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 Ratatouille
Lowest review score: 10 Arthur
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 608
608 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    She's infuriating, but the movie, for all its morose impassivity, is beautiful and haunting.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Defiance, as it turns out, makes insistent emotional demands, and those who respond to it at all, as I did, are likely to go all the way and even come out of it feeling slightly stunned.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Yet, even if the movie is a fake as a fight picture, it's still a decent commercial entertainment.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    I don't know if Beethoven and a sympathetic newspaper reporter can redeem a messy American city, but this movie makes a plausible case for so fervent a dream.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The movie makes it clear that, for all his snarls and outbursts, he is intelligent, candid, and easily wounded; that he is by turns inordinately proud and inordinately ashamed and, above all, intensely curious about himself, as if his own nature were a mystery that had not yet been solved.
    • 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
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The movie feels not only like a trial but like a trial in absentia. [7 Oct 2002, p. 108]
    • The New Yorker
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Robert Altman, in a benevolent mood, has made a lovely ensemble comedy from Anne Rapp's original screenplay.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Improbable and, at times, sadistic, but, considered as a piece of direction, this Western, set in New Mexico in 1885, is as confident as anything that Ron Howard has done. [8 December 2003, p. 139]
    • The New Yorker
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Even though we can see it coming, this gruff, inarticulate, half-embarrassed love between men, arrived at after many setbacks, is one of the stories that action movies never tire of telling and that many of us, even though we may laugh it off the next day, still find moving. [17 & 24 June 2002, p. 176]
    • The New Yorker
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    We are entertained, but we see this squalid world clearly. The great cinematographer Chris Menges keeps the images cool and crisp. [15 September 2003, p.100]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Good summer fun, but it’s only about two-thirds the picture it could have been. Since Edward Norton has nothing to play against, the rivalry at the heart of the movie never heats up. [16 & 23 June 2003, p. 200]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    A dramatic failure, but, at its best, it offers a frightening suggestion of the way terror can alter reality so thoroughly that, step by step, the fantastic becomes accepted as the mere commonplace. [5 May 2003, p. 104]
    • The New Yorker
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Certainly holds one's attention, but it's a strange and grim experience, ice-cold and borderline pointless. [28 October 2002, p. 119]
    • The New Yorker
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    No more than a shallow, style-mad entertainment, but it never flags or loses its balance, and, despite the theatricality of the staging and the acting, it’s precisely the materiality of the cinema--that makes us devour it with pleasure. [29 March 2004, p. 103]
    • The New Yorker
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    David Mamet has adapted and directed Terence Rattigan's 1946 play, which was based on a true story, with a fidelity so profound that one doesn't know whether to be amazed or depressed by it.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Tears of the Sun may be a flattering myth, but it’s not a bad myth to be flattered by. [17 March 2003, p. 154]
    • The New Yorker
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The movie is immensely pleased with itself, in the manner of adorable kids who know they can get away with anything--the commercial opportunism is so self-confident in its silliness that you can’t really fight it. [7 July 2003, p. 84]
    • The New Yorker
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    For all the beauty and power of Road to Perdition, there's not much spontaneity in it, and the movie's flawless surface puts a stranglehold on meaning. [15 July 2002. p. 90]
    • The New Yorker
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    In brief, The Brown Bunny, however antagonistic and borderline tedious, is an art work of sorts, and Gallo himself, though an egomaniac of staggering solemnity-a priest of art longing for a cult-is not a fake.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    A lyrical throwback to such movies as René Clément's "Forbidden Games" (1952) and other works of the humanist European cinema of a half century ago. [12 April 2003, p. 89]
    • The New Yorker
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    It’s party time, and the movie is wild and crude without being mean--it’s a comedy of infantile regression, “Animal House” for grownups. [17 March 2003, p. 154]
    • The New Yorker
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The movie is about preservation and restoration and the power of art. But with what gain in knowledge? It's as if Szpilman had no soul, and no will, apart from an endless desire to tickle the keys. [13 January 2003, p. 90]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 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