Carol

Carol Image
Metascore
95

Universal acclaim - based on 44 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 405 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , , , ,
  • Summary: Set in 1950s New York, two women from very different backgrounds find themselves in the throes of love. A young woman in her 20s, Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara), is a clerk working in a Manhattan department store and dreaming of a more fulfilling life when she meets Carol (Cate Blanchett), anSet in 1950s New York, two women from very different backgrounds find themselves in the throes of love. A young woman in her 20s, Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara), is a clerk working in a Manhattan department store and dreaming of a more fulfilling life when she meets Carol (Cate Blanchett), an alluring woman trapped in a loveless, convenient marriage. As an immediate connection sparks between them, the innocence of their first encounter dims and their connection deepens. While Carol breaks free from the confines of marriage, her husband (Kyle Chandler) threatens her competence as a mother when Carol’s involvement with Therese and close relationship with her best friend Abby (Sarah Paulson) comes to light. As Carol leaves the comfort of home to travel with Therese, an internal journey of self-discovery coincides with her new sense of space. [TWC] Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 44
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 44
  3. Negative: 0 out of 44
  1. Reviewed by: Moira Macdonald
    Dec 25, 2015
    100
    You leave the film’s soft-grained world reluctantly, as if taking off a warm coat when it’s still a little chilly inside.
  2. Reviewed by: Kevin Harley
    Nov 23, 2015
    100
    Under Haynes’ sure hand, Blanchett and Mara deliver a love story to melt to. Every glance means something, no strain shows: it’s filmmaking as natural as breathing.
  3. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    May 18, 2015
    100
    A nuanced tale of mutual attraction that reflects a filmmaker and cast operating at the height of their powers, rendering complex circumstances in strikingly personal terms.
  4. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Dec 24, 2015
    100
    In Carol, all the elements dovetail perfectly to create a movie that is as irresistible as its title character.
  5. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Dec 24, 2015
    90
    Carol is a simple story that sneaks up on you. Todd Haynes takes such care in the telling of it — and the gorgeous depiction of it — that it's impossible not to be moved.
  6. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Dec 23, 2015
    88
    Director Haynes has a knack for framing his characters with just the right touch. There are no throwaway shots in this film.
  7. Reviewed by: Steve Macfarlane
    Oct 2, 2015
    75
    The film dares its viewers to consider that--for a couple of hours, at least--even when a thing seems too good to be true, it might not be.

