Little Miss Sunshine

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 580 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 99 out of 580

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User Reviews

  1. Sep 30, 2011
    9
    "Little Miss Sunshine" is a heart-warm movie. It's well written script delivers that supporting each other as a family, everything is possible. And yes, it is one of the best movies of the year.
  2. Sep 30, 2011
    9
    LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE is an independent film, humorous in its own dark little way. Though the film comes across mostly a drama, it has its funny moments, and all of the humor is either subtle, clever, depressing, or a combination of the three. Though Steve Carrell, now known for his wittingly hilarious role in TV's comedy THE OFFICE, appears as one of the more major characters, Alan ArkinLITTLE MISS SUNSHINE is an independent film, humorous in its own dark little way. Though the film comes across mostly a drama, it has its funny moments, and all of the humor is either subtle, clever, depressing, or a combination of the three. Though Steve Carrell, now known for his wittingly hilarious role in TV's comedy THE OFFICE, appears as one of the more major characters, Alan Arkin (if any cast member) seems to be the one who draws the most audience laughs. In fact, Carrell delivers most likely the least humorous role. Though he does definitely still have his humor, with a big nod to the scene at the dinner table near the beginning. Other than that, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE is a heartwarming, sometimes weepy, and ultimately feel-good film. I highly doubt there has been one road movie as good and unpredictable as this since NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION. Expand
  3. Sam
    Sep 7, 2006
    10
    One of the best movies I've seen in years. It's a perfect and satisfying blend of bittersweet plot and stinging social commentary. Wonderful performances by everybody, especially Carell.
  4. SherylG.
    Aug 20, 2006
    10
    Loved this film, laughed out loud for the first time in ages in a theater. Steve carell was at his best comic (and understated self). also loved the young actress who played Olive, unaffected charming young child actress.
  5. JoeC.
    Sep 7, 2006
    9
    Believe the hype. My girlfriend and I haven't had this much fun at the movies in a long, long time.
  6. NatalieP.
    Sep 2, 2006
    10
    hyseterical and heartbreaking at the same time. The performances are pricless.
  7. AbbyR.
    Oct 20, 2006
    7
    Is winning really everything?
  8. AustinW.
    Aug 9, 2006
    9
    Really fantastic. Great performances, and some great laugh out loud moments. I understand the sitcom comparisons, but there's a subversive undertone that really makes it sing.
  9. MichaelH.
    Feb 5, 2007
    9
    I loved it! No, nothing blows up and nobody winds up getting hacked to death but that's half of the appeal of this film. All of us know the wanna-be successful dad. All of us know the chain-smoking mom in denial, pretending that if she doesn't acknowledge that her husband is a failure, her brother is suicidal and her daughter has no chance of winning the pageant that it all I loved it! No, nothing blows up and nobody winds up getting hacked to death but that's half of the appeal of this film. All of us know the wanna-be successful dad. All of us know the chain-smoking mom in denial, pretending that if she doesn't acknowledge that her husband is a failure, her brother is suicidal and her daughter has no chance of winning the pageant that it all doesn't exist. Excellent job by Michael Arndt, the producers and directors. Best of luck to LMS as Best Picture of 2006! Expand
  10. PaulKane
    Jul 20, 2006
    10
    By far, the best drama/comedy I have seen this year. Everything about this was near perfect: the casting, the acting, the character arcs, the storyline, and even the score/soundtrack. I couldn't stop laughing throughout the entire movie. If you have an interest in this, you MUST see it in the theater.
  11. LindaD.
    Aug 12, 2006
    10
    This movie is a wonderful grin! If you need one, go see it. Couldn't find one thing wrong with it.
  12. NancyH
    Aug 5, 2006
    9
    Loved this movie--and I kid you not, one of the best mainstream movies I've seen all year. This quirky, dysfunctional family is not so dysfunctional after all when they come out of their own worlds to rally behind Olive, the youngest in her quest to win Little Miss Sunshine child pageant. The contrast between this kooky family and the pageant enthusiasts will certainly make youLoved this movie--and I kid you not, one of the best mainstream movies I've seen all year. This quirky, dysfunctional family is not so dysfunctional after all when they come out of their own worlds to rally behind Olive, the youngest in her quest to win Little Miss Sunshine child pageant. The contrast between this kooky family and the pageant enthusiasts will certainly make you question what is normal? Expand
  13. GaborA.
    Aug 6, 2006
    7
    The trailer made it seem like this movie was going to be some indie, high brow, artsy film but as stated it really was more like a sitcom. Fortunately the comedy though silly is never really juvenile and the drama manages to not be cheasy. Entertaining but like a sitcom episode easily forgetable.
