Little Miss Sunshine

Critics Consensus

Little Miss Sunshine succeeds thanks to a strong ensemble cast that includes Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Alan Arkin, and Abigail Breslin, as well as a delightfully funny script.

91%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 214

91%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 426,916
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Movie Info

When a pudgy, bespectacled seven-year-old, Olive (Abigail Breslin), voices her desire to take home the coveted Little Miss Sunshine crown at an upcoming beauty pageant, her wildly dysfunctional family sets out on an interstate road trip to ensure her a clear shot at realizing her dreams in former music video directorial team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris' quirky feature debut, starring Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, and Toni Collette. Despite early career success as an outspoken motivational speaker, family patriarch Richard (Kinnear) continues to cling to his "Refuse to Lose" philosophy, much to the chagrin of his increasingly annoyed spouse, Sheryl (Collette). Add into the mix a Nietzsche-reading teenage son (Paul Dano) who has taken a vow of silence until he finds his fate as a fighter pilot; a horny, heroin-happy grandfather (Alan Arkin) with a penchant for creative profanity; and a suicidal genius (Carell) and Proust scholar still reeling about losing both his male lover and his MacArthur Foundation genius grant -- and the stage is set for a road trip in which sanity is sure to take the back seat. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Cast

Greg Kinnear
as Richard Hoover
Toni Collette
as Sheryl Hoover
Steve Carell
as Frank Hoover
Paul Dano
as Dwayne Hoover
Abigail Breslin
as Olive Hoover
Alan Arkin
as Grandpa Edwin Hoover
Bryan Cranston
as Stan Grossman
Beth Grant
as Pageant Official Jenkins
Mary Lynn Rajskub
as Pageant Assistant Pam
Marc Turtletaub
as Doctor No. 1
Brenda Canela
as Waitress
Robert O'Connor
as Pageant Judge No. 1
Gordon Thomson
as Larry Sugarman
Matt Winston
as Pageant MC
Chuck Loring
as Convenience Store Proprietor
John Walcutt
as Doctor No. 2
Dean Norris
as State Trooper McCleary
Lauren Shiohama
as Miss California
Jerry Giles
as Funeral Home Worker
Geoff Meed
as Biker Dad
Casandra Ashe
as Girl in Hallway
Mel Rodriguez
as Officer Martinez
Cassandra Ashe
as Pageant Contestant No. 1
Alexandria Alaman
as Pageant Contestant
Brittany Baird
as Pageant Contestant
Alissa Anderegg
as Pageant Contestant No. 2
Brenae Bandy
as Pageant Contestant
Maliah Hudson
as Pageant Contestant No. 3
Erik David
as Photographer
Lindsey Jordan
as Pageant Contestant
Annabelle Roberts
as Pageant Contestant
Nicole Stoehr
as Pageant Contestant
Cambria Baird
as Pageant Contestant
Kristen Holaas
as Pageant Contestant
Destry Jacobs
as Pageant Contestant
Shane Murphy
as Pageant Contestant
Sydni Stevenson-Love
as Pageant Contestant
Lauren Yee
as Pageant Contestant
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News & Interviews for Little Miss Sunshine

Critic Reviews for Little Miss Sunshine

All Critics (214) | Top Critics (55)

  • 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.

    Feb 3, 2007 | Rating: 2/6 | Full Review…
  • Sunny or dark, comedy should never be as predictable as Little Miss Sunshine.

    Nov 10, 2006 | Rating: 3/5
  • ... a scrappy human comedy that takes an honest path to laughs and is twice as funny and touching for it.

    Nov 10, 2006 | Rating: 3/4
  • ... this isn't much more than a glorified sitcom, but it deftly dramatizes our conflicting desires for individuality and an audience to applaud it.

    Nov 10, 2006 | Full Review…
  • This is a likeable, funny road movie about a dysfunctional family, but you know you've been down the same road before.

    Oct 15, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Sep 23, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Little Miss Sunshine

  • Mar 25, 2016
    It's a dark film with characters that (although sometimes might act like jerks) are likeable and you can understand why because of the tough times they've been through. You can cheer for these characters which makes the film good, but I do have some flaws with this film. It doesn't have enough comedy to make it a comedy film. I also don't recall the grandfather's and mother's name. I had to search in the web to find out that the mother's name was Sheryl and the grandfather's name was Edwin.
    Tarin P Super Reviewer
  • Jun 16, 2015
    A nice film about a dysfunctional family with a great script. Funny at times, but definitely original. Alan Arkin gives a great performance.
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Nov 27, 2013
    The silliness of the whole thing makes it work thanks to the strength of its leads from Kinnear and Collette all the way down to Abigail Breslin. There are plenty of surprises to keep it interesting as well.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 19, 2013
    Finding people that don't like 'Little Miss Sunshine' is hard to do. It's just a film that happens to have everything going for it: likable characters, memorable quotes, hilarity, delightful performances and a huge dose of incomparable charm. Plus, it's a road movie, which is everyone's favorite genre.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer

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