User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 541 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 89 out of 541
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  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. JasperV.
    Dec 29, 2007
    1
    Wow. I'm stunned. Every once in a while a movie comes along that is jaw-droppingly horrible to the point that it leaves your mouth hanging open. I lack sufficient terms to express how trite and repellent I find this simpering movie. It's an exhausted "human spirit" movie so cloying that it needs to be taken off life support. From the first time I saw the TV commercial which Wow. I'm stunned. Every once in a while a movie comes along that is jaw-droppingly horrible to the point that it leaves your mouth hanging open. I lack sufficient terms to express how trite and repellent I find this simpering movie. It's an exhausted "human spirit" movie so cloying that it needs to be taken off life support. From the first time I saw the TV commercial which featured the hackneyed ruse of getting the whole family in one vehicle for the duration of a movie, I suspected the script would have difficulty making that premise believable. It certainly fails there, but that's the least of its problems. But still, the wealth of good reviews drew me to buy a ticket. My initial reservations were right. This script is an inept piece of garbage long before you evaluate it on moral grounds, where it collapses spectacularly. The family here is a mix of characters so drippy and dense that they never realize their dumpy, uncoordinated, bespectacled daughter isn't the Junior Miss type. It takes them exactly one pageant (following a needless cross country trip) to figure that out. The same family doesn't realize that a heroin-snorting, horndog grandfather shouldn't be the one teaching their adolescent daughter her beauty pageant dance number. Why not go all the way and include a "funny scene" of grandpa molesting her? The setup is practically there; a scene so distasteful feels like it's just off-screen (or on the cutting room floor) in this wholly objectionable movie. Long after a ridiculously unbelievable "chance meeting" in a gas station, long after paper-deep villains have been thrown at the screen, long after the annoying Murphy's Law plot line is exhausted, comes the most sick, saccharine, crappy moment in all of film history which involves a family attempting to redeem their seven-year old daughters failed, inappropriate talent routine (a strip tease) by joining her on stage. Sexualizing a seven year old girl without her being developmentally able to understand it... mmm, that's comedy gold. This "edgy material" is about as palatable as a cup of bleach. I'm not one to look for messages but here we've got something like "Let's all support each other as we swim up the cr*p river of life!" I'm sure it's supporters think I've missed the point and that the humor is just dark. It's not dark. Making a dark comedy is an art. This comedy has no edge in it's delivery. It's filmed straight. It's acted and presented ineptly. It's about as edgy as a smutty episode of Seventh Heaven. This is the rotten family-values homily to end them all. Drawing big saccharine payoffs to support a family values theme also places this squarely in mainstream whitebread entertainment. It makes perfect sense that idiotic Hollywood would nominate this tripe for a bunch of Oscars, but I can't believe I respect people who like this atrocity. The Oscars have become so gratingly self-impressed, and the nominees so limp, that all you can really do anymore is root against films you don't want to have any further influence on the culture. I am so glad it lost the Best Picture award ; Now it starts a long descent to the bottom of time's toilet, exactly where it belongs, where it will be forgotten. Expand
  8. DavidR.
    Jan 28, 2007
    0
    How about putting this in bold font across the top of the DVD box, "The Most Overrated Film of the Decade." Look I know a good movie when I see one and never let the hype get to me. I thought Sideways and Lost in Translation were well deserving of their praise when they came out and were nominated for Best Picture but this was a joke. Let's go over a few of the stand-out scenes How about putting this in bold font across the top of the DVD box, "The Most Overrated Film of the Decade." Look I know a good movie when I see one and never let the hype get to me. I thought Sideways and Lost in Translation were well deserving of their praise when they came out and were nominated for Best Picture but this was a joke. Let's go over a few of the stand-out scenes **Spoiler**: Alan Arkin uses countless expletives for no reason at all until he finally dies, Carell mispronounces Proust about fifteen times, Paul Dano mopes around for two hours then turns into the grandfather and curses uncontrollably for no reason, and finally the movie climaxes with a so-quirky-she's-cute kid stripping in a beauty pageant. Chevy Chase must be rolling in his grave right now thinking about this poor attempt at remaking his comedy classic. And can we talk about Steve Carell's underacting? It seems he went into a coma sometime around the start of production and hasn't come out of character since. You can watch his eyes in the film carefully read over the cue cards off screen while trying not to fall asleep. Expand
