Sunlight Jr.


Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19

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Critic Reviews

  1. 63
    Try as she might, Collyer cannot help but judge these people, a not-quite-fatal flaw in a movie about the down and out.
  2. Reviewed by: Frank Scheck
    Sep 27, 2013
    Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon bring impressive emotional and physical heat to Sunlight Jr., director/screenwriter Laurie Collyer’s beautifully observed character study of an unmarried couple living on the economic margins.
  3. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Nov 14, 2013
    Though this is an emotionally driven movie, it never drifts into melodrama. Collyer is as pragmatic in her approach as her characters. But it is Dillon and Watts' nuanced portrayals that make "Sunlight's" darkness so appealing.
  4. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    Sep 27, 2013
    Incandescent performances by Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon and an unerring grasp of strip-mall-dominated Florida distinguish Sunlight Jr.
  5. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    Nov 14, 2013
    The film is merciless in showing the obstacles faced by a down-and-out couple in strip-mall Florida, but there's a modicum of hope in the genuine love the characters share.
  6. Reviewed by: Susan Wloszczyna
    Nov 15, 2013
    If Sunlight Jr. does anything, it is to shine a light on the fact that the American dream is a dormant notion for far too many.
  7. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Nov 14, 2013
    It’s slightly tough to get onboard with the regal Naomi Watts sporting badly sprayed hair and frosted lipstick; surely there are more flattering shades at the Walgreens?
  8. Reviewed by: Rodrigo Perez
    Sep 27, 2013
    Unflinchingly honest and grim, Sunlight Jr. is a valuable piece of work from a filmmaker who has a distinctive voice and concerns.
  9. Reviewed by: Abhimanyu Das
    Sep 27, 2013
    An admirable refusal to adhere to any overexposed poverty-porn templates, however, is taken a little too far in the opposite direction, to the point that the film feels self-consciously shapeless.
  10. Reviewed by: John Oursler
    Nov 12, 2013
    Collyer has a keen eye for underrepresented populations, but she'd be better served in the future to scale back on the overstatement.
  11. Reviewed by: Tomas Hachard
    Nov 15, 2013
    Like "Sherrybaby," Sunlight Jr. explores the troubling gap that can open up between a person's aspirations and his or her reality. But Collyer never looks down on her characters; instead, her films have the quality of a good Springsteen song.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Mar 19, 2014
    The only reason I scored "Sunlight Jr. as high as 5 is because it was done well enough to keep me from walking out on it. Otherwise a 4 wouldThe only reason I scored "Sunlight Jr. as high as 5 is because it was done well enough to keep me from walking out on it. Otherwise a 4 would have done it. Never has such good acting, directing, and cinematography been so wasted on a bad script. Anyone who rates this higher than a "5", I would ask them, what on earth did this movie do? If you're going to make a gritty depressing movie you had better have something more to say in the end than, that's all, folks! Full Review »