Sunshine

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 285 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 25 out of 285

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User Reviews

  1. Brian
    Oct 17, 2007
    6
    first half made it look like it was gonna be great but it trailed off to being unrealistic and implausible. its entertaining if there's nothing else on tv, but id never watch it a second time
  2. Jul 30, 2012
    6
    Interesting movie along the lines of Alien for a claustrophobic feeling aboard a spaceship although without the uniqueness (or alien) reasonably well acted but unfortunately it descends into predictability about half way through and seems to run out of ideas.
  3. Feb 9, 2013
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Could have been good, if halfway through the movie it would not turn from science fiction to horror/supernatural. Started really good, the scenery was beautiful, the actors were good. The problems started when the "Sun is god" plot was introduced. They board the derelict ship that was sent to the Sun years ago, but failed to accomplish it's mission. It turns out that captain of the other ship is still alive and became some kind of burned monster and servant to Sun. The "creature" start to kill of the ships crew one-by-one, because Sun does not want the crew to restart it's rotation. Yeah this is where thing get rather silly and illogical. The movie from that point is nothing more than a cat and mouse chase movie between the "burned Sun servant" and the crew of the second ship. I did not like that when the "Sun servant" I don't know how to call it) was shown the camera became shaky and blurred. It was rather distracting, like the director did not know how to approach this part of the movie. The ending end everything else from that point is rather predictable. Overall an average horror movie. Expand
  4. Dec 30, 2011
    5
    All in all, it's not very good. The movie really doesn't present anything new to the genre and seems very recycled. Like most of the other reviewers, I felt the last half hour almost dragged the whole movie from an okay to a horrible. Much of the movie felt like it was filled with some pretty unnecessary events, but the whole last half hour was filled with them. The whole slasher part ofAll in all, it's not very good. The movie really doesn't present anything new to the genre and seems very recycled. Like most of the other reviewers, I felt the last half hour almost dragged the whole movie from an okay to a horrible. Much of the movie felt like it was filled with some pretty unnecessary events, but the whole last half hour was filled with them. The whole slasher part of the plot was ridiculous, even more so because he was only in it for about twenty minutes of the films hour forty-five. And, of course, it just has to end with a "you have to release the bomb manually" ending. The movie does have a pretty good soundtrack and admittedly stunning visuals. The shots of the sun and spacecraft really did look real. But all in all, there's nothing you're missing here that you couldn't watching in dozens of other sci-fi movies. Expand
  5. Sep 28, 2013
    5
    Good acting, good special effects, solid dialogue, good cinematography....... no character arc and bad story.

    Through the first and second acts I started to get the feeling that rather than a story, what I was watching was a string of technical mishaps which the characters need to get out of. I didn't get the feeling that there was any character in the movie who was changing in any way
    Good acting, good special effects, solid dialogue, good cinematography....... no character arc and bad story.

    Through the first and second acts I started to get the feeling that rather than a story, what I was watching was a string of technical mishaps which the characters need to get out of. I didn't get the feeling that there was any character in the movie who was changing in any way or learning anything but that I can live with.

    I can't live with a bad story.

    The third act is ridiculous with the addition of a character that makes no sense whatsoever and there was no setup for.

    If you are a big Sci Fi fan, who can live with flaws as long as you get some decent special effects and passable story, you'll probably be fine with this movie.

    If you are someone who is more particular about story without regard for genre you are going to be iffy on this one, trust me.

    Overall not bad but it ain't Boyle's best, that's for sure.
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  6. Sep 28, 2011
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Sunshine is 2/3rds of a great film. But that third act is such a ruinous mistake that it taints the entire experience.

    I mean, for the first two acts, Sunshine's basically a master class in how to create a brilliant scifi film. There's this loneliness and tension and a methodical, measured tone that really works to pull you into the film. It's obviously very referential of 2001, but without the mindnumbing pace and lack of characterization of Kubrick's film. It just fires on all cylinders in this beautifully conceived scifi environment. Plus, John Murphy's soundtrack is absolutely mesmerizing. "Adagio in D Minor" is a particular standout and his career achievement to date. Some of the events in the film do feel familiar, but that wasn't a bad thing. They felt like nice little tips of the hat to the giants of the genre. For example, the dilemma about running out of oxygen and having to kill a member of the crew to cut down on consumption felt like a very obvious callback to Tom Godwin's classic scifi short story "The Cold Equations." You know, the one about a girl secretly stowing aboard a small spacecraft with one pilot that's delivering life-saving drugs to a colony. Unfortunately, there's only enough fuel for the weight of the pilot and the drugs aboard, and the girl's added weight means the ship is going to run out of fuel and crash on the planet, killing both of them. So the only solution is to jettison this poor girl out the airlock. It's a very similar situation in the film, but that didn't bother me at all. If you're going to take influences, might as well take them from the best.

