Secret Sunshine - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Secret Sunshine Reviews

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Lee Marshall
Screen International
May 28, 2007
An uncompromising experiment in how much suffering a soul can take, both on screen and in one's cinema seat.
Top Critic
Derek Elley
May 24, 2007
An ambitious, almost novelistic pic by writer-helmer Lee Chang-dong that ultimately fails to dramatize its lead character's conflicts in cinematic terms.
Glenn Dunks
September 8, 2013
It quickly dawns as to why Jeon won so many awards for this performance...
Nora Lee Mandel
December 21, 2010
[S]low portrait of damaged woman struggling against community expectations reveals universality [in] extraordinary Do-yeon who dramatically shifts gears again [and again].
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Leo Goldsmith
Not Coming to a Theater Near You
October 9, 2007
Even as the film piles awkwardness and suffering upon its character, it never feels exploitative or emotionally manipulative, maintaining a restrained tone entirely devoid of melodrama.
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
May 25, 2007
Emotionally complex tale of a woman's confrontation with the worst of fates.
Avi Offer
NYC Movie Guru
December 22, 2010
Profoundly moving, intelligent and unflinching. It boasts a brave, emotionally devastating performance by Jeon Do-yeon.
Full Review | Original Score: 8.921/10
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
February 4, 2011
In a performance as raw and naked as I can recall seeing, Jeon navigates the ebbs and flows of Shin-ae's grief.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Nick Schager
Lessons of Darkness
December 5, 2010
An exemplary examination of coping that expands to entail questions of morality, absolution and faith.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Jim Emerson
September 18, 2007
The film is brave and unsparing (as is Jeon's performance) and asks some challenging and disquieting questions...
Amber Wilkinson
Eye for Film
December 7, 2007
It is unlikely you are going to see a more palpable portrayal of grief this year than Jeon Do-yeon's magnificent perfomance as Shin-ae in this Korean drama of the heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Christopher Null
December 23, 2010
a wrenching, darkly comic and immersive work
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
October 20, 2007
This exploration of grief in contemporary South Korea plods along adequately and intelligently.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
September 30, 2007
A compelling and poignant Koran film about a besieged widow's journey into the far country of forgiveness.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
December 23, 2010
It doesn't touch the heart as much as it thinks it does.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
December 21, 2010
Buried in the year-end rush but one of the year's best films.
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
December 22, 2010
The cinematic equivalent of prose that is clear, elegant and lyrical.
| Original Score: 4/5
Jurgen Fauth
October 4, 2007
There's more truth and wisdom in Secret Sunshine than I've seen at the movies in a long time.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Eric Campos
Film Threat
November 13, 2007
Perfect for those wishing to enjoy a nice traumatizing time at the movies.
| Original Score: 3/5
Josh Larsen
November 6, 2013
The amount of tragedy delivered by this story would feel abusive if a lesser talent was at its center.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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