  9. Evieb.
    Jan 30, 2007
    0
    I felt totally conned by this movie. I can just imagine the Fox poeple at Sundance thinking, "Those arty blue-staters LOVE quirky indie comedies like this, with their ironically suburban aesthetics and implausible motel sets that mimic 'Wallpaper' spreads from 1999!" The script was total garbage; I could hear its rusty gears creaking throughout, especially during the exposition I felt totally conned by this movie. I can just imagine the Fox poeple at Sundance thinking, "Those arty blue-staters LOVE quirky indie comedies like this, with their ironically suburban aesthetics and implausible motel sets that mimic 'Wallpaper' spreads from 1999!" The script was total garbage; I could hear its rusty gears creaking throughout, especially during the exposition scenes when the writer had to contrive a way for the entire family to agree to take the road trip. I think Little Miss Sunshine might be my least favorite movie of all time. No doubt it will win best original screenplay at this year's Oscars. Expand
  10. AL.
    Feb 4, 2007
    0
    This movie is wretched. The characters are unappealing and classless. I couldn't root for any of them. Just gross. Who would let their kid act in this junk?
  11. Jess
    Feb 6, 2007
    1
    Just how did this made-for-TV movie make it into theaters? If I make a video of my fat little sister dancing in front of a televised beauty pageant with my cliched grandparent swearing in the background, can I go to Sundance too?
  12. AbbyR.
    Oct 20, 2006
    7
    Is winning really everything?
  13. FedUp
    Sep 1, 2006
    1
    Tremendously overrated. Artsy and cute but nothing more. NOT fulfilling in the least.
  14. Yowazup
    Aug 19, 2007
    5
    Little Miss Sunshine is a dry, slow movie that reaches for quirky and only manages to grab on to pain. In fact, this movie seems to be about how unfair life is and if we all go on stage and show up all the stuck up people that we can dance like a stripper, then we have made something of ourselves. This movie isn't different, its just a complete rehash of old screwball comedy. It Little Miss Sunshine is a dry, slow movie that reaches for quirky and only manages to grab on to pain. In fact, this movie seems to be about how unfair life is and if we all go on stage and show up all the stuck up people that we can dance like a stripper, then we have made something of ourselves. This movie isn't different, its just a complete rehash of old screwball comedy. It wants to find humor in the awkward but comes up with nothing short of inane. The characters are all unlikable, except the two children, and this seems to be done purposely as if to show the old idea of ignorance being bliss. Its situations are terribly staged, and the only thing that works is that the actors all can act. But that does not matter because the characters they're playing are flat and shallow. Sure its trying be true to our world full of social decay, but who cares if all your characters do is decay more(one actually quite literally). This movie gets nominated for best picture while a movie like Children of Men is forgotten. Expand
  15. joeh
    Jan 7, 2010
    3
    While it's obvious many people feel this movie succeeds in its humorous antics, I can only find myself cringing. This is one of those films that's all about personal taste, my palete having grown accustomed to a decidedly different sort of entertainment. I can say with certainty, however, that awarding it with Best Picture would have been similar to awarding the Nobel Prize to While it's obvious many people feel this movie succeeds in its humorous antics, I can only find myself cringing. This is one of those films that's all about personal taste, my palete having grown accustomed to a decidedly different sort of entertainment. I can say with certainty, however, that awarding it with Best Picture would have been similar to awarding the Nobel Prize to the individual who invented the Slap Chop: both amusing and utterly ridiculous. Expand
  16. DeanaM.
    Aug 18, 2006
    0
    We walked out!
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. 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.
  23. Maubius
    Sep 10, 2006
    8
    I laughed out loud quite a bit. Very funny, and highly recommended.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. Ann
    Sep 6, 2006
    2
    The only reason I sat thru this film was to see as much of Alan Arkin as possible. Yes, everything was funny, but just too much. Best
  27. 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.
  28. KristinP.
    Jan 13, 2007
    9
    Hysterical, heart warming story.
