For 625 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: 66
Highest review score: 100 Fruitvale Station
Lowest review score: 10 Dogville
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 625
625 movie reviews
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The movie holds one in its surly grip, but when it's over, few people, I think, are likely to be haunted by it. Futility may work as a mood in a short story, but in a full-scale movie it doesn't bear looking at for very long. (29 Oct 2001, p. 92)
    • The New Yorker
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Damon may be too young, too unformed, to play an amnesiac. Gazing at that blank face, we can't imagine that Bourne has any experiences or memories to forget. [17 & 24 June 2002, p. 176]
    • The New Yorker
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The movie is so discreet and respectful that, outside the classroom, within whose walls the glory of French literature and language triumph, it never quite comes to life. [16 April 2012, p. 86]
    • The New Yorker
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The scenes of the musicians rehearsing or talking about music, with the actors playing parts of Opus 131 themselves (the longer stretches are played by the Brentano Quartet), are fascinating and moving for anyone who loves this music; the rest of the movie is conventional.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Estevez has made a vague gesture at a large, metaphoric structure without having the dramatic means to achieve it. His choreography of the panic and misery in the hotel after the shooting is impressive, and some of the actors do fine in their brief roles. But his script never rises above earnest banality, and we are constantly being taught little lessons in tolerance and humanity:
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The Terminal is highly crafted whimsy; it lacks any compelling reason to exist, and its love story is a dud. Ever bashful when it comes to boy-girl stuff, Spielberg has structured the relationship between Amelia and Viktor to be as asexual as possible.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Soderbergh ends the movie with a few jokes, which is casual and neat but leaves you wondering whether the practice of making enormous movies about nothing isn't a little mad.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    This bio-pic, written by Abi Morgan and directed by Phyllida Lloyd, is an oddly unsettled compound of glorification and malice. It whirts around restlessly and winds up nowhere. [2 Jan. 2012, p.78]
    • The New Yorker
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Inception, is an astonishment, an engineering feat, and, finally, a folly.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The extreme innocence of Rose (Andrea Riseborough), the young girl whom Pinkie seduces in order to keep her quiet, is no longer very convincing, or even interesting.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Considered as a sequel, Be Cool is not an insult, but it’s a lazy, rhythmless, and redundant piece of moviemaking.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Even as Cold Weather approaches nullity, it gives some pleasure. [7 Feb. 2011, p. 83]
    • The New Yorker
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Elegant nonsense. For some years, it's been clear that De Palma's work has lost the jolting intellectual energy and wit of his "Carrie" and "Dressed to Kill" days, and in Femme Fatale the Master is just diddling. [25 November 2002, p. 108]
    • The New Yorker
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Almost nothing engages us emotionally. [8 Oct. 2012, p.86]
    • The New Yorker
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The movie’s heart is certainly in the right place--it’s a quietly outraged work--but I wish there were more excitement in it from moment to moment.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Walk Hard runs down quickly, and suffers further from having the wide-eyed and weightless Reilly as its star.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Even judged by the not excessively demanding standards of middle-aged renovation fantasies, A Good Year isn’t much.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Reitman is a witty filmmaker, but here he seems a little disconnected, too.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    With the exception of Jake Gyllenhaal, whose shambling self-disgust hits the only genuine note, the movie is a classic of Hollywood miscasting and ambition gone askew.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The Oxford theory is ridiculous, yet the filmmakers go all the way with it, producing endless scenes of indecipherable court intrigue in dark, smoky rooms, and a fashion show of ruffs, farthingales, and halberds. The more far-fetched the idea, it seems, the more strenuous the effort to pass it off as authentic.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    A virtual textbook of action clichés.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The movie is a divertissement; it's lightweight and almost meaningless except for the fights, which are extraordinarily violent. [30 Jan. 2012, p.79]
    • The New Yorker
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Somehow the movie that Rob Marshall has made from Golden's novel is a snooze. How did he and the screenwriter, Robin Swicord, let their subject get away from them?
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The Wolf of Wall Street is a fake. It’s meant to be an exposé of disgusting, immoral, corrupt, obscene behavior, but it’s made in such an exultant style that it becomes an example of disgusting, obscene filmmaking. It’s actually a little monotonous; spectacular, and energetic beyond belief, but monotonous in the way that all burlesques become monotonous after a while.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Sean Penn’s Into the Wild is certainly visual--it’s entirely too visual, to the point of being cheaply lyrical.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Zwick can’t find anything fresh in this deeply pious East-meets-West stuff. The movie comes close to dying between battle scenes. [8 December 2003, p. 139]
    • The New Yorker
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The movie's conceits are just barely endurable, but the sharpness of Dörrie's eye--for Tokyo's electric night, for Fuji's iconographic landscapes, for cherry blossoms--sustains emotion even when story logic fails.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The ineluctable downward pull of absolutely everything in this movie is more exasperating than moving. [12 January 2004, p. 86]
    • The New Yorker
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The filmmakers peddle fear and then try to claim the moral high ground; the treatment is foolish, confused, and borderline irresponsible.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    While re-creating the vast swing of German forces in and out of Russia, Kadelbach tries to capture the inner turmoil of two men. Call it half a victory.

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