Sunshine Cleaning - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sunshine Cleaning Reviews

Top Critic
Keith Uhlich
Time Out
November 16, 2011
| Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
David Jenkins
Time Out
July 3, 2009
Jeffs makes a good fist of the direction and Blunt proves that she can do comedy, but it's Adams's comforting, charismatic central turn which really gives the film its lift.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
May 29, 2009
Taken on its own terms, though, it's a solid indie effort with plenty of nice character strokes by screenwriter Megan Holley and razor-sharp performances by Amy Adams and Emily Blunt.
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
March 27, 2009
Sunshine Cleaning is one of those dependent independent films -- dependent on the need to be "quirky" yet "heartfelt" too, and as much a slave to the formulaic as any Hollywood product.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
March 27, 2009
Adams and Blunt rise above the clunky premise and execution to once again demonstrate why they've become the go-to girls for any director seeking smart, versatile and warm-blooded talent.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
March 26, 2009
Its overall ability to balance humor and drama, attention to emotional detail and a few winning performances outweighs its maudlin tendencies.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
March 25, 2009
The irrepressible Adams puts a sunny face on a life that hasn't worked out, but that's worth the struggle in spite of it all.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Dan Zak
Washington Post
March 20, 2009
Sunshine Cleaning should have been a madcap comedy of the macabre, or a tangled yarn about the metaphorical biohazards of living life at the margins, but it shoots for the middle and ends up being just that: middling.
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
March 20, 2009
Sunshine Cleaning emerges as that rare American specimen -- a strong movie about women.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
March 20, 2009
This one is scripted, directed and acted with grace and immaculate care.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
March 20, 2009
Lifted by a trio of fine performances, Sunshine Cleaning thrives on the unexpected and revels in the low-key.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
March 20, 2009
Credit director Christine Jeffs and writer Megan Holley with revealing the sisters' pained back story ever so gently.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
March 19, 2009
Directed by Christine Jeffs, Sunshine Cleaning has more than its share of indie clichés, but it's wonderfully cast and often a pleasure to watch.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
March 19, 2009
There should be a self-healing book for film performers titled "When Bad Scripts Happen to Good Actors." And the cast of Sunshine Cleaning should get a group discount.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
March 19, 2009
Certain narrative events in Sunshine Cleaning%u2014a fire, for one%u2014are more about dramatic convenience than the mess of real life. It helps to have actresses as vibrant as Adams and Blunt around.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
March 19, 2009
Christine Jeffs has assembled an accomplished cast for the dramedy from screenwriter Megan Holley. They are wonderful in a film that reverberates with the tensions and comic desperation of the similarly themed Little Miss Sunshine.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
March 19, 2009
It's an honest little movie, well written by Megan Holley, well directed by Christine Jeffs, and very well played by Amy Adams and Emily Blunt as the sisters.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
March 19, 2009
Adams and Blunt are a great team and provide Sunshine Cleaning with nearly all of its potency, pain and emotional payoff, as sisters trying to avoid their own tragedy while cleaning up the mess of others.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
March 19, 2009
At times, the movie works, but those are the times it (and even we) forget what it's really about.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
March 18, 2009
Perhaps the most compelling reason to see Sunshine Cleaning is the pairing of two of the best and most charismatic young actresses today.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ben Lyons
At the Movies
March 16, 2009
Ultimately I left the film kind of feeling indifferent towards the characters on screen.
Top Critic
Ben Mankiewicz
At the Movies
March 16, 2009
I found this to be a really sweet, credible story -- it's emotional but rarely heavy-handed.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
March 16, 2009
The best thing to come out of Sunshine Cleaning is the confirmation that Adams, one of Hollywood's most delightful comediennes, is also capable of piercing drama.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
March 13, 2009
This bittersweet comedy is a fine showcase for a pair of distinctive and appealing talents.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
March 13, 2009
Although Adams and Blunt work hard at giving dimension to their characters, they can't overcome the fact that the story is essentially a greatest hits of family trauma.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
March 13, 2009
Amy Adams in the best performance of the young year.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
March 13, 2009
A better title for the movie...would be Sundance Recycling, since the picture is less a free-standing independent film than a scrap-metal robot built after a shopping spree at the Park City Indie Parts and Salvage Warehouse.
| Original Score: 1.5/5
Top Critic

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
March 13, 2009
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
March 12, 2009
Though the script has its share of contrivances -- maybe more than its share -- the director and her co-stars, Amy Adams and Emily Blunt, bring a steadfast sense of truth to the story of two sisters trying to jump-start their stuck lives and grow up.
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
March 12, 2009
Though this well-observed, wry drama is determined to be quirky, its most endearing quality, like that of its heroines, is a willingness to wallow in foul moods and come out the other side.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
March 12, 2009
A smartly done morality tale that couldn't be more in sync with these troubled times.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
March 12, 2009
A sweet and appealing, if familiar, concoction.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Dana Stevens
Slate
March 12, 2009
Adams and Blunt are just as determined to make this movie work as the Lorkowskis are to better their lot in life. Their luminescence and pluck, not to mention those two hypnotizing sets of eyeballs, carry the day.
Top Critic
Amy Nicholson
I.E. Weekly
March 12, 2009
Pitting it against Little Miss Sunshine in a poverty death match seems miserly, particularly when few complain about the comparative glut of movies about men waving guns
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
March 12, 2009
The film's secondhand feel wouldn't be so problematic if it had a sense of urgency, but director Christine Jeffs' ambitions begin and end with transferring Megan Holley's earnest script from the page to the screen.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
March 12, 2009
This funny and touching movie depends on two can-do actresses to scrub past the biohazard of noxious clichés that threaten to intrude. Adams and Blunt get the job done. They come highly recommended.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
March 11, 2009
Truly lovely performances by Adams and Blunt pierce the thoroughly artificial climate.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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New Yorker
March 11, 2009
Adams, forging ahead gamely, keeps it aloft.
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
March 11, 2009
The overall lack of sentimentality in first-timer Megan Holley's script and straightforward direction from Christine Jeffs keep the film from becoming too predictably feel-good; at the same time, the strong performances help elevate among similar fare.
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
March 11, 2009
Not a great movie, but disarmingly entertaining -- especially when you have to rub your eyes to believe what you're seeing (or cover them to avoid what you're not seeing).
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
March 11, 2009
Sunshine Cleaning is made of sterner stuff than the usual chick flick, and is well worth the time of all serious moviegoers.
Top Critic
Robert Wilonsky
Village Voice
March 10, 2009
Yet another willful, comically tortured "indie" coated with Hollywood's happy-ending sheen.