  14. Maubius
    Sep 10, 2006
    8
    I laughed out loud quite a bit. Very funny, and highly recommended.
  15. J.W.
    Sep 15, 2006
    10
    This family puts the fun in dysfunctional. Creative, out of the box, and unexpected turns in this movie had us laughing so hard we cried.
  16. CB
    Sep 3, 2006
    9
    Owen Gleiberman is retarded. This is one of the best indie comdies since Swingers. I don't know anyone that didn't love it.
  17. staubin
    Sep 7, 2006
    9
    I'm not one of those people who laughs out-loud in movie theaters, but this movie made me do that... over a dozen times. Awesomely funny.
  18. KristinP.
    Jan 13, 2007
    9
    Hysterical, heart warming story.
  19. JamesM.
    Jan 22, 2007
    7
    I had heard the critics say how good this movie is so I wantedI enjoyed the movie. I laughed at the funny antics like everyone else but I really started to get interested in it after I began to add up all the pieces of Alan Arkin's character and came to the conclusion that he's a child molester. There are so many signals that this might be true through out the movie that it I had heard the critics say how good this movie is so I wantedI enjoyed the movie. I laughed at the funny antics like everyone else but I really started to get interested in it after I began to add up all the pieces of Alan Arkin's character and came to the conclusion that he's a child molester. There are so many signals that this might be true through out the movie that it becomes kind of sad. Sad because we, the audience, like the family are totally oblivious to the fact that he is probably molesting her the whole time he's in the movie. Because it's played by Mr. Arkin we think that this character is just a harmless heroin sniffing, foul mouthed porn magazine toting old man that just happens to share the hotel room with his granddaughter. The child is so innocent that she sees nothing wrong with sharing the strip tease he taught her to Rick James' "Super Freak" and the parents had no idea what he was teaching her. Even the shots of the little girls in the pageant remind you of JonBenet Ramsey and make you think "what's going on here?". Expand
  20. BM.
    Oct 2, 2007
    10
    What a refreshing burst of fresh air in the comedy/drama genre. There is not a moment in this movie where the comedy seems forced or the acting overdone. Every ridiculously funny part of this movie is completely believable. Even the script is written and delivered in that rough unpolished way that makes you think these are 'real' people and we are a fly on the wall in there What a refreshing burst of fresh air in the comedy/drama genre. There is not a moment in this movie where the comedy seems forced or the acting overdone. Every ridiculously funny part of this movie is completely believable. Even the script is written and delivered in that rough unpolished way that makes you think these are 'real' people and we are a fly on the wall in there insane lives. Everyone involved in this movie deserves a very big pat on the back. We need more real comedies like this. Expand
  21. CarolynS.
    Jan 8, 2007
    10
    Great movie from start to finish. This had me laughing one minute to holding back tears the next. Well-written & acted, I hope this movie gets nominations in every category. A++ all around. Abigail did a wonderful job in this film.
  22. PatC.
    Feb 1, 2007
    8
    Good show, almost great. So delicious that one tends to ignore the spillage when it goes over the top. As entertainment that rings true it's immediately gratifying, but the contrivances linger.
  23. JulioM.
    Feb 4, 2007
    9
    At the end of this movie I felt warmth in my heart.
  24. ElliotP.
    Feb 4, 2007
    8
    A fun movie, well-done, even though the plot has been little over-done.
  25. MichaelT.
    Aug 9, 2009
    9
    I am amazed by some of the reviews here. If anyone here trusts user-submitted reviews, I beg you you to ignore any that are full of finger-shaking hyperbole and excessive use of first-year university words. This film is heartwarming, funny and charming. It's one of the few films I will watch when I want to be cheered up. It's Disney for tax-payers.
  26. DaveP.
    Dec 7, 2006
    10
    Drawn from the same font as Sideways, full of dark humour, revelation, flaw and sunshine. I did not expect to be so drawn in, and the time flew so quickly I had to double-check the time when it finished. And yes, one of the most memorable and 'funny' climaxes ever filmed.
  27. Fresh
    Aug 10, 2006
    10
    Best movie I have seen in a few years.
  28. ColinM.
    Aug 12, 2006
    10
    A funny, bittersweet piece with an outstanding ensemble. Extremely enjoyable and quite possibly the best film of 2006. Plenty of hilarious moments right alongside heartfelt family emotions. Highly recommended movie.
  29. DavidK.
    Aug 14, 2006
    10
    Without question the best movie I have seen in 2006.
