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Sunshine Cleaning Review Critics


Dave White Profile

How not to make an indie comedy. 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.

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    This peachcolored comedy about a wacky family who shove their sadness into a bulging closet is being marketed as ''from the producers of Little Miss Sunshine'' All that's missing from the formula is a Volkswagen Microbus.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    You'll miss out on some really great stuff if you don't see this surprising movie.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Amy Adams and Emily Blunt are two highly attractive, naturally funny actresses on the cusp of stardom so their pairing here as two lost souls is genius.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Dark humor intersperses with poignant moments. Though the conclusion feels forced, the movie works.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    The director, New Zealander Christine Jeffs ("Sylvia"), loosens the plotting as best she can, letting the interactions breathe. Her work, and the film, is strictly about the performers.

    Read Full Review

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Adult dramedy has unusual mix of laughs, gore, heavy themes.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this dramedy, in addition to taking on mature themes like suicide and infidelity, is quite gory. The many post-death scenes include disturbing shots of things like pools of blood on ceilings, floors, and walls; human flesh awaiting clean up; and a brief flash of a suicide victim awaiting discovery. There's also lots of talk about death, and the fact that the adult characters are unable to find direction till the end clearly affects the one child in their midst. All of that said, the movie does have a lot of heart and, in the end, a hopeful message. But to get to the uplift, viewers have to endure a pretty grueling journey.

  • Families can talk about whether the movie's scenes of blood and gore have more impact because it's a comedy rather than a horror movie. Are these scenes scary, disturbing, neither, or both?
  • Families can also discuss the characters' search for a way out of their present condition. What drives them?
  • Though the central family is clearly dysfunctional, what's positive about their relationships? What is it about families that make them drive each other crazy but give each other hope, too?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Although the movie ultimately has a hopeful message and reinforces the importance of family ties, it's not exactly straightforward. Characters constantly disappoint each other, and there are many grim themes related to death and loss.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Despite many flaws, the family members are close, and they see each other through both ups and downs. But back to those flaws: A single woman continually hooks up with a married man, and another woman fails to honor a work commitment, leaving her sister/business partner to deal with a major accident. A grandfather means well but takes a long time to finally get his act together. Also, a child appears to be having a hard time adjusting to school, and his teachers seem quite harsh.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Only one scene actually depicts active violence -- a man commits suicide in public by shooting himself with a rifle in the first 15 minutes of the movie. But since the film is about a service for cleaning crime scenes, biohazards, etc., viewers see lots of the after effects of violence, including blood on mattresses, chairs, and other places; bits of brain and other flesh on the floor; and a severed finger. Another scene shows children discovering a woman who's slit her wrists. There are also a few loud fights.

  • sex false3

    Sex: A woman is shown trysting with a married man many times; she's usually wearing nothing but her underwear, and they kiss and grope each other. A man is shown grinding on a woman while she lies there, uninterested; he's shirtless, and she is, for the most part, clothed. A woman flirts with another by pretending to bite a necklace she's wearing.

  • language false4

    Language: A grown-up explains the meaning of the word "bastard" to a child and (affectionately) calls him that. Other words include several uses of "s--t" and "f--k," as well as "bulls--t," "dumbass," damn," "goddamn," and "oh my God."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A woman smokes pot. Some casual drinking.