Suncoast Movie Review

Suncoast Movie Review

Welcome to our review of “Suncoast,” a coming-of-age film directed by Laura Chinn. In this review, we’ll dive deep into the movie’s plot, characters, and themes. Join us as we explore the highs and lows of this Sundance entry and discuss whether it lives up to its potential.

A Tearful Coming-of-Age Story

Can there be anything more Sundance-y than a teary coming-of-age movie? We all love films that take us on an emotional journey, exploring the complexities of growing up. “Suncoast” attempts to do just that, following the story of teenage Doris as she navigates the challenges of her home life while her brother Max is dying.

Doris’ Journey

Doris, portrayed by the talented Nico Parker, is a sensible and affable teenager. However, she seems unaware of her own beauty and potential, overshadowed by her brother’s illness.

As Max’s condition worsens, the family moves him to a hospice, where Doris meets Paul Warren, an activist played by Woody Harrelson. Their unlikely friendship forms amidst the backdrop of the right-to-die court case of Terri Schiavo.

Flawed Character Development

Unfortunately, “Suncoast” falls short in terms of character development. The script lacks the depth and dimension needed to truly resonate with the audience. We long for more authentic emotions in the relationship between Doris and Paul, but their connection feels forced and unconvincing.

The film struggles to find its emotional core, juggling different storylines without delving deep enough into any of them.

A New Circle of Friends

One aspect where “Suncoast” succeeds is in depicting Doris’ journey of self-discovery. Taking advantage of her mother’s frequent absences, Doris starts inviting her new group of friends over for parties and sleepovers.

Initially, they seem unaware of Doris’ existence, but as her home becomes the party hub, her social circle grows. The film subverts our expectations, showing that teens can rise to the occasion and support each other when needed.

Missed Opportunities

While “Suncoast” touches on important themes, it often falls short in exploring them fully. The relationship between Doris’ mother, Kristine (played by Laura Linney), and Doris herself is underdeveloped.

Kristine’s character lacks quiet moments to offset her understandable anger, and the film doesn’t address the racial dynamics between a white mother and her Black daughter. These missed opportunities leave the audience wanting more.

Putting Herself First

Despite its flaws, “Suncoast” does have its merits. The film showcases Doris’ journey of self-discovery and her decision to put herself first. It highlights her growth as she attends her prom, accepting the consequences of her absence like a responsible adult. However, the film ultimately feels watered-down, lacking the depth and substance it needs to truly stand out.

Final Words!

In conclusion, “Suncoast” is a coming-of-age film that falls short of its potential. While it explores important themes and features strong performances from its cast, the lack of character development and depth holds it back. The film struggles to find its emotional core and leaves the audience yearning for a more substantial and impactful story.


1. Is “Suncoast” based on a true story?

No, “Suncoast” is not based on a true story. However, it does draw inspiration from real-life events, such as the right-to-die court case of Terri Schiavo.

2. Can I watch “Suncoast” on Hulu?

Yes, “Suncoast” premiered on Hulu on February 9th, so you can stream it on the platform.

3. Are there any other notable films from the Sundance Film Festival?

Yes, the Sundance Film Festival is known for showcasing a wide range of exceptional films. Some notable films from the festival include “The Peasants,” “Dario Argento Panico,” “Perfect Days,” “The Tiger’s Apprentice,” “Sometimes I Think About Dying,” and “Fighter.”