  30. Jennie
    Aug 14, 2006
    10
    Great little pic. Recognizable disfunctional family members with characters that will stay with you and ring true. Not a side splitting laugh riot a minute... that's not what it's about. But it is funny, witty and poignant... in a Capraesque sort of way. Fantastic casting! Kudos to all!
  31. DaleM.
    Aug 20, 2006
    10
    This movie made me laugh so hard that my sides ached. On top of that, it had something to say about what it really means to be a winner. This movie is a winner!
  32. JaclynW.
    Aug 23, 2006
    10
    This movie was an extremely good movie. It was a wonderful satirical movie. It was filled with touching moments, hilarious moments, and even sad moments. This movie is a must see!
  33. DWilly
    Aug 5, 2006
    7
    While it teeters at times at the not-so-good edge, there are enough surprises and substantial quality work to make it ultimately gratify. It gets far by jolting the heart with its tried and true theme: family is an insane mess that nonetheless sustains; the same one that's carried the Simpsons, Malcolm In The Middle, Married With Children, etc. No real standout performances, butWhile it teeters at times at the not-so-good edge, there are enough surprises and substantial quality work to make it ultimately gratify. It gets far by jolting the heart with its tried and true theme: family is an insane mess that nonetheless sustains; the same one that's carried the Simpsons, Malcolm In The Middle, Married With Children, etc. No real standout performances, but everyone holding up their end. Expand
  34. TracyB.
    Aug 6, 2006
    8
    Clever and enjoyable film- many twists that I did not see coming. Great cast.
  35. BrianJ.
    Aug 6, 2006
    9
    Includes 5 of the most wonderful minutes in film history.
  36. JonM.
    Sep 14, 2006
    9
    Superb. Charming, witty, biting, funny, moving, a film that brings redemption for a season nearly devoid of inteligent and entertaining film. A delight to watch from first scene to last.
  37. ConradV.
    Sep 2, 2006
    8
    If you take this as light comedy with occasional trenchant satire to give it some depth, it's a lot of fun. If you take it too seriously and try to give it "deep meaning," it's too shallow to support that much weight. No matter; it needn't be this year's Grand Social Indictment - do you actually KNOW anyone who's deeply involved in little-girl beauty pageants? I If you take this as light comedy with occasional trenchant satire to give it some depth, it's a lot of fun. If you take it too seriously and try to give it "deep meaning," it's too shallow to support that much weight. No matter; it needn't be this year's Grand Social Indictment - do you actually KNOW anyone who's deeply involved in little-girl beauty pageants? I don't - and on its own terms it never flags and seldom sashays into cliche. As might be expected, Alan Arkin runs away with the honors, but Abigail Breslin comes awfully close, and there is no weak link anywhere in the ensemble. Expand
  38. BrianT.
    Sep 26, 2006
    7
    Well acted and enjoys perfect casting but this movie is vastly overrated. It's funny in parts but just not all that entertaining overall.
  39. GaryE
    Sep 27, 2006
    9
    Went in expecting the usual American drool however was surprised. Funny yet sad and very well acted.
  40. AdrianG.
    Sep 30, 2006
    10
    I love this movie because how raw and real it is.
  41. KenGleason
    Sep 5, 2006
    9
    Maybe it's my love of dyfunctional family movies (makes me feel better about my own), but I thought this movies was well-acted, scripted and heartfelt...and funny. The cast works well together, and, really, is there better overall actress than Toni Collette? Paul Dano, last seen by me in the terrific L.I.E. is a revelation.
  42. Nik
    Sep 5, 2006
    10
    MOST PHENOMENAL MOVIE i have seen in a LONG time. I have not laughed so out loud in a theater until i saw this movie. it is so great because its got such great character development and you connect with all of them. i think this movie deserves ALOT of credit for doing something genuine and unique.
  43. Rev.Rikard
    Sep 9, 2006
    9
    At last, a movie that redeems a very ordinary year in film. This is National Lampoons' Vacation with a ton of humanity thrown it. As we witness the agony of dreams crushed by a superficial society, we eventually arrive at the film's destination: ultimate meaning is experienced in relationships of genuine substance. This is one of the few films that allows us to experience the At last, a movie that redeems a very ordinary year in film. This is National Lampoons' Vacation with a ton of humanity thrown it. As we witness the agony of dreams crushed by a superficial society, we eventually arrive at the film's destination: ultimate meaning is experienced in relationships of genuine substance. This is one of the few films that allows us to experience the destruction of the insignificant and realization of the precious as we join a family in a Volkswagon Van. Expand
  44. Anymouse
    Jan 1, 2007
    8
    Very good film! Good actors, touching story. I loved it for its atmoshere and for its characters. It was worth watching, thought i think, that the ending is a little bit lame.