See all 44 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 84
  2. Negative: 19 out of 84
  1. Jan 21, 2016
    10
    As powerful as David Lean's Brief Encounter, as luscious as Douglas Sirk's films without ever stepping into melodrama territory, Carol mightAs powerful as David Lean's Brief Encounter, as luscious as Douglas Sirk's films without ever stepping into melodrama territory, Carol might be one of the most romantic films you'll see in your life. A masterclass in acting the 'unsaid' words, with a brilliant and sure direction by Haynes. What a feast! Expand
  2. Jan 2, 2016
    10
    Amazing movie and along with Spotlight my favorite movies of 2015. Todd Haynes is brilliant at recreting 1950's NY. Cate Blanchett anotherAmazing movie and along with Spotlight my favorite movies of 2015. Todd Haynes is brilliant at recreting 1950's NY. Cate Blanchett another Oscar nomination. Art direction is gorgeous. Expand
  3. Nov 29, 2015
    10
    Breathtaking—every bit emotionally brilliant as it is visually stunning. Todd Haynes has crafted a masterpiece with the very capable help ofBreathtaking—every bit emotionally brilliant as it is visually stunning. Todd Haynes has crafted a masterpiece with the very capable help of Phyllis Nagy’s script - and two career-best performances from Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. With its against-the-grain subject matter and a sweetly, compelling love story, CAROL will go on to be one of the greatest romances. Expand
  4. Jan 2, 2016
    7
    Beautifully executed with great cinematography, wonderful acting by Cate and OK acting from Rooney. The film to me was an ordinaryBeautifully executed with great cinematography, wonderful acting by Cate and OK acting from Rooney. The film to me was an ordinary (uninteresting) love story between two women. If the story was about a heterosexual couple it would have received none of the attention since the characters are dull and chemistry between them thin at best. It is, however, a realistic story that happens between people a lot and as such can be interesting to people who have experienced something similar. Expand
  5. Dec 7, 2015
    6
    Cate Blanchett is my favorite actress - The Talented Mr Ripley - one of my favorite films. So it's sad to say Carol is a disappointment thatCate Blanchett is my favorite actress - The Talented Mr Ripley - one of my favorite films. So it's sad to say Carol is a disappointment that never reaches the heights or depths of Brokeback Mountain. Yes, it reeks of atmosphere, style and subtleties but never seduces us. Blanchett ( a smoldering Rita Hayworth) and Mara (an innocent Audrey Hepburn) enter into a forbidden love that leaves their significant others whirling in an unaccepting world. Yet the lingering pace, the spit focus and a simple narrative kept me interested but never riveted. Good is not great - but gushing critics only help foster the mediocre product we have gotten from Hollywood over the past year. Mr. Haynes - please , sir, I want some more. Expand
  6. Jan 9, 2016
    5
    ""Carol" is an excellent movie with one major negative aspect and two minor quibbles but more about those later. There is no finding fault""Carol" is an excellent movie with one major negative aspect and two minor quibbles but more about those later. There is no finding fault with the cast as Cate Blanchett a wealthy married woman seeking a divorce from her husband Kyle Chandler. Blanchett has previously had an affair with Sarah Paulson, a school friend, and is now embarking on an affair with young, not rich, department store clerk, Rooney Mara. The latter is going with a dapper, rich, sort of snobbish boy played by Jake Lacey, though it is Blanchette who buys her the expensive camera she needs to further her pursuit of a career as a photographer. There is also John Magaro a poor, nice guy who works at the New York Times who might be able to help Mara get a job there but he also has feelings for her. Along with the minor figures in "Carol" each and every performer gives their best and in the case of Blanchett, Mara and Chandler that is high praise indeed.

    The director Todd Haynes, the screenwriter Phyllis Nagy, the perfect production design by Judy Becker, the camera work by Ed Lachman along with the costumes by Sandy Powell and the period music by Carter Burwell bring us a perfect picture of the early 1950s. Not only do we see the right cars like Blanchette's Packard and her full length creamy mink coat but the streets of New York, the Oak Room of the Plaza hotel but even more important the morality of that time regarding homosexuality and the blackmail that can ensue even from people who love you. Though wealth and class levels are brought forward they are done in subtle ways still getting the message across.

    There is nothing salacious or predatory about the older woman/younger woman really drifting into an affair with the older woman being who she is and the younger woman finding out who she is. Blanchett and Mara are completely believable in this journey they are taking together.

    Now we come to the negative aspect and the quibbles mentioning the latter first. It is very perplexing considering her love for her child that Blanchett would allow her child to be driven by Chandler who is drunk. Another 'driving' incident is that though we know they are wealth there is never any hint, suggestion, showing that they have a chauffeur though we do see the other household staff and yet in another scene we see Chandler stepping into the rear of a car and being driven away. Petty? Quibbling? Possibly but this is part of the negative aspect that found my very disappointing in "Carol". I am a sucker for a love story, whether it be between opposite or same sex couples, and yet, in spite of their top rate performances, and even their non-threatening sex scene, I felt nothing for this couple. I didn't, couldn't, find myself rooting for them.

    It is because of this feeling, this lack of being emotionally involved with what was going on in the film I find myself in a very small minority and would only recommend "Carol" if you have a 'thing' for the early 1950s!
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  7. Feb 13, 2016
    0
    Cate and the original screenplay saved this awfully directed movie.Cate and the original screenplay saved this awfully directed movie. ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************ Expand

See all 84 User Reviews

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