Little Miss Sunshine Reviews

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Melissa Anderson
Time Out
February 3, 2007
All indie-movie families may start out unhappy in their own way, but by the time the final credits roll, everyone remains complacent, confident of their brood's superiority.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/6
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
November 10, 2006
Sunny or dark, comedy should never be as predictable as Little Miss Sunshine.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 10, 2006
... a scrappy human comedy that takes an honest path to laughs and is twice as funny and touching for it.
| Original Score: 3/4
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
November 10, 2006
... this isn't much more than a glorified sitcom, but it deftly dramatizes our conflicting desires for individuality and an audience to applaud it.
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Time Out
September 23, 2006
For a movie generated from the Amerindie algorithm of family dysfunction, road-trip catharsis and studied quirk, this dark-edged ensemble comedy often borders on the loveable.
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
August 18, 2006
Hilarious, profane and as much fun as you are going to have in a theater this summer.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
August 16, 2006
The funniest and most gracefully written, acted and directed dysfunctional-American-family farce comedy of the year thus far.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
August 14, 2006
Dayton and Faris satirize our win-win culture, but they don't miss a trick promoting Little Miss Sunshine for the winner's circle.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Tom Long
Detroit News
August 13, 2006
Little Miss Sunshine makes you want to gather all the kooks in your life and take a road trip.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
August 13, 2006
... a film of small and gratifying surprises.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
August 13, 2006
Smart and goofy, tender and laugh-out-loud funny, Little Miss Sunshine is the sleeper hit of the summer.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
August 12, 2006
... an amusing movie, viciously well-written and brilliantly acted.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
August 12, 2006
Unlike so many films that force life lessons down your throat, Little Miss Sunshine weaves them into the fabric of the story.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 12, 2006
... a road-trip movie with a big-enough heart to make the leap from specialty theaters to the suburban multiplex - where audiences can feel fortunate if they don't recognize themselves.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
August 10, 2006
The word 'quirky' is overused, but Little Miss Sunshine deserves the tag. As with Napoleon Dynamite, the quirkiness in this film comes from honest characters, not desperate-to-be-different caricatures in such films as Garden State.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
August 7, 2006
To the filmmakers' credit, they don't sugarcoat the creepiness. They mine it for the kind of laughter that makes you feel uncomfortable but also makes you think.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
August 4, 2006
If you think you've seen it all before in a family road movie, you owe it to yourself to see what happens when somebody actually comes up with a few bright ideas.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
August 4, 2006
Co-directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris have pulled off the essential ingredient for this kind of film: a cast that believably creates a family.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
August 4, 2006
You'll be delighted, if a bit breathless from laughing, to be along for the ride.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
August 4, 2006
Mildly diverting celebration of loserdom.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
August 4, 2006
Like all superior comedies, this one revolves around wonderful performances.
| Original Score: B+
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
August 4, 2006
A hard-to-resist, often riotous comedy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
August 4, 2006
It looks at the all-American obsession with winning and chortles darkly. You still come out of the movie wanting to give your family a hug.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
August 3, 2006
It comes closer to the truth about the way people really live -- on the edge of fantasy-driven desperation -- than our sanctimonies permit us to think.
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
August 3, 2006
Family-on-the-road comedies rarely burrow so deeply into their characters' personalities or delineate their messy domestic arrangements with such care.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Jennifer Frey
Washington Post
August 3, 2006
Little Miss Sunshine triumphs with acting performances that are, across the board, poignant, smart and real.
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Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
August 3, 2006
A comedy that is both hilarious and bold.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
August 3, 2006
To the extent that Little Miss Sunshine works, and you probably gather that its schematic cartoonishness didn't always work for me, it is because directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris genuinely like these people.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Jessica Reaves
Chicago Tribune
August 3, 2006
It's difficult to convey the sheer joy of watching these characters interact.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
July 27, 2006
A raucously entertaining slice of slapstick dressed up as domestic satire.