  45. JohnnyC.
    Jan 10, 2007
    10
    Over-hyped but still an amazing film!
  46. MartinS.
    Jan 13, 2007
    9
    One of the best movies I've seen all year. Would have given it a 10 but found the competition scenes a bit cliched. Excellent performances all around.
  47. Matt
    Jan 2, 2007
    10
    Best movie of the year and one of my new favorites. It's almost a quest story really, involving a trouble-plagued journy and each character facing their own demons.
  48. BurrrT.
    Jan 28, 2007
    9
    The people who rated this movie lowly either didn't finish watching the film or went in expecting one thing and can't forgive the directors for giving them something else. Yes there were small holes in the plot but each performance was excellent, nothing was crammed down your throat, and the ending was one of the funniest in recent memory.
  49. MarkJ.
    Jan 2, 2007
    8
    A truly touching summer film. At its humourous best it had traces of the sibling rivalries of Chevy Chase's National Lampoon Vacation movies, but what makes it great is a superb cast delivering highly personable characters, allowing for great empathy from all walks of life.
  50. Nadie
    Feb 11, 2007
    10
    Americans doing what they do best, laughing at themselves. Simple and well acted, this movie reminds us that you can find beauty in low budget films.
  51. AshleyRussell
    Feb 3, 2007
    10
    Great movie
  52. JimmyH.
    Feb 6, 2007
    10
    Loved the movie. It captures a certain feeling that is timely. I found it to be original and hilarious. Great cast. Each member had an endearing quality (even grandpa!). Frankly I don't understand all of the zeros being given to this movie. I don't know what people expect from a good film. Maybe they're more into your Armageddon-type movie. Who knows. Well to each his own, Loved the movie. It captures a certain feeling that is timely. I found it to be original and hilarious. Great cast. Each member had an endearing quality (even grandpa!). Frankly I don't understand all of the zeros being given to this movie. I don't know what people expect from a good film. Maybe they're more into your Armageddon-type movie. Who knows. Well to each his own, but I loved this flick. Expand
  53. BradenR.
    Feb 7, 2007
    9
    Classic! It's going to be the next movie that every college kid has on DVD.
  54. TonyT.
    Feb 7, 2007
    8
    Loved the movie. Could have done without all of the F-bombs. I loved the ending of the pagent.
  55. RyanM.
    Mar 21, 2007
    8
    Heartfelt, satirical and entertaining movie. a masterpiece, no, but it has worth from the dialogue, timing and developed characters. worth seeing but not something to completely wrap your mind around. just a neat little nice movie. as for the bad reviews here, i'd be interested to see how many are men and what age they may be.
  56. BorisH.
    May 31, 2007
    8
    Charming, with lots of genuine laughs.
  57. Jaimep
    Jul 10, 2007
    10
    Um good job jess calling a little kid fat. your real nice. i thought this movie was awesome. i believe the people who are looking for genius in the camera or technical things are missing out on why this movie is so great. it gives you a feeling of happiness. isn't that what movie are about? how they make you feel when you stop watching them. I loved it and i think the characters Um good job jess calling a little kid fat. your real nice. i thought this movie was awesome. i believe the people who are looking for genius in the camera or technical things are missing out on why this movie is so great. it gives you a feeling of happiness. isn't that what movie are about? how they make you feel when you stop watching them. I loved it and i think the characters were amazing. Expand
  58. OpalJ.
    Apr 20, 2008
    10
    This is my all-time favorite movie. The acting is great, the storyline is touching and hilarious, and the characters are hilarious though realistic. Yes, you might not find a family like this in the real world, but it's a MOVIE. And a great one at that.
  59. JoshP.
    May 26, 2008
    10
    This film captures everything a family's about. Dysfunctional and sometimes very strange but always honest. I feel sorry for you if you can't enjoy this film, it's the best light hearted comedy I've seen in years. Especially since it came out of America.
  60. CraigAS
    Oct 10, 2006
    9
    God, how I loved this movie.
  61. BenjaminE.
    Nov 30, 2006
    10
    This movie was not a diapointment, the most fun i have had at a movie theater for some time.
