Sunshine Cleaning - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sunshine Cleaning Reviews

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Super Reviewer
June 29, 2014
three stars
Super Reviewer
½ November 19, 2011
Another well-portrayed Amy Adams character lights up this bleak slice of life, and the story about taking pride in yourself and your work shines through. With the hand they've been dealt, the Norkowski sisters (Adams, as Rose, and Emily Blunt as Nora) have every right to lie down and give up, but when an unorthodox opportunity knocks - an opportunity to go into business cleaning up violent crime scenes - the sisters relaunch themselves, and turn their lives in the right direction, though things can't stay sunny the whole way... can they? It's a decent movie overall, tugging hard (sometimes too hard) on our proverbial heartstrings, and leaving a few major questions unanswered, but it's a realistic, somewhat uplifting piece with an edge. A nice surprise.
Super Reviewer
October 29, 2011
A very good film in the vein of such films as Little Miss Sunshine, Sunshine Cleaning is a charming and funny drama comedy film with a good cast. The film has a great story and the actors deliver wonderful, amusing performances. Sunshine Cleaning is the perfect example of an Indie film gets it right, using a simple story. Most indie films try to go overboard with the dialogue, story and acting, but Sunshine Cleaning has a perfect balance of everything that makes a good little film. This may not be a perfect film, however for the most part; it's a wonderfully executed film with great performances by Amy Adams and Emily Blunt. Along with King of California, Sunshine Cleaning is one of the best indie comedies to come out in quite some time. I very much enjoyed this film, and thought that the story was just great. The film succeeds on all levels at being a well rounded out drama comedy, and with the performances alone by the cast, Sunshine Cleaning is worth seeing. If you happen to come across this film at your local video store, give it a rent, you'll be surprised at how good it is. Sunshine Cleaning is a great little comedy film that blends dramatic elements very well. I thought that the story though a bit slow had enough momentum to keep me intrigued and entertained. If you're looking for a great indie comedy, give Sunshine Cleaning a view, this is a film worth watching. Brilliantly acted and directed.
Super Reviewer
½ March 14, 2009
The comparison between this tragic-comedy and "Little Miss Sunshine" is not entirely unjustified. Here we also have very lovable yet slightly dysfunctional characters, Alan Arkin is even reprising his role as (not quite as grumpy) grandpa. The two leading ladies easily fill their roles with life, easily making you care for their little business idea of cleaning up death sites. The biggest surprise of the film is Clifton Collins, who mostly played gangsters and killers so far and delivers a really likable performance as one-armed clerk. The script is smart, sweet and sad, but never takes it too far with the quirkiness. Even though nothing insanely exciting happens it is fun to follow those characters around for a while and you can't help but wish them nothing but the best. sadly, the film ends somewhat abruptly, when you would have seen a bit more of a solution for them. Still, very entertaining and lovable.
Super Reviewer
½ June 22, 2011
"I recommend the pecan pie." Sunshine Cleaning was a good light drama because of the great performances by Amy Adams and Emily Blunt. They are both two of the best young actresses that are making movies right now. Amy Adams really showed how good she was in The Fighter. The story in Sunshine Cleaning is interesting and entertaining enough. The story follows two sisters who start a business where they clean up after messy deaths. It's at times funny, and the chemistry between Adams and Blunt is really good. Well worth the watch.
Super Reviewer
½ June 21, 2011
Well acted, but without a sense for the morbidity of its conceit or the desperation that would cause a person to pursue such a vocation, the film devolves into a chick-flick; it's as sticky as the blood and brain splattered floors Blunt and Adams squeamishly mop up.
Super Reviewer
May 9, 2011
From the producers of "Little Miss Sunshine" we are told. Unfortunately, a film like this is reduced to riding on the success of another to gain any attention for itself. What a shame, as this well crafted 'dramady' has quality all it's own.
In Albuquerque, N.M., struggling single mum Rose Lorkowski (Amy Adams) starts a business mopping up crime scenes. She has no experience in this highly specialized field so she recruits her stoner sister Norah (Emily Blunt) to help out and both siblings become emotionally involved in the lives and deaths of the messily deceased, while rediscovering their self-esteem and creating a bond between them that they have longed for as sisters.
I can't say that the tag of a film being 'produced' by the same people actually means anything. As far as I'm aware producers don't add anything creatively to a film. Personally I'm drawn to films that have interesting storylines or people involved that I've enjoyed before, and in this case, it's Amy Adams. Having seen "Junebug" and "The Fighter" of late, I've been really impressed by her superb performances which have lead me onto the path of this unanticipated treat. It's an adept comedy/drama with beautifully understated performances. The balance of dark comedy with family drama is skillfully handled by director Christine Jeffs, from an impressive debut script by Megan Holley. Minus a couple more oddballs family members, this has much in common with the previous producers film "Little Miss Sunshine". It has the same well drawn characters (Alan Arkin's eccentric grandpa included, only this time heroine free), the same mix of humour and pathos and the same upbeat tone in downbeat scenarios.
After steadily building a reputation for herself, this is another choice role for the marvellous Amy Adams, who is without doubt, the actress to watch these days. A wonderfully structured little film that achieves a balance in the realism of it's characters in slightly surreal situations.
An unexpected delight.
Super Reviewer
March 18, 2009
My love affair with Amy Adams continues.
Super Reviewer
August 13, 2010
Released as a highly anticipated feature at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, and distributed by the producers of the acclaimed comedy, Little Miss Sunshine, everyone hoped Sunshine Cleaning would be brilliant. It is for those reasons that I think Sunshine Cleaning is not as liked as it should. I feel like because it was not as good as Little Miss Sunshine, viewers and critics unfairly judge the film. In doing so they missed out on a great movie experience. What I found in this film was a touching, emotional story fueled by a fantastic cast, and an indie flare that holds it all together.

