For 614 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 6.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Denby's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Time Out
Lowest review score: 10 Arthur
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 614
614 movie reviews
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Buoyant and observant, 50/50 is a small winner; the director, Jonathan Levine ("The Wackness"), has a great touch, mordant but light-handed.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    No stranger man - not even Nixon - has ever been at the center of an American epic.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Nothing that happens in this movie is in the least surprising, but it's all quite pleasant and even, at times, moving.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Watching the movie, you feel the constriction and the disgust of the life below, but Holland, pacing the film well, knows when to come up for air. Each time she does, the daylight seems like a benediction. [13 & 20 Feb. 2012, p 120]
    • The New Yorker
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Chronicle becomes a cautionary tale: power corrupts. Yes, and digital power corrupts absolutely. Andrew's sense of decency disappears, and so does the filmmakers' sense of humor. [13 & 20 Feb. 2012, p. 120]
    • The New Yorker
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    As broad and obvious as Wanderlust is, it's often very funny. [5 March 2012, p. 87]
    • The New Yorker
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Lee Hirsch and Cynthia Lowen, the filmmakers who made the moving documentary Bully, don't try to answer any questions. They avoid charts and graphs, talking heads and sociology. Their approach is more direct and, perhaps, more effective.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    It's an odd movie - mild in tone and circumspect, yet darkly funny, and done in a hybrid form that I don't think has been used so thoroughly before.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    It's a seize-the-day movie, even though the day is a long time coming. [7 May 2012, p.80]
    • The New Yorker
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Judi Dench is especially good; playing a vulnerable character, for a change, she allows her habitual toughness to give way to uncertainty, fear, and moments of gathering resolve, and she delivers one of her most wide-ranging and moving performances. [7 May 2012, p. 81]
    • The New Yorker
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The new movie continues the "Bourne" tradition of exciting, reality-based thrillers, but when the series lost its star it lost most of is soul. [13 & 20 Aug. 2012, p.96]
    • The New Yorker
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Cronenberg has made an eccentric and beautiful-looking movie - a languid, deadpan, conceptualist joke.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The intricate baseball knowledge that gets passed back and forth among the characters in Trouble with the Curve is much more interesting than the moral simplicities that the movie offers. [8 Oct. 2012, p.87]
    • The New Yorker
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    For Apatow, one guesses, the only things that can forestall death are comedy (the movie is full of superb comics, including Albert Brooks and Melissa McCarthy) and the flourishing of his children, Maude and Iris, who appear in the movie as Debbie and Pete's daughters.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    In all, these men and women don't seem to have the seething ambitions and the restlessness of so many Americans. They don't expect to get rich, somehow, next year. They may be happier than we are but they're also less colorful. [28 Jan. 2012, p.80]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Singer honors a child's desire not only for adventure but for noble deeds, for loyalty and friendship. [18 March 2013, p.87]
    • The New Yorker
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Redford’s patient earnestness — not always a virtue in his earlier work as a director — produces something honorable and absorbing.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    It’s good-natured and raucous, with many scenes that are just sketched but a few that are truly funny.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Citing Chekhov at this early time in Swanberg's career may be unfair, but an amiable movie like Drinking Buddies cried out for the revelations that a great dramatist--or even a talented screenwriter and director working together--can give us. [9 Sept. 2013, p.90]
    • The New Yorker
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    A superb martial discipline has ended in a commercial movie genre--not the worst fate in the world, but the comic irony of it is of little interest to a director bent on glorification. [9 Sept. 2013, p.90]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    The Armstrong Lie goes on forever, perhaps because Gibney can’t believe that, like everyone else, he’s been had. Again and again, he looks for elements of moral clarity (never mind remorse) in Armstrong, and the cyclist looks back at Gibney (and at us) as if he were a fool.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Lone Survivor will not please people exasperated by an endless war, but it's an achievement nonetheless. [6 Jan. 2014, p. 73]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Like most porn, even art porn, Nymphomaniac falls apart at the end. Von trier even seems to be pranking the audience. But the director has at last created a genuine scandal -- a provocation worth talking about. [24 March 2014, p.84]
    • The New Yorker
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    It's only at the end of Blue Ruin that my pleasure drained away. [28 April 2014, p.86]
    • The New Yorker
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    22 Jump Street is hardly fresh, but the picture has enough energy to get by.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    Sappy but engaging. [7 & 14 July 2014, p.95]
    • The New Yorker
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 David Denby
    It's an accomplished, stately movie -- unimpassioned but pleasing. [28 July 2014, p.78]
    • The New Yorker