  62. JPP.
    Nov 6, 2006
    9
    First time directors, Faris and Dayton, have created a remarkably and genuinely excellent film. From the amazing cast and their splendid performances to the hilarious screenplay written by Michael Arndt, 'Little Miss Sunshine' is hands down one best films of the year. The great thing about each character that is apart of the Hoover family and featured in the movie, is that First time directors, Faris and Dayton, have created a remarkably and genuinely excellent film. From the amazing cast and their splendid performances to the hilarious screenplay written by Michael Arndt, 'Little Miss Sunshine' is hands down one best films of the year. The great thing about each character that is apart of the Hoover family and featured in the movie, is that they're all so very realistic. The most distinctive and memorable members of the family would have to be Olive's older brother, Dwayne and Grandpa. Dwayne presents the characteristics of what many kids today consider themselves today as "emo". As the film advances, we learn he is actually just your average teenager that's simply misunderstood and not "emo" at all. Then there's Grandpa; wisecracking, heroin snorting, kicked out of the retirement home for sleeping around Grandpa. Arkin does a terrific job with this role. He brings not only the character's written personality to life, but adds his own flare as well with his great facial expressions that only fuels the entertaining hoopla presented in 'Little Miss Sunshine'. The hilarity doesn't seem to stop even when death tries to darken the movie's comedic stance. Grandpa's rantings alone make the movie worth seeing. The irony that Olive's dad, Richard, is a motivational speaker who day in, day out informs people about how to achieve their goals, yet he himself can't accomplish anything is just of the several added bonuses. After changing my mind three times; first deciding to see 'The Illusionist', then again to 'The Black Dahlia', and finally agreeing upon 'Little Miss Sunshine' I'm really glad I did. There's not a funnier or better cast film out right now. The bottom line is 'Little Miss Sunshine' is an absolute winner and one of the few must-see films of the year. The only reason not to see it would be because it's no longer playing at your theater. In which case you then find another theater in your area that is. Expand
  63. AlexM
    Oct 17, 2006
    10
    One of the best movies I've seen this year! Love it!
  64. JoeP
    Dec 27, 2006
    8
    I have to say this movie was quite entertaining. Seven year old Olive (Abigail Breslin) is a nerdy girl trying to compete for Little Miss Sunshine against California young beauty queens. She and her whole family head from New Mexico head off to California to compete. She teaches her elders an important lesson.. Greg Kinnear is the father who thinks there is no such thing as second place. I have to say this movie was quite entertaining. Seven year old Olive (Abigail Breslin) is a nerdy girl trying to compete for Little Miss Sunshine against California young beauty queens. She and her whole family head from New Mexico head off to California to compete. She teaches her elders an important lesson.. Greg Kinnear is the father who thinks there is no such thing as second place. The whole family is dysfunctional. The Dad is a motivational speaker that has a meltdown, the son won't talk, grandfather is a heroin snorting junkie , and Steve Carrell is the very funny mothers brother who just got out of a mental institution after his teenage boyfriend dumped him. All in all, Little Miss Sunshine provided a different refreshing twist to a very quirky, yet funny comedy that is a very enjoyable movie to watch for the whole family. Expand
  65. JackG.
    Aug 11, 2006
    9
    Probably the best movie I have seen all summer. Great story idea, wonderful ensemble of characters and actors, hugely funny moments, and a subversive undertone that connects to the heart of what the movie is about. Great!
  66. Mase
    Aug 12, 2006
    8
    How refreshing this movie feelsm, after so much over hyped junk has already come out this summer. Toni Collette is incredible. Everything just comes together for some cool breezy entertainment.
  67. JoyceF.
    Aug 13, 2006
    10
    The best movie I've seen in quite a while. Great acting on all parts. It's been a long time since I've seen an audience appluad at the end of the movie. I still can't stop talking about it.
  68. MattS.
    Aug 13, 2006
    10
    Undoubtedly the best movie I have seen this slow summer movie season. LMS is a hilarious, heartwarming and genuine comedy that is neither pretentious nor contrived. The development of not only the characters themsevles, but also their relationships with one another is simply wonderful to witness and a worthwhile endeavor in these last days of summer. A must see.
  69. RoseAnneS.
    Aug 14, 2006
    10
    You won't find a better comedy this summer, or this year, for that matter. The comedy will bring tears to your eyes and aches to your sides. You won't look at family travel the same, much less Rick James' "Kinky Girl." A must see!
  70. Lucy
    Aug 17, 2006
    10
    The best movie I've seen in a very long time...and I'm QUITE a picky movie buff. Everything from the acting, storyline, twists, and lessons.....fabulous!
  71. GrahamM.
    Aug 18, 2006
    9
    This was an excellent movie I must say. Carell was excellent. This is much better than mainstream films a lot of the time.
