Secret Sunshine
Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
In this somber Korean drama, a young mother and widow, Shin-ae, moves with her young son, Jun, from Seoul to a small town called Miryang following her husband's death. Having given up on her career as a concert pianist when she married her husband, she starts up a piano school, but soon it begins to feel like the polite people who inhabit her new home aren't as friendly as they seem on the surface. Judgmental whispers and disapproving gossip begin to reach Shin-ae's ears, and pressure to join the Christian cult that thrives in the town begins to mount. She's hesitant until an… More

Available Online

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"There is a natural tendency to appreciate movies that are neat and concise. "Secret Sunshine" makes a striking argument for the antithesis."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Secret Sunshine is a frequently beautiful film with a cold, dark heart."
‑ Noel Murray, AV Club
"The amount of tragedy delivered by this story would feel abusive if a lesser talent was at its center."
‑ Josh Larsen, LarsenOnFilm
"Superbly observed study of a woman's tortured spiritual odyssey, filled with honest drama, unexpected humor and brilliant revelations."
‑ David Noh, Film Journal International
"Profoundly moving, intelligent and unflinching. It boasts a brave, emotionally devastating performance by Jeon Do-yeon."
‑ Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru
"The cinematic equivalent of prose that is clear, elegant and lyrical."
‑ A.O. Scott, New York Times
"A secular hymn to the small triumphs and cavernous tragedies of the everyday, and to our awesome ability to cope."
‑ Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly
"It quickly dawns as to why Jeon won so many awards for this performance..."
‑ Glenn Dunks, Trespass
"a wrenching, darkly comic and immersive work"
‑ Christopher Null,
"Brilliantly written, acted and directed, this is a work that evokes the Russian novel despite being a Korean film. Treats larger questions of life and death in the serious manner that they deserve."
‑ Louis Proyect,
"Buried in the year-end rush but one of the year's best films."
‑ Michael Atkinson, Village Voice
"This exploration of grief in contemporary South Korea plods along adequately and intelligently."
‑ Dave Calhoun, Time Out
"In a performance as raw and naked as I can recall seeing, Jeon navigates the ebbs and flows of Shin-ae's grief."
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
"It doesn't touch the heart as much as it thinks it does."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"[S]low portrait of damaged woman struggling against community expectations reveals universality [in] extraordinary Do-yeon who dramatically shifts gears again [and again]."
‑ Nora Lee Mandel,
More reviews for Secret Sunshine on Rotten Tomatoes

More Like This