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"SUNSHINE CLEANING"
(2009) (Amy Adams, Emily Blunt) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Heavy Heavy *Moderate Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Heavy None None None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Mild Heavy Heavy Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Dramedy: Two down on their luck sisters decide to start a business that cleans up violent or messy death scenes.
PLOT:
Rose Lorkowski (AMY ADAMS) is a single mom who works as a maid to raise her 7-year-old son, Oscar (JASON SPEVACK), whose inattentiveness routinely gets him in trouble, including at school. When the boy's principal states Oscar must be medicated to stay in school, Rose pulls him out, asking her long-widowed dad, Joe (ALAN ARKIN), to watch his grandson.

Now in need of extra income for private school, Rose gets an idea from her married lover, local Albuquerque cop Mac (STEVE ZAHN), who states that there's money to be made in cleaning up the mess left after violent deaths and other bloody incidents. She ends up talking her younger adult sister, Norah (EMILY BLUNT), who still lives at home with their dad and can't even hold down a job as a waitress, to join her in the new business endeavor that they call "Sunshine Cleaning."

With supplies, not to mention business regulation advice from janitorial supply salesman Winston (CLIFTON COLLINS JR.), the two sisters set off doing their lucrative but gross work. During one such job, Norah finds an array of photos of Lynn Wiseman (MARY LYNN RAJSKUB), whose mother has recently committed suicide. When Lynn thinks Norah is following her, Norah can't admit why she's there, and the two end up becoming unlikely friends.

At the same time, Rose thinks she might finally be making it in life, but must contend with her affair with Mac as well as unexpected developments in both her personal and business matters.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast or the subject matter, it doesn't seem that likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For language, disturbing images, some sexuality and drug use.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • AMY ADAMS plays a single mom who's struggling to make ends meet working as a maid while raising 7-year-old Oscar. She's also having an affair with Mac who helps her come up with the idea of post death clean-up services. She uses strong profanity and is noted as being a smoker, but is only seen using a nicotine patch in one scene.
  • EMILY BLUNT plays her younger, adult sister who's never made anything of her life, getting fired from her waitress job while still living at home with her dad. She drinks, smokes pot, uses strong profanity, and has sex with some guy, while still troubled by her mom's suicide long ago when Norah was just a little girl.
  • ALAN ARKIN plays their widowed dad who's always try to work some sort of business scheme from selling his own brand of candy to reselling shrimp. He uses profanity.
  • JASON SPEVACK plays Rose's 7-year-old son who may be suffering from ADD as his school principal recommends that he be medicated. His curiosity and experimentation occasionally gets him in trouble and/or results in him accidentally breaking things.
  • STEVE ZAHN plays a married cop who's having an affair with Rose but won't leave his wife for her.
  • MARY LYNN RAJSKUB plays a woman who Norah befriends after the latter finds the former's photos among the possessions of her dead mother.
  • CLIFTON COLLINS JR. plays a guy who befriends and advises Rose when she comes into his custodial shop for cleaning supplies. A one-armed man, he also builds models.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this R-rated dramedy. Profanity consists of at least 15 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Some sexually related dialogue is present, as are some sexual encounters both on camera (thrusting, nudity, sounds) and off. A woman seems to come on to another woman (nuzzling her neck) and a man's bare butt is seen after an affair, while various women are seen in scanty attire a few times.

    A suicide via gunshot is partially seen, and an empty house accidentally catches on fire and burns down. The bloody/gory aftermath of the suicide and other unseen violence is present in several scenes and may be unsettling to some viewers.

