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David Denby Stepping Down as New Yorker Film Critic

David Denby Stepping Down as New Yorker Film Critic

This story has been updated.

David Denby is stepping aside as one of the New Yorker’s film critics after 16 years in the position. Although a tweet by his colleague John Lahr, which wished him “Farewell” and congratulated him on “a distinguished sixteen year ride,” seemed to indicate Denby was leaving the magazine, that is not the case. (Criticwire previously reported it was; we regret the error.) Instead, Denby will remain as a staff writer with an office at the magazine’s new location, focusing, as he said in an email, on “longer pieces on movies and other things,” and “contribut[ing] to the web when I have something juicy to say.” Denby’s previous position will not be filled, and Anthony Lane will remain as the New Yorker’s sole staff film critic.

New Yorker director of communications Natalie Raabe emailed the following statement:

"David Denby is most definitely not leaving The New Yorker. He is going to give up his fortnightly reviewing in early 2015 but will continue as a staff writer, contributing longer critic-at-large pieces to the magazine (on films, books, and likely other subjects). Anthony Lane will become the magazine's sole film critic and Richard Brody will continue at The Front Row on Between their work and David's contributions, there will be no shortage of film coverage. 

(This is not dissimilar to the situation with theater: Hilton Als is our theater critic, while John Lahr just published a long profile of Al Pacino (who has a play in the works in 2015), with more to come.)"

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Frankly im going to agree somewhat about with Donald. Film Critics wouldn’t have a job. If Film itself didn’t exist. So they kind of like a parasites. Beside i stop listening to film critics when they told me Star Trek Into Darkness was better than Wrath of Khan.


Donald, your view is sadly misguided. You sound like those politicians who say they should be able to speak "over the filters" of the press, directly to the supposedly discriminating public. But guess what: only a few people are actually paying attention to the context and consistency of what professional liars are saying, just as there are only so many people who pay close attention to what’s happening in world cinema, have a repository of knowledge about its history, and can articulate those things in entertaining fashion. Sorry you don’t know or appreciate that. But really, what’s the problem? Don’t like? Don’t read.


Just read his review of Inception. With a review like that who the f*** cares what he thinks anyway huh? Good riddance.

Michael Intriere

The better the film critic, the more they make you think. The only thinking I’ve done when reading David Denby is "What idiot wrote this?"


Nobody can see everything, Donald, not even everything that seems of interest based on a short synopsis. Without film critics, we’d have nothing to go on other than trailers and posters and fawning chats with the stars on talk shows. Long live the film critics.


If a film critic was actually competent to make a film, they would. When they realize how hard it is, they sit back in their rocking chair and pretend to be apart of a tradition that has rejected them because they have nothing special to contribute themselves. No film critic has never made a filmmaker a better filmmaker in the history of Cinema. It goes against the principle of filmmaking altogether. The subjective nature of cinema is to be critiqued by each audience member as there own unique experience. One persons opinion being projected as an authority is what keeps cinema from progressing into different forms that are not as commercially main stream as the generic movies most critics review for click bait and connection to something bigger than the little world the "critic" lives in. Here’s a new suspense flick for all you film lovers out there. OkieDown


Wait a minute…Donald L Vasicek Why are you visiting such a site if critics are such a "poison"?



Just another old white male telling us his opinions. Good riddance. More women and POC in film criticism ASAP.


Considering how many movies they watch each year, I’m pretty sure most film critics go into each screening hoping that they’re going to see something good that will excite them rather than "I hope I’m going to spend two hours watching a boring piece of crap because I want to destroy someone’s career."

The Pope

@ Donald L. Vasicek. I think you hold your position because you don’t understand the true function of a film critic. No film critic is there to "tear films apart." That is not criticism. Any mindless fool can do that. A good film critic can not only recognise the flaws in a film, but can also see why a film is good. And as for a critics destroying a filmmakers career… no critic has ever held such power. The only people who can do thatare studio executives, audiences and… directors themselves.

Donald L. Vasicek

Why are film critics looked up to? Why? Their bottom line is to tear apart films made by hard-working filmmakers who have no desire to fool anyone. Film critics have destroyed filmmakers’ careers, and in some cases, their lives. You do the research, you’ll see who. The fine point of this posting is, to me, film critics are parasites. They feed off of hard-working filmmakers who are in the trenches bleeding and sweating to make their films. Film critics sit on their asses and poke away at that hard work. And, hey, world, guess what, how many times have you walked out of a movie and argued with your date or wife or husband or friend, etc. the good and bads of the movie you just watched together? I would bet that more times than none. The point is film is subjective. What one person likes, the next person might not like. So, to make film critics "Gods" is really saying you are allowing a complete stranger to help you make up your mind about whether a film is good or bad. Lose the film critics. Make up your own mind by watching the film, period.

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