Box art for A Shine of Rainbows

A Shine of Rainbows

children & family, drama

Maire O'Donnell is a loving woman as rare as a double rainbow. Joyful, warm and caring, she adopts a young orphan named Tomas and whisks him off to a new home on remote Corrie Island, off the coast of Ireland.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 10
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
0 out of 5
Positive messages
5 out of 5
Positive role models
4 out of 5
1 out of 5
2 out of 5

Magical coming-of-age story is intensely emotional.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this poignant coming-of-age story set in the beautiful Irish countryside includes the death of a parental figure. Themes of bullying, loss, and abandonment are throughout this heartrending film, and while such topics may be difficult for younger or less mature children, A Shine of Rainbows should spark interesting discussions within families about these issues. Expect some strong positive lessons about compassion and the value of parental love mixed in with the hard stuff.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the effects of bullying. Does this movie depict bullying in a realistic way? What are the long-term effects of bullying? What can kinds and parents do when confronted with bullying?
  • How is this movie different from those produced in Hollywood? How would this movie have been different, do you think, if it was made specifically for an American audience?
  • How does this film depict grief? Does it seem accurate? How can kids and adults cope with grief in a healthy way?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Far from the most convincing source of matinee entertainment, it's pleasing to find something not backed by an aggressive marketing campaign, focused on the plague of modern youth, or weighed down by bathroom humor.

- Brian Orndorf,, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rotten: A family film that risks drowning in its own syrup.

- Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail, Friday, April 9, 2010

Fresh: A Shine of Rainbows is a sweet tale about a little boy and the mother who teaches him to appreciate every nook and cranny of everyday life.

- Liz Braun, Jam! Movies, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Beautiful. Magical. Scenic. Heartwarming. Charming. Tearjerker. All my favorite qualities wrapped up in one nice little Irish film. I am a sucker for movies that revolve around children, and this one was no exception..Loved it!!

- itsjustme2004, Monday, October 22, 2012

3 stars

The first time I saw newcomer John Bell as Tomas in A Shine of Rainbows, i saw an orphan filled with desire to be loved. When I saw Aidan Quinn, playing the boy's adoptive father, I saw resentment. And when I saw Connie Nielsen, as the boy's adoptive mother, I saw someone filled with magic.The kind of magic that could change someone's life, by just allowing them to be themselves.It took place on Corrie Island, close to the coast of Ireland, and it brought so much color to the movie, with breath taking landscapes. Some might consider the story to be too much sentimental, but it was not. It was too sincere and real for that. The beautiful scenery, and wonderful performances, put me under a spell. I cared for these characters. It was amazing how something that might not seem like much on the outside, could end up being so powerful and moving.It was a feel good movie despite of the tragedy Tomas experienced at such a young age. The message brought here was how love given to a complete stranger could transform people in such a positive way.

- mvieaddict, Saturday, April 9, 2011

4 stars

A magically heartwarming film about people adjusting to the trails and tribulations of life while finding strength, love, and happiness.

- MOVEECRITIC, Saturday, May 8, 2010