David Denby

Fellini’s Roma

Fellini’s Roma | Review by David Denby

In Fellini’s Roma, the director has totally liberated his obsessions from the discipline of telling a story or developing a character or even maintaining a comprehensible point of view.

The Sorrow and the Pity (1969)

The Sorrow and the Pity (1969) – Review by David Denby

One of the greatest films ever made, “The Sorrow and The Pity” is a contribution to history, to social psychology, to anthropology, and to art. If there’s any justice in the world, Marcel Ophüls’ monumental labor will be studied and debated for years.

Anjelica Huston and Martin Landau in Crimes and Misdemeanors

Crimes and Misdemeanors | Review by David Denby

Woody Allen, to our relief, has decided to embrace the movies—a story, dramatic tension, complications—rather than “art,” with the result that he’s more of a moviemaker and perhaps more of an artist than before.

Kagemusha

Kagemusha | Review by David Denby

Spectacular yet severe, violent yet gravely formal, Kagemusha is marked by an overall nobility of style that extends to every gesture, stance, or movement.

Pulp Fiction | Review by David Denby

Tarantino serves up low-life characters and situations from old novels and movies, and he revels in every manner of pulp flagrancy—murder and betrayal, drugs, sex, and episodes of sardonically distanced sadomasochism.

Night and the City

Night and the City | Review by David Denby

Night and the City is based on a Jules Dassin B-movie from 1950 (same title), but its true spiritual antecedent, I suspect, is Sweet Smell of Success, the wonderfully ambivalent melodrama about the pleasures and corruptions of New York night-life in the late fifties, starring Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster.

Little Big Man (1970)

LITTLE BIG MAN: AMERICANA

In Little Big Man, Arthur Penn uses the mode of comic elegy in order to sustain a reverent feeling for the American past without falling into sentimentality

Straw Dogs (1971)

Straw Dogs (1971) – Review by David Denby

Although Peckinpah’s general attitudes turn out to be reactionary to the point of madness, he has never functioned better as a filmmaker: Straw Dogs is a hateful but very exciting movie.