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Based on 32 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 80
    Peter Travers Rolling Stone

    You can feel the heat that ignites this gripping tale, and the humor and humanity that root it in feeling. Sayles knows how to use his social conscience: He lets it rip. show more

  • 50
    Mick LaSalle San Francisco Chronicle

    An attempt at an epic. Sayles assembles a big cast and creates a mosaic of interweaving characters and story lines. But the stories are bland, the connections are incidental and the dramatic payoff is nonexistent. show more

  • 63
    Claudia Puig USA Today

    Sayles is clearly aiming to construct a multilevel character study and sociological portrait, but too often the film lapses into a lecture. show more

  • 75
    Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer

    Rings true for the most part, and explores human nature - leashed and unleashed - in ways that resonate. show more

  • 63
    Jack Mathews New York Daily News

    Though his latest, Sunshine State, shows Sayles usual literary care, it's a very slight work compared with such cinematic tomes as "Lone Star," "Matewan" and "Eight Men Out." show more

  • 88
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    Sayles' film moves among a large population of characters with grace, humor and a forgiving irony. show more

  • 88
    Michael Wilmington Chicago Tribune

    Visually, even compared to Sayles' own best work, it's somewhat prosaic - and dramatically, it suffers from the fact that its two main characters are kept so far apart. But the screenwriting and the cast redeem this film. show more

  • 88
    Lawrence Toppman Charlotte Observer

    Few white directors depict racial interaction in a thoughtful, non-exploitative way, but Sayles has always been one of them. show more

  • 75
    Rene Rodriguez Miami Herald

    What Sunshine State lacks in momentum, it makes up for with a Dickensian sprawl of characters -- 50 in all -- who possess the depth and humanity that has become a Sayles trademark. show more

  • 75
    Jonathan Foreman New York Post

    Far more interesting and intelligent than anything coming out of the studios. It fairly brims with superb performances by a terrific cast - you simply can't take your eyes off the female leads, Edie Falco and Angela Bassett. show more

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