"McGuire is profoundly forgettable as Nick, his existential trauma indiscernible from adolescent ennui."
-Christopher Orr, The Atlantic
"As Nick, Tobey Maguire has the same dazed-ingenue affect in both his drunken-past and sober-present incarnations..."
-David Edelstein, The Vulture
“Tobey is a jerk off,” Dan said of the actor Maguire, who is being sued for Ruderman’s losing hand to him, totaling $311,300...."He’s cheap as f**k and plays like a cheap b*tch… a guy who’s worth all that money playing as if he’s broke. Come on, dude.”
-Dan Blezarian, quoted in an article by Dylan Howard of RadarOnline.com
"Mr. Maguire's Nick is cheerlessly impressionable."
-Joel Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal
"The book saw no need to remind readers that we were being told a tale, yet Maguire consistently interrupts a film in which he is easily the least distinctive part."
-William Gross, Film.com
"...but Tobey Maguire is too ingratiating to play Nick Carraway"
-J.R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"He would not. Stop. Talking. It hurt my ears."
-dog from down the street
Tobey Maguire is his usual recessive presence, barely registering as either a dynamic part of the events he describes or their watchful witness.
-Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
Maguire, who does have the wry observational skills needed for Nick’s Midwestern decency, is directed toward a wide-eyed, one-note performance.
-Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News
But over-length, a swooningly indulged love story, and a fatuous Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway bring [The Great Gatsby] low.
-Ty Burr, The Boston Globe
Maguire drifts through his performance with the vacant smile of a forgettable lad sitting for his high school portrait.
-Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
Luhrmann would have been better served with Pee-wee as his Yale grad and World War I vet, ensconced in a carriage house on the grounds of Jay Gatsby's lavish Long Island estate. Pee-wee certainly would have brought more heft to the role than Maguire does...
But her Daisy is skin-deep. And Maguire's performance is callow and shallow.
-Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
Maguire is serviceable, but bland.
-Claudia Puig, USA Today
I used to love this book. But after listening to Tobey read so much of it, the book is ruined. I hate it now.
-F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of The Great Gatsby
The film looks as stiff and lifeless as a posh store window. Luhrmann and co-writer Craig Pearce take risks by conceiving Nick as an alcoholic writing the novel in an asylum. That made me crazy. But not as much as hearing Maguire narrate a scene and then speak it as dialogue...
-Peter Tavers, Rolling Stone
...and Tobey Maguire remains pale and goggle-eyed as our narrator, Nick.
-Stephen Witty, Newark Star-Ledger
Tobey Maguire was badly miscast as Nick Carraway
-aphroditebloise, Nytimes.com commenter
Oh, by the way. When [Tobey Maguire and Kristin Dunst are] in the park and he's created a spider-web for them to lay in. And this is supposed to be THEY ARE IN LOVE. They have the chemistry of like....two sacks of wet dog shit.
-Jason Mantzoukas, How Did This Movie Get Made, discussing Spider-Man 3
I read the "Official Gatsby" thread on Reddit. A majority of people on there praised Tobey Maguire's performance. As far as I'm concerned, Reddit no longer exists.
-Bill Murray, actor
...Nick Carraway (an unpersuasive Tobey Maguire).
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
Maguire's slightly aging boyishness has become tiresome by the film's second half...
-Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter
Worse still, he is no longer the centerpiece of the story, a task that falls into the incapable hands of the incompetent, miscast Tobey Maguire as Jay Gatsby’s friend, neighbor and all-seeing matchmaker and Daisy’s cousin, Nick Carraway. He might suffice as a callow Spider-Man, but as the film’s narrator, saying campy things like “They were careless, Tom and Daisy … they smash people and then retreat back into their vast world of money and carelessness …” Even with these masterful lines from the book, he just sounds like he’s reading from a college yearbook. Mr. Maguire is supposed to be the camera through which the tragedy unfolds, but he is light years away from possessing the range, craftsmanship and experience required to play a Fitzgerald hero.
-Rex Reed, New York Observer