Todd McCarthy

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For 1,631 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Todd McCarthy's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Hugo
Lowest review score: 0 Showgirls
Score distribution:
1631 movie reviews
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    This is one vintage film that fully lives up to its classic status and should play with outstanding success to contemporary audiences of all ages.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    It's the selective but cumulative use of seemingly arbitrary but significant experiences that gives Boyhood its distinctive character and impressive weight.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    A prodigious achievement that conveys the fabric of modern American life, aspirations and incidentally, sports, in close-up and at length, Hoop Dreams is a documentary slam dunk.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    Perhaps the nature of the story is such that the film can’t help but be obvious and quite melodramatic at times, but it gets better as it goes along and builds to a moving finish.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    Lonergan layers and then layers some more, allows his characters to stew, not always disclose themselves and then come to decisions and changes naturally, or after due deliberation. And they can relapse and not always be ready for the breakthrough moment toward which the story seems to be pointing. The result is something that feels more akin to a full meal than the usual cinematic popcorn.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    At once the most realistic and beautifully choreographed film ever set in space, Gravity is a thrillingly realized survival story spiked with interludes of breath-catching tension and startling surprise.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    Blanchett makes an indelible impression as a woman who, through breeding, intense personal cultivation and social expectations, has brilliantly mastered the skill of navigating through life.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    The film's power steadily and relentlessly builds over its long course, to a point that is terrifically imposing and unshakable.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    The two creators hit it off famously and collaborate with great ease on a journey driven by mutual curiosity and creative application.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 80 Todd McCarthy
    Walks a fine line between the rarefied and the immediately accessible as it explores new territory for animation, yet remains sufficiently crowd-pleasing.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    Dunkirk is an impressionist masterpiece. These are not the first words you expect to see applied to a giant-budgeted summer entertainment made by one of the industry's most dependably commercial big-name directors. But this is a war film like few others, one that may employ a large and expensive canvas but that conveys the whole through isolated, brilliantly realized, often private moments more than via sheer spectacle, although that is here too.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    It’s an audacious concept, and Docter’s imagination, along with those of his numerous collaborators, is adventurous and genially daft enough to put it over.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    A beautifully observed, small-scale study of personal foibles, romantic uncertainty and two sides of the sadly predictable male animal.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    The film abounds with pinpoint insights into its mildly rebellious heroine's hunger to shed the restraints of home and Catholic school and bust into an independent life, and does so with a wealth of keenly observed detail.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    Represents that filmmaking rarity -- a third part of a trilogy that is decisively the best of the lot. With epic conflict, staggering battles, striking landscapes and effects, and resolved character arcs all leading to a dramatic conclusion to more than nine hours of masterful storytelling.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    Brilliance of the action and effects are supplemented by a consistently superior and resourceful score by Tan Dun.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 60 Todd McCarthy
    This material cant help but be interesting, even compelling up to a point, but its prosaic presentation suggests that the story's full potential, encompassing deep, disturbing and enduring pain on all sides of the issue, has only begun to be touched.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    For Chazelle to be able to pull this off the way he has is something close to remarkable. The director's feel for a classic but, for all intents and purposes, discarded genre format is instinctive and intense.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    This is a gorgeously made character study leavened with surrealistic dimensions both comic and dark, an unsparing look at a young man who, unlike some of his contemporaries, can’t transcend his abundant character flaws and remake himself as someone else.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    Boldly and magnificently strange, There Will Be Blood marks a significant departure in the work of Paul Thomas Anderson.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Todd McCarthy
    It's hard to find the genuine heartfelt moments in The Lucky Ones.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    A frank, intimate look at a phenomenal popular artist and his extraordinarily dysfunctional family, Crumb is an excellent countercultural documentary.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 70 Todd McCarthy
