88

Chicago Tribune

By Michael Wilmington
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.
Full Review
88

Charlotte Observer

By Lawrence Toppman
Few white directors depict racial interaction in a thoughtful, non-exploitative way, but Sayles has always been one of them.
Full Review
88

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
Sayles' film moves among a large population of characters with grace, humor and a forgiving irony.
Full Review
80

Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
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.
Full Review
75

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Steven Rea
Rings true for the most part, and explores human nature - leashed and unleashed - in ways that resonate.
Full Review
63

USA Today

By Claudia Puig
Sayles is clearly aiming to construct a multilevel character study and sociological portrait, but too often the film lapses into a lecture.
Full Review
63

New York Daily News

By Jack Mathews
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."
Full Review
58

Entertainment Weekly

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Like a blue plate special at a theme diner, Sunshine State comes with a lot of overdone side dishes thrown on the table at the same time.
Full Review
50

San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
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.
Full Review
50

Boston Globe

There is almost no drama, nor any surprise, in this long effort.
Full Review
69 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.