Sunshine State - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sunshine State Reviews

Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
August 9, 2002
Sunshine State resembles Sayles' sketchbook more than his finished work, and we might hope that something more polished might spring from it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
August 9, 2002
Sunshine State has the structure, the theme, the style and, at 141 minutes, the length of a great John Sayles film. What it doesn't have, alas, is the merit.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
August 9, 2002
Sunshine State is an efficient helping of Sayles, insightful even when it's not richly entertaining or imbued with apparent passion.
Read More | Original Score: B-
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
August 2, 2002
This is geographic history as personal history, a look at a vanishing world before the tide of progress immerses it. It's also superb independent filmmaking.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
July 25, 2002
Sunshine State lacks the brilliance of Sayles' most dynamic offerings, but, for those who don't mind an unhurried, deliberate narrative pace, this is a worthwhile offering.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
July 12, 2002
You can ignore the editorial bluntness and savor the smaller, sweeter details.
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
July 12, 2002
A densely layered, always absorbing whole.
Top Critic
John Hartl
Seattle Times
July 12, 2002
The script overcomes its initial awkwardness and builds toward a climax that is as satisfying as it is open-ended.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
July 12, 2002
Sayles' movies lack the fluidity and grace of Altman at his best, but his 'big statement' films -- and this is one -- demand our attention.
Read More | Original Score: A-
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Susan Stark
Detroit News
July 12, 2002
Count on his movie to work at the back of your neck long after you leave the theater.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
July 12, 2002
At times, Sayles seems to be trying to wrangle an ornery alligator. But there are few filmmakers better at rendering the political personal.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Steven Rosen
Denver Post
July 12, 2002
Sunshine State is a fine example of a carefully written film. But you shouldn't be too aware that a movie is well-written.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
July 12, 2002
Because we are so familiar with the conventional approach to a story like this, it takes time to catch on that Sayles is not repeating the old progressive line about the little guy against big capital.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
July 11, 2002
The cast is uniformly excellent and relaxed.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
July 11, 2002
Rings true for the most part, and explores human nature -- leashed and unleashed -- in ways that resonate.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
July 11, 2002
A movie that sends you out of the theater feeling like you've actually spent time living in another community.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
July 11, 2002
It's the kind of movie that, aside from Robert Altman, Spike Lee, the Coen Brothers and a few others, our moviemakers don't make often enough.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
July 2, 2002
Sunshine State surveys the landscape and assesses the issues with a clear passion for sociology. But the cinematography is cloudy, the picture making becalmed.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
June 28, 2002
Writer-director John Sayles is too intelligent and too conscientious ever to make a frivolous movie. But he has made a lifeless one with Sunshine State.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Sam Allis
Boston Globe
June 28, 2002
Neither the acting nor the script elevates the film above a ham-fisted morality play dripping with earnestness.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
June 25, 2002
Sunshine State is one of the strongest efforts yet in the prolific career of writer/director John Sayles.
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
June 25, 2002
Very well-written and very well-acted.
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
June 21, 2002
With Sunshine State, the question isn't so much what you want, but what you can stand.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
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Hazel-Dawn Dumpert
L.A. Weekly
June 21, 2002
If Sayles had maneuvered these stories and performances into even a shade more sentimentality or gravitas, the weight would have collapsed them like a house of cards. As it is, they breathe easily.
Top Critic
Jonathan Foreman
New York Post
June 21, 2002
Wonderfully acted but underedited ensemble piece.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
June 20, 2002
Sodden and glum, even in those moments where it's supposed to feel funny and light.
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
June 20, 2002
It creates a cinematic mosaic of American lives unprecedented in its range, balance, subtlety and even-handedness.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
June 20, 2002
Even if it pushes its agenda too forcefully, this remains a film about something, one that attempts and often achieves a level of connection and concern.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Jessica Winter
Village Voice
June 19, 2002
The whole of Sunshine State is less than the sum of its parts, but the parts are often lovely, and always true.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
June 5, 2002
You can feel the heat that ignites this gripping tale, and the humor and humanity that root it in feeling.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
David Hunter
Hollywood Reporter
May 19, 2002
Sayles and an excellent cast examine modern American lives, values, dreams and shortcomings with verve, honesty and a respect for the seemingly lost art of everyday conversation.