    And then the third act twist occurs, and it all just goes right to hell. I dunno what Danny Boyle and his scriptwriter were thinking, but man, that uh... that last act and what happens was just such a course change, and an unneeded one for me, that it completely stopped the movie. You're just staring at the screen wondering why, why, why. Why would they drop the ball like this? The whole tone and tenor of the piece just veered off in this rather ridiculous and unbelievable direction. I felt cheated, to be honest. It didn't make sense and didn't seem to be what the first two acts had been about. The twist is that the captain of the first Icarus is alive and he's basically a monster out of a slasher film. He's somehow been living on the other ship getting a suntan for all these years and now he's on the Icarus 2 murdering people and possessing superhuman strength even though he's covered all over with horrible burns. Also, he appears as this blurry, vibrating, fluctuating mess on camera which makes no sense. I guess Danny Boyle wanted it to create some sort of effect or to suggest that perhaps he's just a hallucination, but it just looked irritating to my eyes. Of course, you've gotta wonder how he even became Captain of the Icarus, you'd think NASA or whoever would check for mental instability when picking the crew for THE MOST IMPORTANT MANNED SPACE MISSION OF ALL TIME.

    It's tough, because you really want to recommend this somewhat unknown scifi film to friends (it only made around 3 million at the box office IIRC) but that last act is a blunder that just sinks the whole thing. Can I really recommend 2/3rds of a film to someone? That's what I'd like to do.
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  7. GuyW.
    Aug 24, 2007
    5
    This movie is a sketch - an outline - of great science fiction. It should be shown in film study class as a survey of themes from other SF - Silent Running, 2001/2010, Alien/Aliens, Outland. I could barely call it an homage since it doesn't dwell on any one theme or movie very long. It almost felt like it wanted to be an entire series - like Firefly - but that would only reveal how This movie is a sketch - an outline - of great science fiction. It should be shown in film study class as a survey of themes from other SF - Silent Running, 2001/2010, Alien/Aliens, Outland. I could barely call it an homage since it doesn't dwell on any one theme or movie very long. It almost felt like it wanted to be an entire series - like Firefly - but that would only reveal how thin the characters really are. Ultimately I found the movie interesting but not satisfying. Expand
  8. JD.
    Aug 3, 2007
    5
    Typical outing for this kind of Scifi that imitates that which has gone before it so its really nothing original. I found it hard to follow and a plot with a lot of holes in it.
  9. Raoul
    Oct 4, 2008
    4
    I liked it, until the horror part came and I actually didn't feel leek bothering to watch the end. I turned it off. So I'd like to reply to Sam, who asked: "How would you have ended it?" My answer would be this: I'd prefer it without an end, over what they decided upon. Anything, but that. Let them succeed, fail, no matter, but keep that sense of intelligence intact, I liked it, until the horror part came and I actually didn't feel leek bothering to watch the end. I turned it off. So I'd like to reply to Sam, who asked: "How would you have ended it?" My answer would be this: I'd prefer it without an end, over what they decided upon. Anything, but that. Let them succeed, fail, no matter, but keep that sense of intelligence intact, whether it lives or dies. Expand
  10. ColinJ.
    Nov 18, 2007
    4
    Parts of it were watchable, but I couldn't get past the many absurdities in this movie. Anyone with the most rudimentary understanding of science will need to put that aside for the duration of this film. Alas the scientific absurdities are only the start of the problem.
  11. DougN.
    Jul 29, 2007
    4
    A confused collection of SciFi effects. I couldn't really get it.
  12. EricaM.
    Jan 9, 2008
    6
    As usual, Boyle makes a fantastic two-thirds of a movie. Like everyone is saying, the last bit of the movie loses some cohesion. However, the film is just so beautiful it is hard to look away. There is some obvious borrowing from Solaris and Event Horizon but meh...I mean, we haven't had a good sci-fi movie in years. I'll take it.
  13. katherynh.
    Sep 8, 2007
    6
    Nice first half with character introduction and plot set-up along with the p.o.v.-then takes a sudden (and irrelevant) left turn off in another direction! What gives? Clearly, someone lost his/her way. First movie I ever walked out on in disgust at the silliness.
  14. hollyc
    Sep 2, 2007
    6
    Users: "Lao 3D" and "Guy W." gave a pretty good surmise of my thoughts on Sunshine, so I won't repeat it. However, I'll add that if you've watched (or read) "The Beach"--another Alex Garland story, there's a bit of the same tell-tale twists (some would say silly twists) at the end that are somewhat predictable now---which is disappointing. Actually, most of the plot Users: "Lao 3D" and "Guy W." gave a pretty good surmise of my thoughts on Sunshine, so I won't repeat it. However, I'll add that if you've watched (or read) "The Beach"--another Alex Garland story, there's a bit of the same tell-tale twists (some would say silly twists) at the end that are somewhat predictable now---which is disappointing. Actually, most of the plot turns in Sunshine are pretty predictable, but more in that, cliche' of space opera stories told countless times sort of way. However, the visuals throughout are pretty stunning---though the audio was a little overdone--especially given the best part of the film to me was the quiet psychology of the crew and their task. That area gets a little lost as the movie goes on but I'd still say it was an ok movie. Not great, that's for sure---but not terrible either. Definitely derivative (& boring in that sense) but worth a DVD rental for sure. Expand
