Sunshine State (2002)



Critic Consensus: Wonderfully acted, but the story and pacing can use a little work.

Movie Info

Writer and director John Sayles returns with another multi-layered look at an American community, subtly exploring how race, class, economics, and both national and regional history come together to shape people's lives. Plantation Island is a community on the coast of Florida; the island was once a notorious hotbed of segregationists, with most of the African-American population centered in the neighborhood of Lincoln Beach, while Delrona Beach is primarily home to white residents. Marly Temple … More

Rating: PG-13 (for brief strong language, a sexual reference and thematic elements)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: John Sayles
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 19, 2002
Box Office: $2.8M
Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site


as Marly Temple

as Desiree Perry

as Jack Meadows

as Delia Temple

as Eunice Stokes

as Reggie Perry

as Francine Pinkney

as Dr. Lloyd

as Furman Temple

as Terrell

as Murray Silver

as Lester

as Flash Phillips

as Jefferson Cash

as Buster Bidwell

as Greg

as Earl Pinkney

as Steve Tregaskis

as Todd Northrup

as Billy Trucks

as Scotty Duval

as Silent Sam
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Sunshine State

All Critics (120) | Top Critics (35)

Sunshine State resembles Sayles' sketchbook more than his finished work, and we might hope that something more polished might spring from it.

Full Review… | August 9, 2002
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Sunshine State is an efficient helping of Sayles, insightful even when it's not richly entertaining or imbued with apparent passion.

August 9, 2002
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic

Sunshine State has the structure, the theme, the style and, at 141 minutes, the length of a great John Sayles film. What it doesn't have, alas, is the merit.

Full Review… | August 9, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

This well acted ensemble melodrama is not one of John Sayles' strongest films.

Full Review… | July 22, 2011

Sayles' writing is so good, and so convincing, he makes the experience more like reading a complex and well-researched novel than watching a movie.

Full Review… | December 6, 2004
Looking Closer

Click to read review

Full Review… | January 12, 2004

Audience Reviews for Sunshine State

A long movie - about two families in a Florida neighbourhood. The story includes a little of everything - family, greed, bias, expectations, suicide, fidelity, unplanned pregnancy, etc. etc. I enjoyed it - almost have to watch it again to recall all the stories.

Red Lats

Super Reviewer

Edie Falco leads an impressive cast and John Sayles always gives you something to think about after the movie is over.

Tim Sigur

Super Reviewer

John Sayles' component film is a disappointment only because we expect so much more from him. A good film on the pressures of community and the price that individuals are willing to pay to "sell out". Nonethless, we expect more.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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