  29. 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
  30. 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
  31. ReeceS.
    Jan 31, 2007
    0
    They tricked me, and stole my money.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. WalkerR.
    Feb 20, 2007
    4
    Can you say "overrated". I kept waiting for something to surprise me and win me over...not! Oh, and I guessed the ending from the very beginning. It'll probbaly win best picture too. What a joke.
  35. SabrinaD.
    Feb 23, 2007
    2
    Just because you leave the theater with a smile on your face doesn't mean it's a good movie. It means you like to see awkward little girls prosper and enjoy their childhood. Who doesn't? But everything leading up to these few minutes of Breslin enjoyment are painful to sit through and show no signs of humor at all. A for effort from Abigail but everything else failed miserably.
  36. Bob
    Feb 3, 2007
    0
    Awful!
  37. JulioM.
    Feb 4, 2007
    9
    At the end of this movie I felt warmth in my heart.
  38. ElliotP.
    Feb 4, 2007
    8
    A fun movie, well-done, even though the plot has been little over-done.
  39. Tania
    Apr 16, 2008
    3
    Mystifyingly bad. Oh, how I wanted to like it. Cliched characters assembled on a screenwriters factory line, with nary a breath of life in them (save Breslin, lovable without ever being cloying), a plot creakingly contrived from start to finish. Not one moment of this film rang true (ok, one - the sweet scene where Alan Arkin's 'foulmouthed grandpa' - i imagine this is what Mystifyingly bad. Oh, how I wanted to like it. Cliched characters assembled on a screenwriters factory line, with nary a breath of life in them (save Breslin, lovable without ever being cloying), a plot creakingly contrived from start to finish. Not one moment of this film rang true (ok, one - the sweet scene where Alan Arkin's 'foulmouthed grandpa' - i imagine this is what he was dubbed in the screenplay - assures Breslin's wannabe beauty queen that she is beautiful. Really - and this is the film at its most touching.), nevermind tickled the funny bone. Replete with gaping holes in character motivation/ development you could drive a truck through (the son wants to be a fighter pilot, so he took a vow of silence. This leads us conveniently to 'funny,' furious scribbling in a notepad, ' i hate everyone'. Teenage angst has never been so subtle!). Even the supposedly laugh-out loud finale felt heavy-handed and like a desperate, mean, and inexplicable ploy for laughs. Finally, it just felt so slight - at film's end, a great big shrug is all I could muster. Expand
  40. 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.
  41. MarkBayer
    Oct 2, 2006
    6
    The fact that late-summer audiences so enthusiastically embraced this mildly likable but largely derivative, unimaginative family comedy-drama/ social satire/ road movie/ would-be Microcosm of America is proof positive that at the end of an even more dismally mindless movie summer than usual, moviegoers are absolutely starved for anything that presents even an illusion of intelligence, The fact that late-summer audiences so enthusiastically embraced this mildly likable but largely derivative, unimaginative family comedy-drama/ social satire/ road movie/ would-be Microcosm of America is proof positive that at the end of an even more dismally mindless movie summer than usual, moviegoers are absolutely starved for anything that presents even an illusion of intelligence, originality or depth. The family dinner in the Hoover household that opens the movie, and in which all their goals, problems, conflicts and neuroses are artlessly laid out for us, is as clunky, amateurish and contrived as the worst Screenwriting 101 project can get, and the movie misses what should've been some easy, obvious targets completely: even though it tries to get some symbolic mileage out of dad Richard's aspiring career as a motivational speaker, a cursory viewing of a 3 AM infomercial featuring Tony Robbins and Leeza Gibbons yields far more pertinent (if unintentional) commentary about the motivation-for-money business than anything seen here. Acting is uneven: Greg Kinnear (Richard) mined the American Everyman field to much greater results in this year's earlier The Matador, while Alan Arkin, as a dirty old druggie grandpa, adds nothing new to that hoary old independent movie cliché. (But don't be surprised if, like Don Ameche and James Coburn, he walks off with a Lifetime Achievement --oops, Best Supporting Actor Oscar for this trite performance!) On the other hand, Toni Collette, as beleaguered mom Sheryl, proves once again, as she's recently done in The Night Whisperer and In Her Shoes, that she's any movie's secret weapon, while Steve Carell, who at this point in his career seems incapable of doing ANYTHING wrong, balances his manic, hilarious vocal work as Hammy the Squirrel in Over the Hedge with a wonderfully subtle, nuanced portrayal of