  15. JoeT
    Jul 22, 2007
    6
    5 for the first half, before everything starts going pear-shaped and people start dying. 1 for the climax and the final couple of scenes, the rest of the second half is complete mess.. I'm a huge Danny Boyle fan, but the latter half might possibly be worse the second half of A Life Less Ordinary, the next worse film in the director's canon. A huge disappointment, but Boyle 5 for the first half, before everything starts going pear-shaped and people start dying. 1 for the climax and the final couple of scenes, the rest of the second half is complete mess.. I'm a huge Danny Boyle fan, but the latter half might possibly be worse the second half of A Life Less Ordinary, the next worse film in the director's canon. A huge disappointment, but Boyle really regrets passing on 28 Weeks Later. Expand
  16. TerryD
    Jul 23, 2007
    6
    Sunshine is, in a few words, great ingredients in an otherwise burned cake. The production design is wonderful, the effects state of the art, the characters are believable, and the storyline pretty darn original. However, there are some rather large holes in the story and sequence of events that ruin the film. [***SPOILER***] So here we go: 1. The fatal mistake the navigator makes that Sunshine is, in a few words, great ingredients in an otherwise burned cake. The production design is wonderful, the effects state of the art, the characters are believable, and the storyline pretty darn original. However, there are some rather large holes in the story and sequence of events that ruin the film. [***SPOILER***] So here we go: 1. The fatal mistake the navigator makes that damages the ship would not have happened Expand
  17. KentC.
    Jan 13, 2008
    6
    The first two-thirds or so of the movie were very good. The actors fit well with their characters (Cillian Murphy is very talented in any of his roles). The concept was great and the action was fast paced. However, that all seemed pointless after we discover the so called "twist" at the final one-third or so of the movie. Whatever amount of enjoyment and interest that you had for the The first two-thirds or so of the movie were very good. The actors fit well with their characters (Cillian Murphy is very talented in any of his roles). The concept was great and the action was fast paced. However, that all seemed pointless after we discover the so called "twist" at the final one-third or so of the movie. Whatever amount of enjoyment and interest that you had for the movie was nearly destroyed by that incomprehensible "twist". It was stupid. It was physically impossible for it to ever happen in real life. Worst of all, it ruined the whole movie experience. Expand
  18. JasonP.
    Jul 17, 2007
    6
    In Sunshine, like his last outing in the genre 28 Days Later, Danny Boyle continues his fustrating trend of making a film with a unique vision on a tired genre, interesting characters, and raw and sometimes beautiful visuals - at least until the final third of the movie. Again in Sunshine, it appears that Danny Boyle finished the movie he wanted to make by the half-way point and decided In Sunshine, like his last outing in the genre 28 Days Later, Danny Boyle continues his fustrating trend of making a film with a unique vision on a tired genre, interesting characters, and raw and sometimes beautiful visuals - at least until the final third of the movie. Again in Sunshine, it appears that Danny Boyle finished the movie he wanted to make by the half-way point and decided to let old sci-fi cliche's and 80's slasher impulses take control of the rest of the movie. H/e, his keen eye for visual effects blended with setting elevates this movie to a good, but not by any means great, entry into the space-opera genre. Perhaps he set our sights too too high early in the movie in a beautiful yet simple scene, as the crew silently watches Mercury, dwarfed by the gigantic proportion of the sun, makes its transit across the star. Expand
  19. rostokov
    Jul 19, 2007
    4
    Garland's been in the sun too long , judging by this frazzled mess of a script. The best Boyle can do is shake the camera about and use MTV edits to distract from its incoherence. Unreleasable trash.
  20. KyleF
    Mar 15, 2009
    6
    It was okay. If you're looking for a well explained, believable movie don't look at this one. If you want some psuedo emotional stuff, this is your ticket.
  21. Jun 12, 2011
    6
