Secret Sunshine

2010

Secret Sunshine

Critics Consensus

Plumbing the depths of tragedy without succuming to melodrama, Chang-dong Lee's Secret Sunshine is a grueling, albeit moving, piece of beautifully acted cinema.

94%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 31

79%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,502

Where to watch

Rate And Review

User image

Verified

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)



  • You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Step 2 of 2

    How did you buy your ticket?

    Let's get your review verified.

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

    You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)

  • How did you buy your ticket?

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

Secret Sunshine Photos

Movie Info

Soon after relocating herself and her son to the town in which her late husband (and the father of her child) was born, a woman named Shin-ae finds her attempt to start life anew offset by yet another unforeseen tragedy in director Lee Chang-dong's melancholy slice of life.

Cast

News & Interviews for Secret Sunshine

Critic Reviews for Secret Sunshine

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (29) | Rotten (2)

  • The cinematic equivalent of prose that is clear, elegant and lyrical.

    December 22, 2010 | Rating: 4/5
  • Buried in the year-end rush but one of the year's best films.

    December 21, 2010 | Full Review…
  • Secret Sunshine is a frequently beautiful film with a cold, dark heart.

    December 21, 2010 | Rating: B+

    Noel Murray

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • This exploration of grief in contemporary South Korea plods along adequately and intelligently.

    October 20, 2007 | Full Review…

    Dave Calhoun

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The film is brave and unsparing (as is Jeon's performance) and asks some challenging and disquieting questions...

    September 18, 2007 | Full Review…
  • This fourth film from Lee Chang-dong, one of the leading lights in the new South Korean cinema, begins as a young widow moves to the small town of Milyang, where her late husband was born and where she plans to work as a piano teacher.

    September 6, 2007 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
    Globe and Mail
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Secret Sunshine

  • Jun 13, 2013
    The tale of an unsatisfying journey of mother and child following the death of a father. It isn't a walk in the park but that is where the beauty lies in this film.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 24, 2012
    A brave exploration of grief and the process of forgiveness. We all know those people who seem to attract tragedy. We read about them in the paper or hear about them through a family friend. In yet another great film by director Lee Chang Dong, we are given insight into the lives of one of these perpetual victims. It follows the plight of a young woman as she attempts to move forward in the face of her world collapsing around her. This study of the grieving process, made possible by the phenomenal performance by Jeon Do-yeon, isn't just an opportunity to go hog wild with gut-wrenching speeches and tears, but is one of the more honest approaches I have seen in a long time. With this, comes its share of risks. For example, It is risky to take a woman, whom the audience feels so much sympathy for, and through the recovery process alienate her so much from the audience. It is hard to understand why she does what she does. but we get the sense that we cannot possibly even begin to understand what she is going through. Sometimes there are no tears and as comforting as faith can be for others, it isn't immediate enough to snub out the pain that is sometimes scraping your very nerve and at other times leaving you completely numb. Also, that same faith that can be freeing to many, can be used by others as a more subtle tool of control. Maybe I'm just biased due to my love for Korean cinema, but I feel like South Koreans are able to take a more honest look in the mirror than I think most are willing to allow. There is a hell of a lot more to chew on in this one film than the past 20 domestic films I have watched. And for that, I give it a lot of credit. It isn't a pleasant watch, but one that is definitely worth your time.
    Reid V Super Reviewer
  • Dec 17, 2011
    Great movie with some excellent character development and acting. Jeon Do-Yeon is absolutely fabulous as playing this woman who is absolutely consumed by grief and her ways of dealing with it. It's a very raw and commanding performance. The movie, fortunately, never relies on melodrama, it all feels natural and believable. It's probably too long at times, but it all works out for the benefit of the movie. Highly recommended.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Sep 09, 2011
    Grieves with sorrow and shines with faith, Secret Sunshine ponders on spiritual maturity and recovery of a woman tormented by loss. Starring 2007 Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Jeon Do-Yeon. Argumentative. Complex. Magnificent.
    Jan Marc M Super Reviewer

Secret Sunshine Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Movie & TV guides