Sheryl's suicidal gay brother. And the kids are alright, too: Paul Dano, as the Hoovers' resolutely mute son, says more with silences than many actors do with pages of dialogue, while Abigail Breslin, as would-be child beauty pageant contestant Olive, is a joy to watch because she's so thoroughly unaffected. (An Entertainment Weekly interview with her revealed that what she wanted right now more than anything else was to catch a frog. That seems to explain it.) In fact, little Olive herself is so sweet, sensible and thoroughly NORMAL that you can't help but wonder who left her in a basket on the Hoovers' doorstep many years ago; I loved how, even though she very much wants to be in this pageant, she's mature enough to sacrifice it on several occasions when a family crisis appears to interfere. And although one of those emergencies will prove instantly recognizable to anyone who's seen National Lampoon's Vacation, the movie really accelerates at roughly the same pace at which the Hoovers' smiley-face yellow van breaks down. The situations (and the family's reaction to them) get funnier, and the movie barrels into a terrific beauty pageant finale (with no small assistance by Beth Grant, who as an officious official, is a marvelous comic foil) in which Olive innocently exposes children's beauty pageants for the truly repellent, disgusting obscenities that they are. A lovely, Chaplinesque final shot ices the cake, but the question remains: is Little Miss Sunshine's dynamite finish enough to compensate for the sluggishness of most of what precedes it and bump it from a 6 to a 7? Well, let's put it this way, if the fierceness of its attack on kiddie pageants were enough to get them run off the face of the earth, it just might...but then, the JonBenet Ramsey murder (whose recent reemergence as a news story provided this movie with the most unsavory free publicity since the Three Mile Island nuclear accident boosted The China Syndrome back in 1979) wasn't quite enough to get those pedophilic meat parades banned, so... Expand
  42. 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.
  43. Fresh
    Aug 10, 2006
    10
    Best movie I have seen in a few years.
  44. 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.
  45. DavidK.
    Aug 14, 2006
    10
    Without question the best movie I have seen in 2006.
  46. 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!
  47. RosauraC.
    Aug 10, 2006
    6
    It was funny in parts and okay overall, but it could have been funnier. The direction and editing are largely at fault. . Laughs were stepped on and opportunities for good reaction shots were missed. When Duane has his revelation there are funnier things he could have said. The coming attractions for this were brilliant; the film not so much.
  48. 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!
  49. 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!
  50. 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
  51. MichaelWoods
    Aug 5, 2006
    6
    One too many characters with extreme drawbacks who we are supposed to find endearing in their dysfunction. I laughed a number of times, but under the zaniness, there's something sad and even, at moments, a little nasty. Don't take younger kids unless you want them thinking F*** is normal speech.
  52. TracyB.
    Aug 6, 2006
    8
    Clever and enjoyable film- many twists that I did not see coming. Great cast.
  53. BrianJ.
    Aug 6, 2006
    9
    Includes 5 of the most wonderful minutes in film history.
  54. 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.
  55. 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
  56. 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.
  57. GaryE
    Sep 27, 2006
    9
    Went in expecting the usual American drool however was surprised. Funny yet sad and very well acted.
  58. AdrianG.
    Sep 30, 2006
    10
    I love this movie because how raw and real it is.
  59. Charles
    Sep 5, 2006
    2
    Little Missed Opportunity. Great cast, good music, God-awful script and directing. [***SPOILERS***] Often I felt bored waiting for the characters to do what was obviously going to happen, eg. everyone must take trip, body out of hospital, whereas motorcycle journey and confronting agent serves no purpose whatsoever. Poorly crafted. Recovery from grandpa's death happened awfully Little Missed Opportunity. Great cast, good music, God-awful script and directing. [***SPOILERS***] Often I felt bored waiting for the characters to do what was obviously going to happen, eg. everyone must take trip, body out of hospital, whereas motorcycle journey and confronting agent serves no purpose whatsoever. Poorly crafted. Recovery from grandpa's death happened awfully quickly! How did mom have no clue what her daughter was wearing? How did dad the schmo instantly turn into Mr. Good Guy? Character development is not the same as plot-convenient transformation. Expand
  60. 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.