The story was so depressing, more dpressing than I thought it would be. I imagined a comedy, but this film is most definitely a drama.

The cast was absolutely fantastic. Amy Adams amazed me as I knew she would. She's my favorite actress and she does not disappoint here. She delivers a great performance, portraying multiple emotions and experiences so much. She was so convincing and I felt for her character through the whole film. Emily Blunt also gives a fantastic performance as the sister. She experiences similar things as her sister, but still the character required a special approach, and Blunt delivers. The combination of Adams and Blunt is incredible...and they're both so cute. I can't resist the two of them together. Alan Arkin also is convincing as the lonely father. His character could have been more developed, but I thought he did a very nice job. Supporting actors Steve Zahn, Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Clifton Collins Jr., also work nicely in the film. Great cast!

I loved this film. I expected to like it, but I also was prepared for disappointment, but the movie delivered for me. I definitely think this film had opportunities to completely "hit it out of the park," but I still really really enjoyed it. I recommend this film!
Super Reviewer
½ September 4, 2009
The potentials was there to "knock it out of the park", great cast...interesting story...intriguing characters.

Sadly to spite all of that, it just never seemed to make it past second base.

It's enjoyable enough, but it felt WAY too underdeveloped to me.
Super Reviewer
May 2, 2009
It was good but not at all what I thought I was going to be watching. I thought I was getting into a funny indie film about two sisters starting a rather strange business together but what I actually got was a dramatic character piece about one sister who struggles to find self confidence and another who must come to terms with the loss of a loved one. It had a couple funny parts but it was mainly a deeply emotional look at these peoples lives.
There were a couple story elements that I felt weren't wrapped up at the end but it works as this is a raw real world look at a few specific people and everything doesn't getting wrapped up in the real world.
Super Reviewer
½ January 10, 2011
I didn't know what to think when I started watching it. But I thought it was funny at times and really real at times. The things we do to make a quality of life for ourselves and loved ones. The movie is about life, loss and cleaning up after it. I liked it a lot.
Super Reviewer
½ August 12, 2010
There's only love in my heart for this film, as it touches on details that seem glossed over by the same realism, thought provoking films, and also the timid comedy and hilarity that comes with the subject matter. Who knew dead people could make such an impossibly good film?
Super Reviewer
½ September 23, 2010
This was supposed to be a comedy.... I did not even find it to be a dark comedy. Nothing funny about it at all. Actually it is only mildly interesting and that is solely because of the great performances, but the characters and story is not really interesting.
Super Reviewer
January 14, 2009
"I don't need you to take care of me anymore. It's not your job. It never was."

I liked Sunshine Cleaning. It wasn't momentous or life-changing, but it was a lot of fun to watch and it was (thankfully) not heavy-handed or sappy with the more serious parts of the story. The pairing of Amy Adams and Emily Blunt is one that's literally impossible for me to resist, and while it's a little difficult to accept them as sisters, they're such good actresses that they make the core relationship between the siblings work. And because of that, the movie works.

Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, and Alan Arkin each add to the film in a unique and important way. It's been a while since I've seen a movie with a cast this likable. Some of the scenes centering about the dead mother could have been a little more heartfelt, but overall there is very little here for me to complain about. Sunshine Cleaning is short, sweet and enjoyable. This is good stuff.
Super Reviewer
July 7, 2010
Family of misfits attempts to get out of a funk by going into work doing something really, really nasty. Is the answer to their problems, or does it embed them even deeper into their funk?
Super Reviewer
June 23, 2010
Great little movie with some cracking performance from Amy Adams and Alan Arkin.But its British born Emily Blunt who steals the show and worth a look just for her alone. The movie moves alone at a steady pace and as a few amusing moments.The movie don't really have a message to say just a study of how life can take a different path from school to adulthood.
A charming movie and worth a look if you wanna movie that's not to taxing and easy on the eye.
Super Reviewer
July 21, 2009
CAST: Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Alan Arkin, Steve Zahn, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Jason Spevack, Clifton Collins Jr.

SUMMARY: A woman who wants to send her eight year-old son to a private school decides to go into business with her unreliable sister in order to earn more money. They form a company doing biohazard removal and crime scene clean up.

MY THOUGHTS: You wouldn't guess it by the title, but this movie is pretty heavy. It deals a lot with death (obviously if you have read what its initially about) and a bit depressing. But its not all about crime scenes. Its also about two women trying to make sense of their live and still grieving for a mother who left them at a very young age by her own hands. Suicide (if none have had a member in their family or a friend die this way) is a death that leaves behind more questions and uncertainties then any other kind of death. I think its the most difficult to understand and to cope with. This movie had a really great cast and a great script to work with. Not a feel good movie, but one you won't regret seeing. Highly recommend it.
Super Reviewer
December 20, 2009
Super Reviewer
½ January 9, 2010
Not great but still enjoyable.
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