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The To Do List Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Why don't we don't? Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 60

    out of 100

    Village Voice Alan Scherstuhl

    Like first sex, writer-director Maggie Carey's debut feature, The To Do List, is quick and messy, fitfully pleasurable, full of promise but not quite adept at getting everyone off.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Like the fumbling around of first-time sex, The To Do List has its enjoyable moments but doesn't exactly feel like a peak experience.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Variety Scott Foundas

    This rare femme-centric addition to the loss-of-virginity canon (dominated by the likes of “Porky’s,” “Risky Business” and “American Pie”) hits its fair share of outrageously funny highs amid lots of so-so filler, but stays buoyant and likable throughout thanks to the winning presence of “Parks and Recreation” star Aubrey Plaza in the lead.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    The movie is pleasingly vulgar and, although there's no nudity, the whole thing is about sex.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Justin Lowe

    Making a convincingly assured feature debut, TV and web series writer-director Carey's script nails the raunchy-sweet tone required to bring off this R-rated teen-centered comedy with remarkable charm and relatability, mining a rich vein of girl-centered sexual curiosity and experimentation "loosely inspired" by personal experience.

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  • See all The To Do List reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Hilarious, but teen sex comedy has lots of raunch, drinking.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The To Do List is an early '90s-set comedy that focuses on a naive teenage girl's quest to learn all about sex during the summer before she goes away to college: She makes an extensive list of sexual acts and then spends the next few months checking things off. Expect lots of graphic discussions about sex and several scenes in which the main character (played by Aubrey Plaza) engages in various activities on her list, including oral sex and intercourse (everything is more suggested than shown, but it all adds up to an overall tone of raunchiness). A few scenes show her in her underwear or topless (seen from behind) but there's no graphic nudity. In addition to all the sexual content, there's also plenty of swearing ("f--k," "s--t," and more), heavy teen drinking/partying, and some characters smoking pot.

  • Families can talk about Brandy's approach to learning about sex. Do you think she's too clinical? What influences her perspective on the topic? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.
  • How does the movie depict teen drinking and drug use? Are there realistic consequences for either/both?
  • How do Brandy's activities affect the people around her, including her friends, her sister, and her study pal, Cameron?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The main character's central goal is to lose her virginity before college. She's surprised to learn that her physical actions trigger emotional reactions in her friends and sexual partners. Eventually, she gets a better grasp of both the emotional and physical aspects of physical relationships. 

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Brandy has a lot to learn -- not just about sex, but also about human relationships in general. As she becomes physically involved with guys, she slowly figures out how sex impacts her friendships: with guys, with her best pals, with her sister, and even with her parents.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: Some bickering between sisters and one relatively tame brawl between a teen boy and a college-age man.

  • sex false4

    Sex: The entire film is infused with sexuality, focusing on a teenage girl's quest to become sexually experienced and lose her virginity. There are many graphic discussions about various sex acts, and several scenes show her engaged in a variety of sexual activities, including giving and receiving oral sex and eventually having sex. But she approaches the task more like a research project than a search for love, and the scenes are surprisingly unsexy. And there's no graphic nudity, though one male character is often shirtless.

  • language false4

    Language: Frequent swearing includes "f--k," "s--t," "ass," "d--k," "bitch," "banged," "boner," "p---y," "t-t," "boob," "a--hole," "hell," "oh my God," "crap," and more. Also several graphic descriptions of sex acts and genitalia, sometimes using clinical terms and sometimes with more colloquial/colorful language. Some songs used in the movie also have strong language.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false4

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Lots of drinking. Teens get extremely wasted at parties -- on beer, wine coolers, and hard liquor. Some scenes also show people smoking pot and using drinking paraphernalia, including beer bongs. One adult character seems to be a functional alcoholic who drinks beer any time of the day or night. A few people smoke cigarettes.