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Nathan Rabin
AV Club
July 27, 2006
It helps to have a cast stocked with ringers with the chops to play comedy as drama and drama as comedy.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
July 26, 2006
Sorry, folks, but these are not organic characters; they're walking, talking catalogs of screenwriter index-card data.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
July 26, 2006
Little Miss Sunshine employs razor-sharp humor and a deceptively realistic style to satirize a corrupt society that heroes of low status must navigate by their wits alone.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
July 26, 2006
Little Miss Sunshine isn't the kind of movie you want to beat up on: It's sweet-tempered at its core, and even when it's trying too hard to reinforce its own quirks, the charms of its actors filter through effortlessly.
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
July 26, 2006
Little Miss Sunshine is a dysfunctional-family comedy with a crucial difference -- the function progresses, hilariously, from dys to full and loving.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
July 26, 2006
There is nothing inherently sunny about Little Miss Sunshine, and that's part of the fresh and clever lunacy of this deliciously dark comedy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
July 26, 2006
This is a feel-good movie that is not dependent on gags or stupid gimmicks, but on intelligently observed, slightly cockeyed people and their interactions. It is positive and uplifting, and a grand time is had by all.
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
July 26, 2006
The casting is flawless. Kinnear has never been better suited to a role; Richard's gradual surrender of his ego is sweet and totally convincing. Arkin has the best lines, and delivers them with the timing of a vaudeville pro.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
July 26, 2006
Mining humor from subjects like suicide, drug abuse and bad parenting, the picture isn't going to win any congeniality prizes, but it's amusingly bitter. Consider it summer fun for pessimists and misanthropes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
July 26, 2006
A smart, dark road comedy about a dysfunctional family that had them rolling in the aisles at this year's Sundance Film Festival.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Dana Stevens
Slate
July 25, 2006
Little Miss Sunshine has not a hint of exploitation about it, and it's sentimental only in the best sense of the word. Like its heroine Olive Hoover, it wears its heart on its sleeve and assumes the best about everyone.
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
July 25, 2006
This bittersweet comedy of dysfunction takes place at the terminus of the American dream, where families are one bad break away from bankruptcy.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Jim Ridley
Village Voice
July 25, 2006
Like the shambling VW van its hapless characters steer from Albuquerque to Redondo Beach, Little Miss Sunshine is a rickety vehicle that travels mostly downhill.
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Gene Seymour
Newsday
July 25, 2006
Little Miss Sunshine often emits the dulcet quirkiness of such vintage road comedies as Harry and Tonto and Melvin and Howard.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
July 25, 2006
It takes a deft hand to fashion a feel-good movie with plenty of laughs and an upbeat ending out of a story that includes drug addiction, a suicide attempt, a death, Nietzsche, and Proust.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
July 24, 2006
[Little Miss Sunshine] offers a surprising mix of dark humor and heart, with rich performances from a strong cast.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
July 24, 2006
Little Miss Sunshine is an enchanting anthem to loserdom -- a dark comedy that piles on setback after setback and yet never loses its helium.
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David Denby
New Yorker
July 24, 2006
Little Miss Sunshine, a slight but charming movie, is a modest winner.
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David Ansen
Newsweek
July 17, 2006
This indie, a sweet, tart and smart satire about a family of losers in a world obsessed with winning, is an authentic crowd pleaser. There's been no more satisfying American comedy this year.
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Dennis Lim
Village Voice
January 31, 2006
The destination is a pageant that will demonstrate, in grotesque, stomach-churning detail, that beauty is skin-deep and that you don't have to win to be a winner.
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Duane Byrge
Hollywood Reporter
January 23, 2006
A brainy blend of farce and heart, this is one of those movies that veteran moviegoers complain they don't make anymore.
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David Rooney
Variety
January 21, 2006
A quietly antic dysfunctional family road trip comedy that shoots down the all-American culture of the winner and offers sweet redemption for losers -- or at least the ordinary folks often branded as such.