The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.