  72. MahauM.
    Aug 21, 2006
    9
    An incredible film... hilarious, touching, and at times gut-wrenchingly sad. If you are expecting a hollywood ending, you will be disappointed, but it's the perfect indie film.
  73. KrisV.H.
    Aug 2, 2006
    10
    Excellent movie!
  74. DanaG
    Aug 22, 2006
    9
    Loved every moment of it. I knew in the first 10 mins that this one would be a keeper.
  75. GeorgeB.
    Aug 24, 2006
    7
    Some funny scenes with all the cast, but in total a pretty limp film. Go see but don't expect too much. Good for a few laughs.
  76. Cables
    Aug 24, 2006
    10
    The bad scores seem to reflect on the fact that it's not a movie for kids. Maybe the people who voted based on that premise should have looked at the rating (R) before they took their kids to see it. This is the best American film you'll see all year, hands down. Don't miss this.
  77. JamesB.
    Aug 26, 2006
    10
    Exceptional. The best movie in years. Even the pace is good--starts a bit slow and picks up throughout.
  78. JohnBarton
    Aug 28, 2006
    9
    When is the last time you sat thru a movie where the entire audience laughed almost continously and applauded loudly at the end. That's what happened in LMS, a really fun, wholly entertaining
    and uplifting movie. Anyone who doesn't love this film should quit going to movies. It's really good, and works on many different levels.
  79. GeorgeV.
    Aug 29, 2006
    9
    Unique and entertaining - I thought it was well done and very enjoyable. A welcome change from the usual "cookie cutter" and formulaic comedies that we are usually subjected to each summer. Those that gave it a low rating have missed the point entirely! Go see it!
  80. ChadS.
    Aug 31, 2006
    7
    The big comedic scene in "Little Miss Sunshine" is unlikely; but funny, riotously so. It seems like the filmmakers got carried away with their agenda to indict the children's beauty paegant industry as a meat market at the expense of demonizing the grandfather as a drug-addled pedophile. As played by Alan Arkin, I do not believe he would ask his granddaughter to vamp for an audience. The big comedic scene in "Little Miss Sunshine" is unlikely; but funny, riotously so. It seems like the filmmakers got carried away with their agenda to indict the children's beauty paegant industry as a meat market at the expense of demonizing the grandfather as a drug-addled pedophile. As played by Alan Arkin, I do not believe he would ask his granddaughter to vamp for an audience. But it's funny. "Little Miss Sunshine" stops being a routine dysfunctional family-pic when the family arrives at their destination. Greg Kinnear's reaction shots are priceless. He's obviously trying to keep an open mind against his better judgment about the prepubescents parading across the stage instead of just flat-out cringing like the rest of us. Expand
  81. TimN.
    Aug 30, 2006
    10
    Amazing film. It was at the same time funny, sad, inspirational, and most importantly of all, optimistic, with a little bit of black humour in there... [***SPOILERS***] really good message from the film (life is what you make of it--treat it like crap, and you'll live it miserably...but favour what you have, and you'll be happy for the rest of your life, no matter WHAT comes Amazing film. It was at the same time funny, sad, inspirational, and most importantly of all, optimistic, with a little bit of black humour in there... [***SPOILERS***] really good message from the film (life is what you make of it--treat it like crap, and you'll live it miserably...but favour what you have, and you'll be happy for the rest of your life, no matter WHAT comes your way. Be carefree, and live life to its fullest.), and it's one of the only films where you truly feel optimistic and happy about your life to come. Also, the movie did a really good job of portraying how absolutely sick in the head America is when it comes to these child beauty pageants, and how they are totally pointless...I saw a show on it on A&E once, and I was shocked. I mean, the parents of these kids are literally insane when they do this, and it's putrid that they dress them up and make them do such things at such a young age. So, yeah...definitely the best film I've seen all year, besides Snakes on a Plane (they're two totally different films, so, you can't really compare them...). Oh, and a wonderful soundtrack to it. I must pick it up. Expand
  82. KaseySwisher
    Aug 4, 2006
    7
    I expected more and better. First, the good. Great performances by Paul Dano and Greg Kinner. There are some parts that are hysterical. But this is one movie where the ending saves the film as a whole. The characters are undeveloped. The movies just jumps into this family with all of these problems without explanation. As a result, there are many times when the "drama" just seems like aI expected more and better. First, the good. Great performances by Paul Dano and Greg Kinner. There are some parts that are hysterical. But this is one movie where the ending saves the film as a whole. The characters are undeveloped. The movies just jumps into this family with all of these problems without explanation. As a result, there are many times when the "drama" just seems like a bad episode of 'Party of Five.' In short, there are several places where it is WAY overdone. Point in case is the scene with Paul Dano's character revelation. Instead of understating the humor and the drama, a la "The Royal Tenanbaums" and "Lost in Translation," the movie went over the top both in humor and in drama. Too much slapstick. Too many problems (like the melodrama "Pay it Forward"). But the movie ended well, it didn't go too far, and it wasn't unnecessarily long. It was an enjoyable film to watch. Nonetheless, it did not reach the expectations I had given the cast and the plot. Still, go see it. Expand
  83. CynS.
    Sep 11, 2006
    9
    Subversive and hilarious.