    Alcohol and tobacco are present in various scenes, while drug use (pot smoking) occurs in two. Various bad attitudes are present, which also holds true for tense family material (including that related to familial deaths). Some behavior (including the mostly seen suicide via gunshot) might be enticing for some kids to imitate.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there are varying amounts of handheld camerawork in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • There appear to be bottles of liquor on a counter in a home where Rose is working.
  • Norah holds a beer while telling Oscar a story.
  • Norah smokes a joint while babysitting Oscar (he's not awake) and throws it out the window when Rose returns home.
  • About a large needle to be used for her blood donation, Norah is shocked by the size, saying, "That's a f*cking cocktail straw."
  • People have drinks at a party where Norah shares a joint with some guy, and then offers that to Lynn who declines, saying she doesn't do drugs or drink (for fear of that opening some sort of crack through which bad things could flow).
  • Norah carries what may be two cans of beer as she walks along with Lynn (but no drinking occurs).
  • Women hold glasses of champagne at a baby shower.
  • We see a restaurant sign for a particular brand of beer.
  • Lynn states that her mom was a "pathetic drunk."
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • After a heard but unseen suicide via a shotgun blast up through the chin, we see blood on a bystander's face, a pool on the floor, and there's talk of various pieces of the victim throughout the store ("Just wipe the asshole up off the floor").
  • Mac tells Rose that there's good money in cleaning up blood and such from scenes of violence.
  • There's talk of a person whose ring finger was shot off. Rose and Norah tentatively enter the place, finding a great deal of blood on the shower wall (that the two try to wash off), some in the sink (where part of a finger appears to be lying), and some on the shower curtain that Norah puts into the washing machine.
  • Norah sees a large, dried bloodstain on a mattress, starts to retch, and then rushes off and vomits (we hear but don't see that act). Later, when she and Rose are carrying the mattress to a dumpster, they end up dropping that and Norah accidentally falls onto the stain, grossing her out.
  • Rose is grossed out when she finds a number of maggots in a house they're cleaning.
  • We see blood on the sisters' gloves and protective gowns they wear on the job.
  • We see a dried bloodstain on a wood floor.
  • Norah donates blood and we briefly see the needle go in and then blood flow through the tube.
  • We see a dried bloodstain on a chair.
  • We see a flashback to little Rose and Norah going into their home and finding their mother after her suicide, with a pool of blood beneath her arm.
  • At a baby shower, candy is presented in baby diapers and referred to as "crunchy poop."
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Norah tells Oscar a story that will scare him, despite Rose asking her not to do that while babysitting him.
  • Mac is cheating on his wife by having an affair with Rose.
  • Norah smokes a joint while babysitting Oscar (he's not awake) and throws it out the window when Rose returns home.
  • Rose tells a white lie to a former classmate about her (Rose's) job status.
  • Oscar tells Joe that some at his school want to put him in a "retard" class, with Joe repeating that phrase in anger.
  • Oscar helps Joe sell his homemade candy at a candy store by telling a fib to a girl there who then has her mother ask the owner/clerk about that, thus pushing the sale through.
  • Norah states that it's creepy that Winston has just one arm.
  • A woman who may be Mac's wife confronts Rose and puts her in her place (saying Rose may have been "hot sh*t" back in high school, but isn't now).
  • Rose keeps Oscar out of school after the principal says the boy must be medicated.
  • Oscar states that another kid called him a "bastard" but doesn't know what that term means.
  • Although they work to change their status, the sisters run their business without the proper licenses and business practices, etc.
  • Norah doesn't tell Lynn the truth (until late in the film) about why she first came into contact with her.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and/or "Blood/Gore" may be unsettling and/or suspenseful to some viewers.
  • A miscellaneous man retrieves a shotgun shell from a box in his glove compartment, goes into a sporting goods store, asks to see a shotgun, and then loads that lone shell. He then places the barrel under his chin and we hear the sound of the shot, but don't see the deadly impact. We later see blood on a bystander's face, a pool on the floor, and there's talk of various pieces of the victim throughout the store.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • A miscellaneous man retrieves a shotgun shell from a box in his glove compartment, goes into a sporting goods store, asks to see a shotgun, and then loads that lone shell. He then places the barrel under his chin and we hear the sound of the shot, but don't see the deadly impact. We later see blood on a bystander's face, a pool on the floor, and there's talk of various pieces of the victim throughout the store.
  • We see Mac's handgun in his holster.
  • Cops wear sidearms.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "You love it when I f*ck up," "You f*cking idiot," "You f*cking do it yourself," "I am a f*cking loser," "That's a f*cking cocktail straw," "What the f*ck happened?" "I f*cked up," "(That's) Bullsh*t," "I got sh*t to do," "You may have been hot sh*t," "You scared the sh*t out of me," "Gives you the biggest woody," "Just wipe the asshole up off the floor," "Totally screwed," "Screwing up," "You're a G*ddamn genius," "You dumb ass," "You idiot," "You freaked him out," "You're pathetic," "Pretty damn good," "Bastard," "Chicks," "Pissed off" and "Bad ass."