    I really thought that this movie was going to be incredibly stupid, but when it was al said and done it wasn't half bad. In a sci-fi movie that you would think would be chalk full of crazy special effects that not really what you get. You actually get a movie with some very solid acting that was actually very well written. The ending of the movie does get a little confusing and the endingI really thought that this movie was going to be incredibly stupid, but when it was al said and done it wasn't half bad. In a sci-fi movie that you would think would be chalk full of crazy special effects that not really what you get. You actually get a movie with some very solid acting that was actually very well written. The ending of the movie does get a little confusing and the ending is exactly what you think its going to be but its a fun ride. If you ever get the chance to catch the movie then do. Expand
  22. Jul 15, 2012
    4
    Interesting to begin with, but gets idiotic very quickly. Boyle can cite 2001, Solaris and Alien as influences all he wants but Sunshine is essentially a nicer looking Event: Horizon or Supernova. All three Follow the same tropes of big-studio SF "space" thriller; 20 minutes in, **** hits the fan, ship breaks down, maniac comes aboard, crew gets killed one by one, lone survivor overcomesInteresting to begin with, but gets idiotic very quickly. Boyle can cite 2001, Solaris and Alien as influences all he wants but Sunshine is essentially a nicer looking Event: Horizon or Supernova. All three Follow the same tropes of big-studio SF "space" thriller; 20 minutes in, **** hits the fan, ship breaks down, maniac comes aboard, crew gets killed one by one, lone survivor overcomes odds, film ends on bittersweet note or cliffhanger. The music was nice though, and the golden space-suits looked pretty cool, that's about the only positive thing I have to say about the film. Expand
  23. Feb 10, 2012
    6
    A mixed-race ensemble cast are featured in Danny Boyle's science fiction film Sunshine. Basically this movie follows the lives of eight astronauts as they work their way towards a combined goal of reigniting the dying sun with a bomb the size of Manhattan Island. If you enjoy psychological mayhem regardless of genre then this feature might be for you but I warn you now that this flickA mixed-race ensemble cast are featured in Danny Boyle's science fiction film Sunshine. Basically this movie follows the lives of eight astronauts as they work their way towards a combined goal of reigniting the dying sun with a bomb the size of Manhattan Island. If you enjoy psychological mayhem regardless of genre then this feature might be for you but I warn you now that this flick offers little in character development or their personal backstory before the trip. However, the music and score are glowing in appearance! Expand
  24. Nov 11, 2012
    5
    The movie was ok but it was nothing spectacular, sure it has a good soundtrack and good visuals .etc. But the story itself is pretty weak. And some characters jump into the movie you have never seen before.
  25. Aug 24, 2014
    4
    Between Danny Boyle's obscure direction and the countless missed opportunities, Sunshine fails to hype up to its initial potential. Even Alex Garland's script takes a drastic turn into the "slasher" genre.
  26. Mar 3, 2015
    6
    Sunshine is a film that borrows heavily from the science fiction films that came before it, namely "2001: A Space Odyssey", "Solaris", and "Alien", but does not quite reach the heights of those films. Instead of sticking with its science fiction premise, it opts to go all slasher movie and weird on us towards the end, which is ultimately what turned me off significantly from this one.Sunshine is a film that borrows heavily from the science fiction films that came before it, namely "2001: A Space Odyssey", "Solaris", and "Alien", but does not quite reach the heights of those films. Instead of sticking with its science fiction premise, it opts to go all slasher movie and weird on us towards the end, which is ultimately what turned me off significantly from this one. Beginning with the positives, the world created here is super intriguing and very interesting. You get the problem facing this crew and as things progress or regress on their journey, you feel excited or feel bad for them. That is very important for these types of films. In addition, the special effects are splendid and the acting from the entire, very large, cast is great. Everybody did a superb job there. The direction from Danny Boyle is alright, nothing to write home about, but I do blame him a good bit for the way this one falls apart at the end. It is a movie about people traveling to the sun, so some suspension of disbelief is required, but the ending was far too much for me. Without going off the deep end there and then using that weirdness to turn this one in a low-key slasher film, this one would have been way better. On top of that, the ending significantly dragged. The preceding, say, hour and 10 minutes were absolutely riveting and had you invested in the characters, while also forcing you to the edge of your seat on multiple occasions. By the time that last half hour kicks in, you just want it to be over. However, I will say, the absolute end of this one saves the preceding half hour by being very moving and leaving the viewer on the brink of tears. Thus, it saddens me even more that, towards the end, this one burned up in the sun or else it could have been far better. It had the pieces, but what it did with those pieces was not to my liking. Expand
  27. Nov 20, 2015
    5
    (I have introduced my own voting system. A 1 for bleh, a 5 for meh and a 9 for wow, leaving a 0 for the odd ones out and a 10 for freaking awesome.This one gets a meh, with a star for the first half of the movie).