  84. AlanW.
    Sep 18, 2006
    8
    Great film, I really enjoyed it - very god acting and very funny!
  85. RyanS.
    Sep 22, 2006
    9
    Saw it months ago at a screening and have been trying to convince people to see it ever since. It's rare that one might mention "Best Film of the Year" in the same breath as a comedy starring Steve Carell, but in this case, it's totally true. How I wish comedies received a fair shake from the Academy in March, but I doubt we'll see this wonderful movie get the Oscar love it Saw it months ago at a screening and have been trying to convince people to see it ever since. It's rare that one might mention "Best Film of the Year" in the same breath as a comedy starring Steve Carell, but in this case, it's totally true. How I wish comedies received a fair shake from the Academy in March, but I doubt we'll see this wonderful movie get the Oscar love it deserves. Expand
  86. DeWayneP.P.
    Sep 24, 2006
    8
    What a wonderful film! It starts out a bit slow, but slowly grabs you by your laughing-bug and never lets your tonsils rest!...that classic Rick James song at the end pays an unrepentant tribute to a unforgettable musical icon. It was Super Freaky, yeah!!!
  87. AmirHosseinS.
    Sep 28, 2006
    10
    This movie was definitely the best American comedy in many years.
  88. LindyV.
    Sep 29, 2006
    10
    Fantastic movie, makes you laugh, tear up, cringe and smile. Reminded me of my fun yet dysfunctional family.
  89. ScottGoodwin
    Sep 3, 2006
    9
    Alternately heart-wrenching and laugh-out-loud funny, this movie kicked ass on all levels. The cast was amazing, the writing cut to the quick and a solid movie. The only thing that kept it from getting higher marks were a couple of coincidences/contrivances that seemed overwritten--when Steve Carell's char. runs into an ex-lover at a gas station in mid-trip, then later when the door Alternately heart-wrenching and laugh-out-loud funny, this movie kicked ass on all levels. The cast was amazing, the writing cut to the quick and a solid movie. The only thing that kept it from getting higher marks were a couple of coincidences/contrivances that seemed overwritten--when Steve Carell's char. runs into an ex-lover at a gas station in mid-trip, then later when the door falls off the van. To the movie's credit, I was willing to overlook those flaws to keep up with the characters. Expand
  90. JakeV.
    Sep 5, 2006
    9
    Absolutely great. Don't let the slow start fool you. A lot of great, funny bits and strong performances and a couple moving moments as well.
  91. SharonSulvason
    Sep 7, 2006
    10
    Laughed out loud throughout the movie! Loved it!
  92. TheConundrum
    Sep 8, 2006
    9
    The funniest movie I've seen in a while, and perversely touching as well. It starts out slow, but by the time they reached the "beauty pageant" at the end, I nearly bust a gut laughing. Not for small children, but intelligent adults will richly appreciate it.
  93. DanB.
    Jan 14, 2007
    8
    Pretty funny. Pretty clever. Grandpa's the best and he dies, but, still. Oh and, is it me or does Greg Kinnear seem to always be in movies that are good? Either he or someone working for him knows how to choose scripts, or something.
