For 628 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 4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Denby's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 At Berkeley
Lowest review score: 10 Wild Wild West
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 628
628 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Strange, empty movie, a metaphysical Cracker Jack box without a prize in its empty-calorie depths.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Nothing in the movie makes sense, but I prefer to think that Ride Along is just a badly told joke, rather than an insult to its audience.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Not even Neeson, with his strength and his wounded-giant vulnerability, can prevent our interest in Unknown from sliding into contempt.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The trouble with Holofcener's scheme is that the center of the movie is dead. Olivia has no drives or hopes or powerful regrets. She has nothing to say, and Aniston does most of her acting with her lower lip.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The Dark Knight is hardly routine--it has a kicky sadism in scene after scene, which keeps you on edge and sends you out onto the street with post-movie stress disorder.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    If you were to watch Lockout a few months from now, at home alone, it wouldn't produce more than a shrug. Movies this bad need to be revered in public places. Go see it in a mall, and try to sneak a beer or two in with you.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Like so many earnestly conceived morality tales, Promised Land is built around a man's quandaries. Any actor less skilled and sympathetic than Damon might have betrayed the material into obviousness. [14 Jan. 2013, p.78]
    • The New Yorker
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    On the Road is always on the verge of imparting some great truth, but it never arrives. [14 Jan. 2013, p.79]
    • The New Yorker
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The plot of Silver City is movieish in the extreme, with filthy abandoned mines subbing for the bars and alleys of urban noir, but it’s no more than mild cheese--“The Big Sleep” or “Chinatown” without the malice, rigorous design, and narrative epiphanies.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Near the end of the journey, chronicling Sunni car bombers in Iraq, he (Baer) talks sorrowfully of Muslims killing Muslims, and he concludes that suicide bombing has lost any coherent political meaning and has taken on an irresistible life of its own as a glamorous cult.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    Tintin is exhausting, and, for all its wonders, it wears one out well before it's over.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The unexciting look and feel of the movie wouldn’t have bothered me if the filmmakers had penetrated Hanssen’s skull a little.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 David Denby
    The Duplasses' sensitivity, which is genuine, yields too much tepid relationship-speak, and Marisa Tomei, one of the most appealing actresses in Hollywood, is left with little to play.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    Luhrmann's vulgarity is designed to win over the young audience, and it suggests that he's less a filmmaker than a music-video director with endless resources and a stunning absence of taste. [13 May 2013, p.78]
    • The New Yorker
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    The movie isn’t a desecration, but it’s action filmmaking, not America, that needs to be reborn.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    W.
    Richard Dreyfuss, hunching over and baring his teeth like a shark cruising off a Martha's Vineyard beach, does a wicked impersonation of Cheney. His relish for the part suggests that the movie should have been done not as an earnest bio-pic but as a satirical comedy -- as a contemporary "Dr. Strangelove," with a cast of satyrs and clowns.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    Second-rate bawdiness--that is, bawdiness without the wit of Boccaccio or Shakespeare or even Tom Stoppard--is more infantile than funny, and I’m not sure that the American playwright Jeffrey Hatcher, who concocted this piece for the stage and then adapted it into a movie, is even second-rate.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    The Recruit is quick and tense, and some of it is fun, but I didn't believe a single thing in it, and the over-all effect of the movie is to make one depressed that the Christmas "art" season is over. [27 January 2003, p. 94]
    • The New Yorker
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    Even Frances McDormand, the salt-of-the-earth actress who has warmed so many of the Coen brothers movies, falls into a queasy dead zone.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 David Denby
    I know there are intelligent people who are awed by this sort of deep-dish magical mystery tour, but surely something is wrong with a movie when you can't tell a live character from a dead one and you don't care which is which. [9 December 2002, p. 142]
    • The New Yorker

Top Trailers