    There is plenty of good work to be found here, and pic certainly grabs the viewer by the collar in a way not found everyday in contemporary films.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    The Rider is a rare gem, a small, acutely observed portrait of a few lives on what used to be the frontier but is now a desolate backwater, the windswept badlands around Pine Ridge, South Dakota.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    If the original Apocalypse Now was a narrow, swiftly flowing river that gradually closed in on the patrol boat carrying Captain Willard into the heart of darkness, Apocalypse Now Redux is a wide river of greater depth, more variable currents and some fascinating new ports of call.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    Looks to please the book's legions of fans with its imaginatively scrupulous rendering of the tome's characters and worlds on the screen, as well as the uninitiated with its uninterrupted flow of incident and spectacle.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    The thoughts may not be profound, but they are profoundly true to life,and the writer-director’s approach to young people’s concerns is remarkably universal and timeless.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    There are some unsatisfactory elements–slow spots occur during the middle stretch, the mild anti-establishment stance is getting to be a bit cliche and one never knows whether E.T.’s mortal illness is physical or psychological in nature, or both. But, as with “Close Encounters,” the truly lovely and moving ending more than makes up for everything. Chalk up another smash for Spielberg.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    A scorching blast of tense genre filmmaking shot through with rich veins of melancholy, down-home philosophy and dark, dark humor, No Country for Old Men reps a superior match of source material and filmmaking talent.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    This is one hot, provocative, revelatory and astonishing documentary, one sure to provoke enthralled interest and controversy wherever it is shown worldwide.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    Ida
    Frame by frame, Ida looks resplendently bleak, its stunning monochromes combining with the inevitable gloomy Polish weather and communist-era deprivations to create a harsh, unforgiving environment.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    To say 13th is stimulating and thought-provoking is the understatement of the year.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    An astonishingly good and daring film that richly develops several intertwined thematic lines, The Crying Game takes giant risks that are stunningly rewarded.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Todd McCarthy
    Towelhead is transgressive without being effectively subversive, gutsy to no particular end. It simply lacks style, which counts for so much in this sort of thing.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    An irresistible treat with enough narrative twists and memorable characters for a half-dozen films.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    A searingly visceral combat picture, Steven Spielberg’s third World War II drama is arguably second to none as a vivid, realistic and bloody portrait of armed conflict.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    Her
    This is a probing, inquisitive work of a very high order, although it goes a bit slack in the final third and concludes rather conventionally compared to much that has come before.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Todd McCarthy
    Very clever and imaginative indeed, and its pictures are so gorgeous that they alone could warrant a second viewing.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    As deliriously smart escapist fare, The Incredibles is practically nonpareil.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Todd McCarthy
    More gentle and modestly insightful than it is exhilarating or revelatory.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    More unconventional and downright weird on a moment-to-moment basis than it is in overall design and intent, it's a singular work played out mostly in small rooms that harks back to psychological melodramas of the 1940s/50s but hits stylistic notes entirely its own.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    Taking advantage of a splendid cast, a sharply focused script and the fresh English setting, "Gosford Park" emerges as one of the most satisfying of Robert Altman's numerous ensemble pictures.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    The first two Max features ran barely 90 minutes and it takes guts and real confidence to dare push a straight chase film with very little dialogue to two hours. But Miller has pulled it off by coming up with innumerable new elements to keep the action compelling.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    A gemlike picture crafted with rare and immaculate precision.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 Todd McCarthy
    Unassuming, idiosyncratic and set in the run-down eponymous New Jersey city that has produced more than its share of noted personalities, this is a mild-mannered, almost startlingly undramatic work that offers discreet pleasures to longtime fans of the New York indie-scene veteran.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    Lee takes a conventional, talking-heads-and-archival-clips approach to the material, but rewardingly establishes an intimate connection with his subjects by devoting considerable time to the personalities and families of the four victims.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    This is a beautifully crafted film loaded with glancing insights and observations into an understated triangular relationship, one rife with subtle perceptions about class privilege, reverberating family legacies, creative confidence, self-invention, sexual jealousy, justice and revenge.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    Artist evinces unlimited love for the look and ethos of the 1920s as well for the style of the movies. The filmmakers clearly did their homework and took great pleasure in doing so, an enjoyment that is passed along in ample doses to any viewer game for their nifty little conceit.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Todd McCarthy