  94. JaredC.
    Dec 15, 2007
    9
    Michael Arndt's screenplay for the stellar comedy Little Miss Sunshine is tightly constructed, and full of the kinds of characters talented actors kill to portray a pudgy, bespectacled seven-year-old, Olive (Abigail Breslin), voices her desire to take home the coveted Little Miss Sunshine crown at an upcoming beauty pageant, her wildly dysfunctional family sets out on an interstate Michael Arndt's screenplay for the stellar comedy Little Miss Sunshine is tightly constructed, and full of the kinds of characters talented actors kill to portray a pudgy, bespectacled seven-year-old, Olive (Abigail Breslin), voices her desire to take home the coveted Little Miss Sunshine crown at an upcoming beauty pageant, her wildly dysfunctional family sets out on an interstate road trip to ensure her a clear shot at realizing her dreams in former music video directorial team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris' quirky feature debut, starring Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, and Toni Collette. Despite early career success as an outspoken motivational speaker, family patriarch Richard (Kinnear) continues to cling to his "Refuse to Lose" philosophy, much to the chagrin of his increasingly annoyed spouse, Sheryl (Collette). Add into the mix a Nietzsche-reading teenage son (Paul Dano) who has taken a vow of silence until he finds his fate as a fighter pilot; a horny, heroin-happy grandfather (Alan Arkin) with a penchant for creative profanity; and a suicidal genius (Carell) and Proust scholar still reeling about losing both his male lover and his MacArthur Foundation genius grant -- and the stage is set for a road trip in which sanity is sure to take the back seat. All of the characters and themes are economically but patiently set up in a funny 20-minute dinner sequence that opens the movie. Throughout the film, characters perform what seem to be throwaway actions that actually pay off later in the film. The fact that first-time directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris know when to keep the story moving and when to slow down for the first-rate character stuff helps make it one of the great debuts of the year. However, it is the actors who make Little Miss Sunshine one of the best films of 2006. These characters, from the suicidal Proust scholar to the heroin-addicted grandfather to the silent, sullen teenager to the failed motivational speaker (a comedy concept worthy of an award in and of itself), could all be played so grandly that the film would collapse. However, everybody stays on the same page emotionally, making them seem like a real family and like real individuals. About a third of the way into Little Miss Sunshine, Steve Carell and Alan Arkin play a simple scene in which Arkin's character makes a frank request that gets a laugh from Carell's character. The scene is unusual because very rarely does anyone actually laugh onscreen in a comedy. Carell's laugh feels utterly genuine and entirely in character, making the conversation one of the moments that best exemplifies the humanism and the humor in the thoroughly entertaining Little Miss Sunshine. Expand
  95. KEND.
    Jan 22, 2007
    9
    Very good little picture. Good acting, & direction.
  96. Jim
    Jan 22, 2007
    9
    Very good movie, not slapstick funny but the kind of funny that sticks with you.
  97. AaronL.
    Jan 23, 2007
    10
    Allan and Ethan have NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT. This is a splendid dark comedy, whose characters offer endless smiles both through there words and actions. If you are looking for the 40 year old virgin, look else where. Yet, if you are looking for You, me, and everyone we know, you will enjoy this film.
  98. ReidF.
    Jan 27, 2007
    10
    Imagine a comedy in which each of the main characters has to confront losing his or her dream. Now, picture that comedy taking place mostly in a little yellow van that has a character all its own, and you have
  99. Therese
    Jan 31, 2007
    9
    Sometimes we just live our lives in our own little worlds and forget just how much diversity is out there. This film has captured a family that has its quirks and is different; but aren't we all? Beneath the challenges each family member faces, remains strength, love, patience, guidance and acceptance--not a bad lot to have in life. Every family has its own, ah, uniqueness, and this Sometimes we just live our lives in our own little worlds and forget just how much diversity is out there. This film has captured a family that has its quirks and is different; but aren't we all? Beneath the challenges each family member faces, remains strength, love, patience, guidance and acceptance--not a bad lot to have in life. Every family has its own, ah, uniqueness, and this is a family to be cherished for all it has to offer each other and those viewing the film. Great cast and wonderful acting--give in to it and you will enjoy not only the experience but perhaps appreciate your own family, warts and all, just a little bit more. Expand
  100. MathewH.
    Jan 30, 2007
    10
    I loved this movie. It's irreverence as survivability, sarcasm as honesty, with the quirks and spasms of a lifetime condensed into a few days journey. Believable? Nah. But why should anyone care. Take the ride. It's carnival faire to be sure. But a warning. If you take yourself or anyone or anything seriously, this isn't for you. Just read the negative reviews if you have I loved this movie. It's irreverence as survivability, sarcasm as honesty, with the quirks and spasms of a lifetime condensed into a few days journey. Believable? Nah. But why should anyone care. Take the ride. It's carnival faire to be sure. But a warning. If you take yourself or anyone or anything seriously, this isn't for you. Just read the negative reviews if you have any doubts. Expand
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. 70
    It's the journey that offers the most enjoyment. Well, that and the beauty pageant climax, which I won't spoil here, but is one of the funniest scenes from film in recent memory.
  2. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    63
    Diverting and often funny enough, largely thanks (as is not unusual in cases like this) to its cast.
  3. A brainy blend of farce and heart, this is one of those movies that veteran moviegoers complain they don't make anymore.