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West of Sunshine

A father has less than a day to pay back a debt to a violent loan shark, while looking after his young son.
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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

70

Film Threat by

All of the performances are at least solid, and for an indie, the production value is impressive. It won’t reduce you to a weeping mess, but at 78 minutes it’s a trim, satisfying drama that does justice to its inspirations.
60

The Hollywood Reporter by Harry Windsor

This story of a courier racing against the clock to pay off a debt boasts a vivid sense of place, as well as some awkward dialogue and a lead performance not quite flavorful enough to make the character's self-sabotage compelling.
40

CineVue by John Bleasdale

Hill does his best but Jim is woefully underwritten, a shuffling loser who various other characters try to bolster with the dignity of a back story that doesn’t seem to fit his actual behaviour.
75

The Playlist by Kevin Jagernauth

A drama crafted with precision, and feeling, West of Sunshine succeeds admirably with its modest ambitions, as the filmmaker puts himself on the horizon as one to watch.
80

Variety by Richard Kuipers

Arriving at a moment when parenting and child development are being closely analyzed and discussed, West of Sunshine is a timely and intelligent essay on the eternal theme of how fathers can both inspire and alienate their sons.
70

Los Angeles Times by Robert Abele

In the modest but sneakily affecting Australian father-son drama West of Sunshine, your sympathies for a problematic dad come and go in waves, sometimes within the span of a few seconds.
63

Movie Nation by Roger Moore

Whatever predictable, melodramatic turns this Jason Raftopoulos film takes, it rarely blinks and never gives itself over to the “romance” of gambling and the gambler’s lifestyle.
70

Screen Daily by Sarah Ward

In addition to the obviously authentic rapport between the quietly compelling Hill and impressive first-timer Perham, populating the feature’s frames with as many non-actors as possible also adds detail and texture.
60

The Guardian by Xan Brooks

West of Sunshine’s rough, down-at-heel Aussie vibe prompts one to set it alongside other recent bawlers and brawlers, such as Kriv Stenders’ Boxing Day or David Michod’s Animal Kingdom. But Raftopoulos is altogether more protective of his characters, shielding them from full-blown horror, clearly wishing them well even as they stumble and fall, and his film works best in tenderly framing a burgeoning father-son friendship.

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