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East Side Sushi

HD   PG Closed Captioning

Anthony Lucero

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About the Movie

Single mom Juana, can slice and dice anything with great speed and precision. After working at a fruit-vending cart for years, she decides to take a job at a local Japanese restaurant, which provides security and benefits. Intrigued by the food, she learns to make a multitude of sushi on her own, fusing it with her own culture. When she attempts to become a sushi chef, she is shut down since she is the ‘wrong’ race and gender. Against all odds, Juana embarks on a journey of self-discovery, determined to not let anyone stop her from achieving her dream.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 17
  • Fresh: 16
  • Rotten: 1
  • Average Rating: 6.8/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Anthony Lucero's delectable debut feature has its share of on-the-nose writing and Cinderella-story contrivances, but for the most part folds its cross-cultural insights into a pleasing underdog narrative. – Justin Chang, Variety, Sep 21, 2015

Fresh: Though the film has trappings of a crowd-pleaser like Jon Favreau's "Chef," writer-director Anthony Lucero has left much thematically to unpack. – Martin Tsai, Los Angeles Times, Sep 19, 2015

Fresh: Endearing performances, accomplished low-budget filmmaking and a distinctive urban setting all add up to an appetizing offering. – Justin Lowe, Hollywood Reporter, Sep 21, 2015

Fresh: East Side Sushi captures the grind and pleasure of the food industry as Juana shifts from numbing routine to a challenging cuisine. – Serena Donadoni, Village Voice, Sep 25, 2015

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Neat, Sweet and Entertaining

What a perfect little film! I enjoyed it greatly and am smiling ear to ear at the ending. The story is simple and the themes subtle, with measured pathos and a steady pace. It’s not out to entice or tease, there is no melodrama or thrills, no twists or surprises, but it is big on charm. Every step of the way, we root for Juana who has a passion for food and the acting is so spot on there is an immediate connection with the characters (although I think the opening scene at the health spa came across as canned and cliche). I do think an appreciation for subtleties and good film making adds to the enjoyment of watching this film. It’s not mainstream, appeal-to-the-masses type of stuff. I also think foodies are probably going to enjoy this more because much of Juana’s character development depends on the audience empathizing with her epicurean enthusiasm. If this sounds good to you so far, then trust me: You’ll love this movie. It will leave you feeling happy. Maybe even inspired.


This little nugget of a indie film was so uplifting. I loved it. It made me laugh and cry. Great underdog story which looks like it won lots of awards at film festivals.

Breath of fresh air!

So nice to finally see a movie with about a strong woman that's about her pursuing her dreams and not about her looking for love.

East Side Sushi
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 2015

Customer Ratings