    An intense, precision-controlled psychological mystery built around a very creepy lead performance by Christian Bale.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    If films about coping with memory loss and/or reverse-order storytelling now constitute a mini-genre, then Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is arguably the best of the lot.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    Taken together, "Flags" and "Letters" represent a genuinely imposing achievement, one that looks at war unflinchingly -- that does not deny its necessity but above all laments the human loss it entails.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Todd McCarthy
    The antithesis of “let’s-put-on-a-show” fluff, Whiplash...is about the wages of all-out sacrifice and commitment.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    It stands as a unique film-within-a-film, of significance for the historical value of the raw images, the memories they spur and internal evidence of how the Nazis staged scenes long assumed to be real.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    Constant lateral tracks, push-ins, whip-pans, camera moves timed to dialogue, title cards, chapter headings, miniatures, use of stop-action, fetishization of clothing and props, absurdist predicaments — all the techniques Anderson has honed over the years — are used to pinpoint effect here.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    No matter one's personal stance about what Snowden did, this revelatory work is fascinating and thought-provoking, if, at the same time, oddly lacking in tension; unlike the provocations of Michael Moore or Oliver Stone, the temperature of this film is very cool.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    Technically superb and witty in an old-fashioned, veddy British way that will delight many adults but will sail over the heads of young audiences.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    Up
    A captivating odd-couple adventure that becomes funnier and more exciting as it flies along.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    Robert Redford's handsome, smartly constructed new film stands likely to capture the imagination of the educated, culturally inclined public.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    Toy Story 2 is to "Toy Story" what "The Empire Strikes Back" was to its predecessor, a richer, more satisfying film in every respect.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Todd McCarthy
    The actors are all seen to very good advantage. Boseman certainly holds his own, but there are quite a few charismatic supporting players here keen to steal every scene they can — and they do, notably the physically imposing Jordan, the radiant Nyong'o and especially Wright, who gives her every scene extra punch and humor.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    The film's exhilarating originality, black comedy and tone that is at once empathetic and acidic will surely strike a strong chord with audiences looking for something fresh that will take them somewhere they haven't been before.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    Has a sharper narrative focus and a livelier sense of forward movement than did the more episodic "Fellowship."
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    A powerfully intimate domestic drama, Ordinary People represents the height of craftsmanship across the board.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    This handsomely produced period piece is easily the most emotionally effective bigscreen melodrama since "The Joy Luck Club," as well as the most intelligent.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    Classily and classically crafted in the best sense by director John Crowley and screenwriter Nick Hornby, this superbly acted romantic drama is set in the early 1950s and provides the feeling of being lifted into a different world altogether, so transporting is the film’s sense of time and place and social mores.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    A remarkably vibrant and frank look at one precocious teen’s emerging sexual life — a film with the stuff of life coursing through its veins and sex very much on its brain.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Todd McCarthy
    Redford, who can’t avoid exuding charisma, plays this role with utter naturalism and lack of histrionics or self-regard.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    An enthrallingly intimate look at the brilliant, troubled and always charismatic screen legend.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    Errol Morris delivers a compelling, thoughtful and entirely involving documentary in The Fog of War.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    Remarkably funny and entirely convincing, film pulls off the rare accomplishment of being an in-drag comedy which also emerges with three-dimensional characters.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Todd McCarthy
    This ostensible gay Western is marked by a heightened degree of sensitivity and tact, as well as an outstanding performance from Heath Ledger.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    Fully justifying the decision, once thought purely mercenary, of splitting J.K. Rowling's final book into two parts, this is an exciting and, to put it mildly, massively eventful finale that will grip and greatly please anyone who has been at all a fan of the series up to now.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    Particle Fever succeeds on every level, but none more important than in making the normally intimidating and arcane world of genius-level physics at least conceptually comprehensible and even friendly to the lay viewer.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    James has done a wonderful job of telling a colorful life story.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Todd McCarthy
    Can be taken to task for its overt point-making, lackluster style and some late-on dramatic contrivances seemingly dragged in to provide a little violence.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Todd McCarthy
