For 626 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 5.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Denby's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 The Class
Lowest review score: 10 Dreamcatcher
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 626
626 movie reviews
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Just when this sunshiny and affectionate comedy is beginning to bloom, the inevitable, tear-jerking conclusion closes off the fun like a Venetian blind blocking the light. (29 Oct 2001, p.93)
    • The New Yorker
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Despite all this desolation and depression, however, Still Life is an extremely beautiful movie.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The Help is, in some way, crude and obvious, but it opens up a broad new swath of experience on the screen, and parts of it are so moving and well acted that any objections to what's second-rate seem to matter less as the movie goes on. [15 & 22 August 2011, p. 96]
    • The New Yorker
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    A rudimentary but thoroughly enjoyable step musical.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    In the end, Assayas, shooting the film with relaxed, flowing camera movements, gives his love not to beautiful objects but to the disorderly life out of which art is made.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    It's emotionally more alive than anything Allen has done since "Sweet and Lowdown," in 1999. I was absorbed in it, and I liked parts of it. And I wish to God it were better.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The movie is not a bore, exactly, but it’s certainly a stunt and a disappointment, for at first the situation is provocative. [16 & 23 June 2003, p. 200]
    • The New Yorker
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Yet, even if the movie is a fake as a fight picture, it's still a decent commercial entertainment.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The comedy is brutal and paper thin, but that is less bothersome than the ending of the movie, which abruptly changes its tone.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The movie has an air of momentousness, yet most of it is conventional, though well-directed, pop mayhem.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Bob Nelson wrote the script, which Payne has been mulling over for nine years, and some of it, enhanced by the deliberate pacing of his direction, is funny in a deadpan, black-comedy way. But the absurdist atmosphere feels thin: the movie is like a Beckett play without the metaphysical unease, the flickering blasphemies and revelations.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Eastwood is a more forceful actor than he was twenty years ago--less opaque, less stylized, and altogether more idiosyncratic. He's too old and unsuited by temperament to play the tough city newspaper reporter in this film, but he still has an authority that few younger actors could match.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Redacted is hell to sit through, but I think De Palma is bravely trying to imagine his way inside an atrocity, and that he’s onto something powerful with his multisided approach.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    An amiable family comedy one step above a TV sitcom (and several steps below “Moonstruck.”
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    An Education is perceptive and entertaining, but it doesn’t have the jolting vitality of, say, “Notes on a Scandal,” which dramatized an even more unconventional liaison--older woman, fifteen-year-old boy.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    22 Jump Street is hardly fresh, but the picture has enough energy to get by.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Hackman works with a joyous authority that seems to come out of the experience of the character he's playing. He liberates David Mamet from David Mamet. [12 Nov 2001, p. 139]
    • The New Yorker
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The movie has a gentle, bemused intelligence, the tone of British liberalism at its most open-minded.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Shadow Recruit is fun in a minor, winter-season way. If the producers stick with Chris Pine as he ages, they may end up with something worth caring about. [20 Jan.2014, p.78]
    • The New Yorker
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Bullock shades what she normally does into something more interesting -- the angriest and sexiest work she's done. [6 May 2002, p. 138]
    • The New Yorker
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Changeling is beautifully wrought, but it has the abiding fault of righteously indignant filmmaking: it congratulates us for feeling what we already feel.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Nothing very important happens, but, moment by moment, the movie is alive with the play of gesture and glances, aggression and withdrawal. [31 March 2003, p.106]
    • The New Yorker
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    This movie, however incomplete and frustrating, is also fully alive and extraordinarily intelligent.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    An extremely well-crafted exercise in physical invention and fear. Yet within those limits--the limits of a pop-digital survival drama--Poseidon is an exciting show.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Cronenberg has made an eccentric and beautiful-looking movie - a languid, deadpan, conceptualist joke.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    It has a gentle, unforced rhythm, and what’s there is good and true. But there’s not enough of it--the movie needs more plot, more complication, more conflict.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    In Side Effects, the working out of the thriller plot is accomplished with too much verbal explanation. [11 & 18 Feb. 2013, p.114]
    • The New Yorker
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The movie is a lucid and comprehensive picture of a rotten system, but it’s a relief to know that some people in the midst of disaster were doing their jobs.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Fahrenheit 9/11 offers the thrill of a coherent explanation for everything, but parts of the movie are no better than a wild, lunging grab at a supposed master plan. [28 June 2004, p. 108]
    • The New Yorker

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