Little Miss Sunshine 2006

Critics score:
91 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Connie Ogle, Miami Herald: Hilarious, profane and as much fun as you are going to have in a theater this summer. Read more

Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times: Little Miss Sunshine employs razor-sharp humor and a deceptively realistic style to satirize a corrupt society that heroes of low status must navigate by their wits alone. Read more

Jessica Reaves, Chicago Tribune: It's difficult to convey the sheer joy of watching these characters interact. Read more

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: This bittersweet comedy of dysfunction takes place at the terminus of the American dream, where families are one bad break away from bankruptcy. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: [Little Miss Sunshine] offers a surprising mix of dark humor and heart, with rich performances from a strong cast. Read more

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer: The funniest and most gracefully written, acted and directed dysfunctional-American-family farce comedy of the year thus far. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: ... this isn't much more than a glorified sitcom, but it deftly dramatizes our conflicting desires for individuality and an audience to applaud it. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: Little Miss Sunshine is a dysfunctional-family comedy with a crucial difference -- the function progresses, hilariously, from dys to full and loving. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Co-directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris have pulled off the essential ingredient for this kind of film: a cast that believably creates a family. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: To the filmmakers' credit, they don't sugarcoat the creepiness. They mine it for the kind of laughter that makes you feel uncomfortable but also makes you think. Read more

Dennis Lim, Village Voice: The destination is a pageant that will demonstrate, in grotesque, stomach-churning detail, that beauty is skin-deep and that you don't have to win to be a winner. Read more

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Smart and goofy, tender and laugh-out-loud funny, Little Miss Sunshine is the sleeper hit of the summer. Read more

Nathan Rabin, AV Club: It helps to have a cast stocked with ringers with the chops to play comedy as drama and drama as comedy. Read more

Bill Muller, Arizona Republic: The word 'quirky' is overused, but Little Miss Sunshine deserves the tag. As with Napoleon Dynamite, the quirkiness in this film comes from honest characters, not desperate-to-be-different caricatures in such films as Garden State. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: It looks at the all-American obsession with winning and chortles darkly. You still come out of the movie wanting to give your family a hug. Read more

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: ... an amusing movie, viciously well-written and brilliantly acted. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Dayton and Faris satirize our win-win culture, but they don't miss a trick promoting Little Miss Sunshine for the winner's circle. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: A hard-to-resist, often riotous comedy. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Little Miss Sunshine makes you want to gather all the kooks in your life and take a road trip. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: Sorry, folks, but these are not organic characters; they're walking, talking catalogs of screenwriter index-card data. Read more

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: ... a film of small and gratifying surprises. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: Unlike so many films that force life lessons down your throat, Little Miss Sunshine weaves them into the fabric of the story. Read more

Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly: A raucously entertaining slice of slapstick dressed up as domestic satire. Read more

Gene Seymour, Newsday: Little Miss Sunshine often emits the dulcet quirkiness of such vintage road comedies as Harry and Tonto and Melvin and Howard. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: Little Miss Sunshine is an enchanting anthem to loserdom -- a dark comedy that piles on setback after setback and yet never loses its helium. Read more

Lisa Rose, Newark Star-Ledger: Mining humor from subjects like suicide, drug abuse and bad parenting, the picture isn't going to win any congeniality prizes, but it's amusingly bitter. Consider it summer fun for pessimists and misanthropes. Read more

Jack Mathews, New York Daily News: The casting is flawless. Kinnear has never been better suited to a role; Richard's gradual surrender of his ego is sweet and totally convincing. Arkin has the best lines, and delivers them with the timing of a vaudeville pro. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: Sunny or dark, comedy should never be as predictable as Little Miss Sunshine. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: It takes a deft hand to fashion a feel-good movie with plenty of laughs and an upbeat ending out of a story that includes drug addiction, a suicide attempt, a death, Nietzsche, and Proust. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Little Miss Sunshine isn't the kind of movie you want to beat up on: It's sweet-tempered at its core, and even when it's trying too hard to reinforce its own quirks, the charms of its actors filter through effortlessly. Read more

Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle: You'll be delighted, if a bit breathless from laughing, to be along for the ride. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: Little Miss Sunshine has not a hint of exploitation about it, and it's sentimental only in the best sense of the word. Like its heroine Olive Hoover, it wears its heart on its sleeve and assumes the best about everyone. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: ... a road-trip movie with a big-enough heart to make the leap from specialty theaters to the suburban multiplex - where audiences can feel fortunate if they don't recognize themselves. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: Mildly diverting celebration of loserdom. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: If you think you've seen it all before in a family road movie, you owe it to yourself to see what happens when somebody actually comes up with a few bright ideas. Read more

Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine: It comes closer to the truth about the way people really live -- on the edge of fantasy-driven desperation -- than our sanctimonies permit us to think. Read more

Time Out: For a movie generated from the Amerindie algorithm of family dysfunction, road-trip catharsis and studied quirk, this dark-edged ensemble comedy often borders on the loveable. Read more

Melissa Anderson, Time Out: All indie-movie families may start out unhappy in their own way, but by the time the final credits roll, everyone remains complacent, confident of their brood's superiority. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: There is nothing inherently sunny about Little Miss Sunshine, and that's part of the fresh and clever lunacy of this deliciously dark comedy. Read more

David Rooney, Variety: A quietly antic dysfunctional family road trip comedy that shoots down the all-American culture of the winner and offers sweet redemption for losers -- or at least the ordinary folks often branded as such. Read more

Jim Ridley, Village Voice: Like the shambling VW van its hapless characters steer from Albuquerque to Redondo Beach, Little Miss Sunshine is a rickety vehicle that travels mostly downhill. Read more

Jennifer Frey, Washington Post: Little Miss Sunshine triumphs with acting performances that are, across the board, poignant, smart and real. Read more