Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 64 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Once the high school cheerleading captain who dated the quarterback, Rose Lorkowski (Amy Adams) now finds herself a thirty something single mother working as a maid. Her sister Norah, (Emily Blunt), is still living at home with their dad Joe (Alan Arkin), a salesman with a lifelong history of ill-fated get rich quick schemes. Desperate to get her son into a better school, Rose persuades Norah to go into the crime scene clean-up business with her to make some quick cash. In no time, the girls are up to their elbows in murders, suicides and other... specialized situations. As they climb the ranks in a very dirty job, the sisters find a true respect for one another and the closeness they have always craved finally blossoms. (Overture Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: Stina Chyn
    Beneath its morbid exterior, Sunshine Cleaning projects a tender portrait of how people help out others and seek a better life for themselves.
  2. That Sunshine Cleaning was made by women is best revealed in the filmmakers' willingness to let the story breathe on its own terms, without bringing in anything extraneous, unwelcome and exciting.
  3. The director, New Zealander Christine Jeffs ("Sylvia"), loosens the plotting as best she can, letting the interactions breathe. Her work, and the film, is strictly about the performers.
  4. You'll miss out on some really great stuff if you don't see this surprising movie.
  5. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    An intelligent, often touching, sometimes pedestrian drama.
  6. 50
    The material might have promise as a black comedy, but its attempt to put on a smiling face is unconvincing.
  7. Reviewed by: Dan Zak
    A boring, choppy dramedy.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 22
  2. Negative: 4 out of 22
  1. SteveM
    Jun 12, 2009
    Loved it, Amy and Emily Blunt are terrific.
  2. KellyP
    Apr 10, 2009
    Why is this film only playing in one theatre in my city (Toronto)? It's one of the better films we've seen in a while. It's touching and funny and real. Kudos to Adams and Blunt who both deliver incredible performances. It was a pleasant surprise - and deserving of a higher score. Expand
  3. TatianaO
    Sep 18, 2009
    Amy Adams does an amazing job in this sweet movie. It makes you want to help out people and be more understanding with people that you do not get. Thumbs up! Expand
  4. Mar 7, 2011
    This was a rather intelligent comedy, with an interesting story and some great acting. The rather unusual plot makes it rather amusing and intriguing to watch, since I've never seen a film that was about post-mortem cleanup - you? Anyway, the storyline is rather interesting, and the only problem is in the lack of development of the characters, mainly by the end of the film. Yes, one of the two sisters decided that she is 'better than that' and that she will end the affair she was having with a guy. But that's about it. There is no reflection on it. The other sister decides to just take a road trip and disappear. Why? No one knows... Also, the relationship with her (girl)friend just ends abruptly without any sort of pondering upon that. Those are definitely weaknesses in the film, but the laughs, giggles and plenty of good dramatic moments make up for it.
    The cast is great, especially Emily Blunt who had the most expressive performance in quite a while. Amy Adams was her usual greatness, and Alan Arkin was ok - very much the same character he played in "Little Miss Sunshine".

    Overall, despite some problems with the character development and the storyline, "Sunshine Cleaning" is a heart-warming dramedy with interesting events and good acting. Definitely worth watching!
  5. Sep 1, 2014
    Sunshine Cleaning is familiar, yet absolutely fresh. A dark subject matter that could turn folks away--but the film makes light of it. I found Amy Adams and Emily Blunt to be more than enough to make this film worth it. Expand
  6. JM
    Sep 9, 2009
    I wasn't disappointed I watched it I just wasn't glad either; I didn't feel satisfied. Adams, Blunt and Arkin are good but there isn't enough plot depth to make the movie, that blame lies with Megan Holley. There are some great moments just too sparse to be really effective. Clifton Collins, Jr. first El Huron, now Winston, wow what a diverse and welcoming actor. While I think the movie did feel real is just wasn't enough. Expand
  7. Jan 3, 2011
    This movie was a big disappointment. The slow moving undeveloped plot never got off the ground and crashed on the runway. I had no empathy or patience with the characters and I would have had more satisfaction if they had all burned up in the house. I kept waiting for a humorous scene but it never came. It was more befitting an episode on a TV series than a movie. Expand

See all 22 User Reviews