  61. 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.
  62. 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
  63. 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.
  64. JohnnyC.
    Jan 10, 2007
    10
    Over-hyped but still an amazing film!
  65. 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.
  66. JHW
    Jan 15, 2007
    1
    I understand that the story tells about all the troubles this broken family goes through, but I just didn't know what point the movie was trying to make. They callled it comedy, but there wasn't really anything to laugh about. In fact, the end comes quite suddenly, it doesns't even have a scene that reconciles the entire situation and puts the family back into one piece. I I understand that the story tells about all the troubles this broken family goes through, but I just didn't know what point the movie was trying to make. They callled it comedy, but there wasn't really anything to laugh about. In fact, the end comes quite suddenly, it doesns't even have a scene that reconciles the entire situation and puts the family back into one piece. I just don't get it. Expand
  67. 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.
  68. EthanR.
    Jan 2, 2007
    3
    Okay. What we've got here is an R rated comedy about a young girl named Olive entering a beauty padgent. To do that her family need to take a little road trip. This shouldn't be a comedy first of all because there's barely any comedy. It's more like drama. But this movie is so stupid and pointless. The son won't talk because he took a vow of silence. He took a vow Okay. What we've got here is an R rated comedy about a young girl named Olive entering a beauty padgent. To do that her family need to take a little road trip. This shouldn't be a comedy first of all because there's barely any comedy. It's more like drama. But this movie is so stupid and pointless. The son won't talk because he took a vow of silence. He took a vow of silence because he wants to be a pilot. It doesn't make much sense. The uncle is a homosexual man who tried to kill himself because he didn't get the guy he wanted. The grandpa is an annoying person who takes drugs and swares a lot. The father is so annoying. The mom is probobly one of the only normal people in the family. The story line was so bad. They take some 1 and a half day roadtrip to a beauty pagant. It didn't take an intelligent guy to write the script. BORING! STUPID! DON'T GET IT!!! OR RENT IT! Expand
  69. T.D.M.
    Jan 26, 2007
    4
    I'm not a fan of independent films, especially cloyingly artsy-fartsy ones like this. There are some chuckles to be had, but the little girl is nearly pushed out of the picture by her dysfunctional family, and the movie just sort of petered out at the end without finality.
  70. 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.
  71. 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.
  72. Eugenia
    Jan 30, 2007
    0
    I had to vote cause I thought the movie stank! I walked out of the film before the old man died--probably only the second or third film I've ever walked out of. This film Did Not Work! "Harold and maude" (a quirky independent film about disfunctional folks) worked. This film did not! It's absolutely pathetic it's been nominated for anything. Ensemble? Please. Thank God I had to vote cause I thought the movie stank! I walked out of the film before the old man died--probably only the second or third film I've ever walked out of. This film Did Not Work! "Harold and maude" (a quirky independent film about disfunctional folks) worked. This film did not! It's absolutely pathetic it's been nominated for anything. Ensemble? Please. Thank God Altman (the great ensemble director) is dead. It's a sham. I thought it was big in Santa Cruz because someone local was a director (or something). I suppose when "Crash" beat out "Good Night and Good Luck" last year it was time to give it all a rest. The little was cute--let's hope her career lives through this experience. Expand
  73. 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.
  74. ryanjonas
    Feb 2, 2007
    0
    when the movie ended, i immediatly packed it up and sold it to the local Game Stop......i had to get this peice of crap out of my home
  75. AshleyRussell
    Feb 3, 2007
    10
    Great movie
  76. rogerT.
    Feb 3, 2007
    5
    To my mind i think this film is good but not exceptionnal, i don't understand when i see 100/100 or good marks like that! if you see this movie you'll pass a good moment but you'll forget it quickly.
