So should Carey’s film legacy really be taken seriously? Absolutely. A man of a thousand tics and tricks, Carey could do more in a minute to make his characters leap off the screen than any supporting actor in movie history. Some have claimed he was too over-the-top and hammy, including a number of the directors and actors he worked with (and often alienated). But in retrospect there is not much doubt that he improved virtually every film in which he appeared – sometimes greatly so – and often the ones where you dare not blink for fear you’ll miss him.
– Carl Steward, “Timothy Carey: Noir’s Wildest Card”, Noir City Annual #2: The Best of the 2009 Noir City Sentinel (Film Noir Foundation, 2010)