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Sunshine Cleaning (2008)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  17 April 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 59,390 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 133 user | 193 critic | 32 from

In order to raise the tuition to send her young son to private school, a mom starts an unusual business -- a biohazard removal/crime scene clean-up service -- with her unreliable sister.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gun Shop Suicide
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Above and Beyond Worker


A family. Rose and Norah, in Albuquerque, lost their mother when they were young. Rose is responsible - a housecleaner, raising her seven-year-old son Oscar. She's also having an affair with Mac, a married cop, her high-school sweetheart. Norah can't hold a job. Their dad, Joe, is quirky. When Oscar is expelled for odd behavior, Rose wants to earn enough to send him to private school. Mac suggests she clean up after crime scenes, suicides, and deaths that go undiscovered for awhile. Rose enlists Norah, and Sunshine Cleaners is born. Norah bonds with the dead, Rose finds out that it's a regulated business, and complications arise. Can a family marked by tragedy sort things out? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


life's a messy business.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, disturbing images, some sexuality and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

17 April 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Günisigi temizleme sirketi  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$219,190 (USA) (13 March 2009)


$12,055,108 (USA) (3 July 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The filmmakers have said in interviews their story is based on a 2001 National Public Radio "All Things Considered" report about two women in the Seattle suburbs who started a biohazard removal/cleaning service. They are best friends, not sisters. See more »


About 54 minutes into the movie, when Oscar is crossing a street, a microphone can be clearly seen on the top left corner of the screen for a few seconds. See more »


[first lines]
Talking Deer Head: Attention all fellow deer. If you find deer feed in the middle of the forest, be a bit suspicious.
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Featured in Angela and Friends: Episode #1.9 (2009) See more »


Cure for This
Performed by Golden Smog
Written by Marc Perlman
Courtesy of Lost Highway Records
under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A slice of pecan pie
22 March 2009 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Ahhh, the first 2009 script (by Megan Holley) that has the depth, nuances and multiple sub-plots that keep me addicted to movies. Sure one can view this as a simple story of the emotionally struggling sisters who start a bio-hazard clean-up company to connect not just with each other, but also with those who have been the victim of a profound event involving a loved one. It works just fine on that level.

Of course, I never make things that easy. For this viewer, I was absorbed in the connection the sisters had to their dead mother. The quest for a glimpse of her one movie of the week performance as a waitress had the sisters trained to stop in their tracks whenever a "waitress" scene appeared on TV. The sisters are played exceedingly well by the extraordinarily talented Amy Adams and Emily Blunt. Their performances lift a really good script to greatness.

For most movies, that would be plenty. Not here. Director Christine Jeffs ("Sylvia") gets to play with Alan Arkin as the always scheming father, a quick commentary on the disgusting "solution" of public schools tendency to require medication on less than robotic kids, emotionally empty relationships, and the absolute need of people to connect with others.

The fine acting continues with Steve Zahn as the former high school hero turned local cop, whom Adams' character has maintained a long term "bond". Trouble is Zahn's character picked someone else to marry. Clifton Collins Jr adds a wonderful dimension as Adams' possibly new prospect. Mary Lynn Rajskub is just plain fascinating as the lonely lady Blunt thinks she is helping.

Being promoted as from the creators of "Little Miss Sunshine", this one offers up a nice story complimented by many quirks that make it stand apart from the masses. Hopefully it will find wider distribution as we can never have enough top notch story telling.

49 of 75 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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