Sunshine

User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 0 out of 15
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  1. YoonC.
    Sep 21, 2003
    10
    One of the greatest films ever and one of the finest summations of the cultural/historical events and traumas of Eastern Europe in the 20th Century. The mostly English and American cast work surprisingly well, which is of crucial importance as the excellent performances anchor the dizzying, chaotic, impersonal, and ruthless forces of huge upheavals in the agony, even poetry, of individual One of the greatest films ever and one of the finest summations of the cultural/historical events and traumas of Eastern Europe in the 20th Century. The mostly English and American cast work surprisingly well, which is of crucial importance as the excellent performances anchor the dizzying, chaotic, impersonal, and ruthless forces of huge upheavals in the agony, even poetry, of individual lives; history is personalized. Perhaps, it's comparable to Dr. Zhivago in its portrayal of the dignity, even the triumph, of the individual in the vast bloody panorama of history but it goes deeper, is more naked and truthful, and avoids Lean's penchant for glamorization. Fiennes plays three generations of Jewish Hungarians, a feat that is both exhilarating and provocative in questioning to what extent are we free as individuals and to what extent are we prisoners of cultural conditioning. Expand
  2. ElliottH.
    Jun 4, 2006
    10
    A complex terrific movie. Long movies (3 hours) tend to be something special-especially good or especially bad. This one is especially good. If the movie can capture your interest and attention for 3 hours, it has an advantage shorter movies can't match. As you invest your time, you begin to care for the characters in a way beyond criticism. When I start reacting viscerally to a A complex terrific movie. Long movies (3 hours) tend to be something special-especially good or especially bad. This one is especially good. If the movie can capture your interest and attention for 3 hours, it has an advantage shorter movies can't match. As you invest your time, you begin to care for the characters in a way beyond criticism. When I start reacting viscerally to a movie it gets a 10 from me. Expand
  3. Lizd
    May 17, 2007
    8
    A tough movie to watch because of the constant barrage of gratuitous ex and violence. Good story though--good acting. Very good cinematography. Many wonderful moments.
  4. IstvanL.
    Mar 21, 2002
    10
    A beautiful movie, which brings back bitter sweet memories of a young girl I had lost a long time ago.
  5. MaybeJustNotHungarianEnough
    May 17, 2007
    8
    When the film depicts political events and their effects on individuals, it's gripping. William Hurt is devastatingly convincing as the post-war Nazi hunger who falls victim to the zealous machine of retribution that he helps to build. (He is all the more convincing for his matter-of-fact American accent -- none of the 'mid-Atlantic' neutrality which is supposed to make the When the film depicts political events and their effects on individuals, it's gripping. William Hurt is devastatingly convincing as the post-war Nazi hunger who falls victim to the zealous machine of retribution that he helps to build. (He is all the more convincing for his matter-of-fact American accent -- none of the 'mid-Atlantic' neutrality which is supposed to make the characters sound authentically European -- because it serves to remind North American viewers that they are just as prone to the ideological madness that overtook Central Europe.) My problem with the film is that much of the personal drama, especially the ebb and flow of romance, is less convincing. We never really seem to understand why characters fall in and out of love with each other; it's as though there just isn't time, for all the length of the film. What was the first sign that Ignatz's brother is also in love with his cousin/sister-in-law? Seemingly, it just happens. Why does she then leave Ignatz? If he really was so cold and rational, didn't she get an inkling of this before they married? Rachel Weizz's character seems to be in the film just to be another temptress, as though her suddenly appearing to declare her passion for her brother-in-law is supposed to move us all. The whole sub-plot seems to be thrown into the film like a gaudy extra sweater in a stuffed suitcase. One also doesn't understand the youngest son's love interest, except that the director seemed to believe that any decent Hungarian has to have his head turned by a sultry blonde. We know so little of their feelings that we agree when she complains that he only wants to lift her skirt in some wood. Still, there will be many viewers who will disagree with me, and they should find (and find the time to enjoy) this moving and ultimately inspiring film. Expand
  6. Anne
    Feb 14, 2001
    10
    It is just brilliant and true to history. The cinematography, set direction, and acting are excellent.
  7. DerekL.
    Mar 25, 2001
    7
    Fine, emotionally rewarding outing that did not blow me away - a bit too plodding at times, but definitely an A for effort.
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 26
  2. Negative: 1 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    70
    Sunshine is a trifle schematic. But it also makes you feel, quite poignantly, the crushing tides of history: heedless, inhuman--and tragic.
  2. 70
    Many of the plot points seem belabored because they're introduced in the voice-over, then ploddingly dramatized, then analyzed by the family over meals.
  3. 91
    So filled with riches that it seems a bit unfair to single out Szabo and Fiennes, no matter how outstanding their work.