  77. Mobius
    Feb 5, 2007
    4
    Motivation husband, depressed teenager, coke sniffing grandad, frumpy kid, and a uncle that tried to kill himself, with these charactors stuck in a VW van for a 800 mile journey it sounds like a great idea for a movie, WRONG!!! I can see why some people may find this a good film but for me it felt that the film just didn't go anywhere. Personally if you want a film that captures the Motivation husband, depressed teenager, coke sniffing grandad, frumpy kid, and a uncle that tried to kill himself, with these charactors stuck in a VW van for a 800 mile journey it sounds like a great idea for a movie, WRONG!!! I can see why some people may find this a good film but for me it felt that the film just didn't go anywhere. Personally if you want a film that captures the plain goofyness of various charactors then I suggest watching Napolean Dynamite. Expand
  78. 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
  79. BradenR.
    Feb 7, 2007
    9
    Classic! It's going to be the next movie that every college kid has on DVD.
  80. TonyT.
    Feb 7, 2007
    8
    Loved the movie. Could have done without all of the F-bombs. I loved the ending of the pagent.
  81. 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.
  82. J.D.
    Apr 13, 2007
    1
    It's rubbish, nothing about it is funny, its just 6 losers with sad boring lives, even when i think about them it makes me depressed. the characters are shallow and the individuals stories are boring and the me against the world attitude of this film is a big steaming pile of the brown stuff!!
  83. BorisH.
    May 31, 2007
    8
    Charming, with lots of genuine laughs.
  84. 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
  85. BrianK.
    Aug 30, 2007
    3
    Little Miss Sunshine just wasn't funny enough to compensate for its straightforward, predictable plot. The only redeeming quality of this film was that the character development was well done. Basically, I am amazed that this movie got a nomination for best picture.
  86. 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.
  87. 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.
  88. CraigAS
    Oct 10, 2006
    9
    God, how I loved this movie.
  89. BenjaminE.
    Nov 30, 2006
    10
    This movie was not a diapointment, the most fun i have had at a movie theater for some time.
  90. 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
  91. AlexM
    Oct 17, 2006
    10
    One of the best movies I've seen this year! Love it!
  92. GlennA.
    Dec 20, 2006
    3
    Predictable plot line, and one dimensional characters. Over-hyped, under-stuffed.
  93. G.H.
    Dec 20, 2006
    3
    Many reviewers have compared Little Miss Sunshine to National Lampoon's Family Vacation, usually tacking on "with heart," or "with soul," or "with humanity." It's easy to understand why - in both films, a family takes a road trip laden with comic foibles to a destination that comes to be imbued with an almost mythic importance. The difference, the "soul" or "heart" that people Many reviewers have compared Little Miss Sunshine to National Lampoon's Family Vacation, usually tacking on "with heart," or "with soul," or "with humanity." It's easy to understand why - in both films, a family takes a road trip laden with comic foibles to a destination that comes to be imbued with an almost mythic importance. The difference, the "soul" or "heart" that people tack on to Little Miss Sunshine, is that the audience is supposed to sympathize with the Hoovers, rather than simply accepting them as comedy drones a la the Griswolds. The problem is that there's really very little reason to do so. They are caricatures, and often mean and unpleasant ones, at that. Like Sideways, it peddles this unpleasantness as character depth and asks us to like these people almost entirely because they're unlikable. When they overcome, or at least try to address, their flaws, it usually feels more like plot contrivance than any kind of real effort or epiphany, and the whole ends up feeling cheap and flimsy. Don't get me wrong - I don't believe that all characters have to be likable or kind, and I certainly don't think they should ever be flawless, but I have a problem with being asked to feel warmth toward a collection of jerks simply for their comic mishaps. The film's most enjoyable moments and most likable characters come from Steve Carell and Paul Dano, who are unfortunately sidelined most of the time. The finale that so many have called "outrageous" and "heartwarming" felt exploitative, implausible, and more than a little mean - in other words, a micro version of the entire film. With the Griswolds, the audience knew all along they were being given caricature - broad, ridiculous characters in wacky situations. It didn't matter if we liked them or not - we were just along for a very foolish ride. Little Miss Sunshine's Hoovers are supposed to be more "real," but end up just being irritating and unfunny. Expand
  94. 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
  95. 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!
  96. 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.
  97. 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.
  98. 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.
  99. 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!
  100. 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!
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. Reviewed by: Duane Byrge
    80
    A brainy blend of farce and heart, this is one of those movies that veteran moviegoers complain they don't make anymore.