  • A miscellaneous man retrieves a shotgun shell from a box in his glove compartment, goes into a sporting goods store, asks to see a shotgun, and then loads that lone shell. He then places the barrel under his chin and we hear the sound of the shot, but don't see the deadly impact.
  • Norah has a series of tattoos that run down her arm to her hand.
  • Norah climbs up through the underbelly of a train trestle and sticks her hand up through the track just as a train approaches (all for the rush of doing so).
  • Rose states that Oscar and Norah got in trouble in a restaurant for using the initials "A-S-S" on a video game scoreboard.
  • Oscar has the temporary tattoo "Lil Bastard" on his arm.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 15 "f" words, 18 "s" words, 5 asses (1 used with "hole"), 3 damns, 1 crap, 5 uses of "Oh my God," 4 of "G-damn," and 1 use each of "For God's sakes," "God," "Jesus" and "Oh God."
  • Rose states that Oscar and Norah got in trouble in a restaurant for using the initials "A-S-S" on a video game scoreboard.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see miscellaneous young women in bikinis by a pool.
  • Mac states he has "a thing to do," with another male cop jokingly asking if that's a blonde thing or a brunette thing.
  • We see Rose in the shower and then in a towel, but nothing explicit is viewed.
  • We see Mac's bare butt as he pulls up his pants, after having had sex with Rose. We see the end motion of her putting on her bra, and then see her in that (showing cleavage) as well as her panties (while he's shirtless in his pants).
  • Norah sarcastically states that Rose loves it "when I f*ck up" and that her "screwing up" gives Rose "the biggest woody" (erection).
  • Rose shows some cleavage.
  • We see Rose undressing in front of Mac who's then shirtless. She's in her bra and panties, and she starts undoing his belt while he nuzzles on her neck. She then pushes him down on the bed and climbs on top of him, but makes the mistake of asking why he chose his wife. That gets Mac out of the mood, but Rose quickly kisses him a few times to switch gears. The scene ends and sex is implied.
  • We see Rose lying on her side on a motel bed in a slip (showing cleavage), waiting for Mac to arrive, but he never does.
  • Rose shows some cleavage.
  • A woman who may be Mac's wife shows cleavage.
  • After watching two young women eat candy off necklaces around Norah's "boyfriend's" neck, Lynn notes that Norah's necklace is intact, and thus goes to eat some of that candy, but really does so to nuzzle her neck.
  • We see a man vigorously thrusting on top of Norah (we see part of his bare butt as his pants are partially down, and hear his related sounds). She looks bored and is watching TV off on the side and stops him when a story of business interest to her airs.
  • We see Rose in her bra and panties as she changes clothes.
  • We see miscellaneous cleavage at a baby shower.
  • SMOKING
  • A miscellaneous person smokes.
  • Rose puts a nicotine patch on her arm.
  • Norah comments on Rose buying generic cigarettes (in the past).
  • Norah goes through her mom's old belongings, including some old cigarette butts.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that Oscar licked a bunch of things at school, thus getting him into trouble. Rose is called in to discuss this with the principal who states the boy must be medicated to stay in school. As a result, Rose pulls him out of that and then tries to make enough money to send him to a private school, but that never happens.
  • Norah looks through old photos of her and Rose as kids with their mom.
  • We see an older widow whose elderly husband has recently committed suicide.
  • Norah states she has no memory of her mom except for seeing her body after her suicide.
  • We see a flashback to little Rose and Norah going into their home and finding their mother after her suicide, with a pool of blood beneath her arm.
  • Rose goes to her dad's house, smells something bad, finds the phone off the hook, and panics that something has happened to him, but then finds him in the bathroom, throwing away spoiled shrimp in the bathtub.
  • A cat surprises Norah on a job, causing her to back into some furniture on which a candle sits. She races out to try to catch the cat, but then realizes the house is now on fire. She rushes in and tries to put it out, but can't. As a result, Rose is quite mad at her for ruining her/their business, but eventually forgives her.
  • Lynn states that her mom was a "pathetic drunk."
  • Rose uses a CB radio to "talk" to her dead mom (in a one-way conversation).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Death and how people react to and recover from that.
  • The messy side of death, particularly when it's violent in nature.
  • Winston having just one arm.
  • The rules, including those related to biohazards, of cleaning up bodily fluids and such.
  • Suicide.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A miscellaneous man retrieves a shotgun shell from a box in his glove compartment, goes into a sporting goods store, asks to see a shotgun, and then loads that lone shell. He then places the barrel under his chin and we hear the sound of the shot, but don't see the deadly impact. We later see blood on a bystander's face, a pool on the floor, and there's talk of various pieces of the victim throughout the store.
  • While we don't see any body parts, we see the aftermath of a car crash into a building where there's talk of such separated body parts.
  • We see a flashback to little Rose and Norah going into their home and finding their mother after her suicide, with a pool of blood beneath her arm (from an unseen suicide).
  • A cat surprises Norah on a job, causing her to back into some furniture on which a candle sits. She races out to try to catch the cat, but then realizes the house is now on fire. She rushes in and tries to put it out, but can't.



  • Reviewed February 23, 2009 / Posted March 20, 2009

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [American Made] [Battle of the Sexes] [Flatliners] [A Question of Faith] [Stronger]

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