Critic Reviews

60

Metascore

Based on 17 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
90
At the film's center is Emily Watson's pitch-perfect performance as Margaret Humphreys, the real-life social worker who in 1986 stumbled over the hidden practice.
80
A deeply moving study of emotionally scarred adults who were illegally deported as children to Australia from Britain in the 1940s and '50s.
80
The movie belongs to Hugo Weaving and David Wenham, both playing what one newspaper dubs "the lost children of the Empire," men broken by the appalling conditions that met them in their new homeland.
60
Moving if low-key, Jim Loach's debut feature is proof that compassionate, socially conscious filmmaking runs in the family.
60
Rona Munro's screenplay for Oranges and Sunshine is unnecessarily flighty. As the story ricochets between Britain and Australia, the film often loses track of time and becomes fragmented as it struggles to integrate too many subplots. What holds it together is Ms. Watson's calm, sturdy performance.
50
Sunshine is stretched thin for the big screen. The decidedly art-house film is better suited for television.
50
Sometimes the facts can get in the way of the drama, and that's the central problem here. That sense of needing to be true to the record is reflected in an overwhelmed screenplay.
50
Making a true story of social injustice into a gripping narrative requires more imagination than is contained in this well-intentioned but uninspired effort.
40
The movie lumbers, and Loach and screenwriter Rona Munro's affectless approach winds up tamping down the movie's good intentions.
38
Slant Magazine
The film is so careful to avoid the luridness that would seem inevitably to accompany an excavation of child kidnapping, forced labor, and rape, that the result is a plodding, overly tasteful procedural that holds up its hero as an incorruptible embodiment of goodness.

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