implicates himself in what he hates and fears, and he emerges as a wounded patriot searching for a small measure of clarity. [28 October 2002, p. 119]
    • The New Yorker
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Not much happens, but Coppola is so gentle and witty an observer that the movie casts a spell. [15 September 2003, p. 100]
    • The New Yorker
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    For the battered American independent cinema, Linklater's movie is the highest form of life seen in the last couple of years. [12 Nov 2001, p. 138]
    • The New Yorker
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The movie is a methodical and entirely absorbing thriller, featuring a complicated plot (Brian Helgeland adapted the Michael Connelly novel) in which clues are carefully planted, and understanding slowly gathers in the mind of the hero. [19 & 26 August 2002, p. 174]
    • The New Yorker
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    The movie re-creates Sam's miserable days with enough sympathy to come within hailing distance of such emblematic works of American disillusion as Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" and Saul Bellow's "Seize the Day."
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Mario Van Peebles creates what can only be called a lucid fantasia; the movie quickly reaches a pitch of manic activity and stays there. It’s an exhausting, and exhaustingly pleasurable, entertainment. [31 May 2004, p. 88]
    • The New Yorker
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 David Denby
    Ray
    Vibrantly intelligent and tough-minded bio-pic.