138 user 194 critic

Sunshine Cleaning (2008)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 17 April 2009 (USA)
2:33 | Trailer

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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.



2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Judith Jones ...
Paula Datzman-Mead
Gun Shop Suicide
Gun Shop Owner
Ivan Brutsche ...
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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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:

Cong Ty Lau Chui  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$219,190, 15 March 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$12,062,558, 9 July 2009

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is the second of two movies Alan Arkin starred in with the word "Sunshine" in the title. The first was "Little Miss Sunshine (2006)". See more »


When Rose and Norah clean up after a suicide committed by a "Mr. Davis", they enter a room where several rosaries and a crucifix are hanging on the wall, indicating that the couple is Roman Catholic. Since Catholics believe committing suicide irrevocably sends you to hell, it is extremely doubtful that the husband would commit suicide. 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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References Centipede (1980) See more »


Performed by Bodega
Written by Andrew Rodriguez
Courtesy of Boo Boo Recordings
by arrangement with Coda Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Well crafted family story
29 February 2012 | by See all my reviews

I find that when people ask me what this movie is about I have a hard time successfully telling them. Read the synopsis by all means, but like most summaries it barely scratches the surface. It's a story about a mother who leaves her family in the most permanent way imaginable. It's about a father struggling to maintain his unflappable optimism, a sister whose self-esteem leads her into self-sabotaging habits, another who is in complete emotional freefall, a son who is becoming aware of his family's dynamic and how it compares to the rest of the world's and how they manage to regain their footing by pursuing a very unusual profession. At its heart it is always about family. At their best Amy Adams and Emily Blunt are some of the most talented actresses working today and I was happy to see them both in a script worthy of their skills. Both are gifted at line delivery, but some of their most powerful scenes are nonverbal. The dynamic between all the characters is thoroughly real and enjoyable. I found myself very satisfied by all their resolutions. It was an excellent story to watch unfold.

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