    Cheeky in its approach as well as spirited and good-natured, this enterprising adaptation of the author’s relatively unfamiliar early novella Lady Susan remains buoyant through most of its short running time but lacks the stirring emotional hooks found in the best Austen works, on the page as well as the screen.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Todd McCarthy
    Tony Kushner's densely packed script has been directed by Spielberg in an efficient, unpretentious way that suggests Michael Curtiz at Warner Bros. in the 1940s, right down to the rogue's gallery of great character actors in a multitude of bewhiskered supporting roles backing up a first-rate leading performance by Daniel Day-Lewis.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Todd McCarthy
    Overall, it’s a decent shot at a tall target, but real credit is due the lead actors, with Larson expanding beyond the already considerable range she’s previously shown with an exceedingly dimensional performance in a role that calls for running the gamut, and Tremblay always convincing without ever becoming cloying.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Todd McCarthy
    [A] wryly poignant and potent comic drama about the bereft state of things in America’s oft-vaunted heartland.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    Driven by fantastic energy and a torrent of vivid images of India old and new, Slumdog Millionaire is a blast.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    Staying at the top of his game when most of his contemporaries have long since hung up their gloves, Clint Eastwood delivers another knockout punch with Million Dollar Baby.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    Wickedly funny.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    King of the Hill has all the rich satisfactions of a fine novel.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Todd McCarthy
    Beautifully acted by a diverse ensemble, this Good Machine production is carefully crafted and deliberately paced.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Todd McCarthy
    Nobody's Fool is a gentle, flavorsome story of a loose-knit, dysfunctional family whose members essentially include every glimpsed citizen of a small New York town. Fronted by a splendid performance from Paul Newman as a spirited man who has made nothing of his life, Robert Benton's character-driven film is sprinkled with small pleasures; the dramatic developments here don't take place in the noisy, calamitous manner that is customary these days.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    Argo is a crackerjack political thriller told with intelligence, great period detail and a surprising amount of nutty humor for a serious look at the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-81.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    Enormously ambitious and masterfully made, Traffic represents docudrama-style storytelling at a very high level.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    Two things stand out: the extraordinary command of cinematic technique, which alone is nearly enough to keep a connoisseur on the edge of his seat the entire time, and the tremendous portrayals by Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman of two entirely antithetical men
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    Heineman offers up a double portrait of devastation, of a truly destroyed city and of partially decimated survivors, leaving the viewer with an empathetic sense of deep sorrow.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    A script as fresh and distinctive as any produced in the States in recent memory.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    It's very much an art piece, to be sure, but it feels like a genuine one that, while meditated, speaks fluently and truly for the place, people and culture it so indelibly depicts.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    A pounding, pulsating thriller that provides an almost constant adrenaline surge for nearly two hours.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 50 Todd McCarthy
    Surprisingly lacks a feeling of personal urgency and insight that would have made it a distinctive, even unique contribution to the considerable number of films that deal with the war in general and Holocaust in particular.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    Jenkins brings a rigor, intelligence and eye for the slightly absurd to the proceedings that is instantly disarming.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    Pairing his usual boundary-pushing sex-and-drugs fixation with a vital presentation of wildly exuberant dance and movement, Gaspar Noe has made a film that’s seductive in its rhythms and bold visualization of his young dancers’ sometimes beautiful, other times brutal somatic expressiveness.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 40 Todd McCarthy
    Engagingly intriguing throughout most of its slightly overlong running time, and perhaps the strangely mesmerizing mood Lynch has orchestrated for the entire "Twin Peaks" undertaking should not be underestimated at this juncture. But the feeling persists that, to a considerable degree, Lynch is marking time with this project, creating new riffs and variations on themes he had already largely worked out.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Todd McCarthy
    This reworking of a popular Hong Kong picture pulses with energy, tangy dialogue and crackling performances from a fine cast.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Todd McCarthy
    Carey Mulligan shines in a captivating performance.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Todd McCarthy
    Clint Eastwood has crafted a tense, hard-edged, superbly dramatic yarn that is also an exceedingly intelligent meditation on the West, its myths and its heroes.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Todd McCarthy
    The movie's concerns are obvious, not subtle, and while intellectual energy abounds, laying in subtext, building underlying tension physical and creating visual dynamism are not Schrader's strong suits.

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