    To be foretold is to be forewarned I guess, and thus, having read some reviews and seen some clips on youtube, I found myself unable to watch the last part of this movie. It
    (I have introduced my own voting system. A 1 for bleh, a 5 for meh and a 9 for wow, leaving a 0 for the odd ones out and a 10 for freaking awesome.This one gets a meh, with a star for the first half of the movie).

    To be foretold is to be forewarned I guess, and thus, having read some reviews and seen some clips on youtube, I found myself unable to watch the last part of this movie. It is the part where the story starts to slide downhill. This feature is a rocket blasting into space with a magnificent breathtaking fiery halo, just to falter halfway up, sizzle out and flap to the ground.

    The beginning dishes you with amazing scenes of the sun in its death throes , the scorched surface of mercury and the peaceful quietness of space. The story is slow to develop and it has the feel of 2001: A Space Odyssey, especially in the way the voice of the computer talks.

    The actors are fine. The acting is fine. The music is great. The camera handling is okay. The story might have a lame premise(really, kick-starting the sun with a bomb as if it is and engine that just needs the twist of a key to get going again?) but they do not dwell too much on it and seem to focus more on the interaction between the nine people that form the crew on their sixteen month voyage. It works until it gets all undone at the end.. It is like someone writes a story and then when you turn the next page it ends saying: and then they all died.

    Obvious this is not one movie, but a movie made from two parts of two movies with two scripts. The first is from a science fiction movie and the second from a lame horror story. The writer probably couldn't think of a way to wrap up the story in a profound or spectacular manner and therefore went for the jugular with cheap shocks. And misses the mark profoundly.

    I can understand the plight of the script writer who has a great idea, creates a fine setup, writes some good dialog, but ultimately bungles the end. It is just terrible hard work to write a nice story apparently. I struggle with it myself, not that I presume to be a writer of any expertise, but I like to write stories or rather I like to write scenes. But scenes need to be connected and be part of a process that has a start and a finish and an in between part that makes the one connect with the other in a fluent way. This movie has a lot going for it, but ultimately doesn't make that connection and therefore fails as a story. A pity really.
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  28. Sep 8, 2013
    6
    starts off extremely strong but ends up trailing off and becoming somewhat weak. It's still a decent film but I wish the ending was improved a little. It's still worth watching however.
  29. Jan 29, 2016
    5
    Lots of claustrophobic moments are forced on the audience... if you are buggered by such a thing, then ok, but for others it was just a waste of time. The movie is ok at best, but the use of symbolism is eye rolling. It would have been fine without the need to make it seem mysterious or "deep." It isnt deep. Its formulaic and if you have seen other movies that force symbolism down yourLots of claustrophobic moments are forced on the audience... if you are buggered by such a thing, then ok, but for others it was just a waste of time. The movie is ok at best, but the use of symbolism is eye rolling. It would have been fine without the need to make it seem mysterious or "deep." It isnt deep. Its formulaic and if you have seen other movies that force symbolism down your throat, this will present nothing new. Icarus... lol. God and life/death... lol. Maybe if I was still in high school all this would have been interesting but im not in my mid teens anymore.

    The story is about revitalizing the dying sun; a topic covered many times in the past, and the acting was good as was the adventure except in the times where they dragged it out too long. I felt that the movie would have been better served as an action flick rather than a psychological thriller but that is just me and it might be because I have already seen this topic several times in the past. The movie was doing fine when it was reasonable but at once point it turns to spirituality and takes a nose dive. No longer was it about the science of the mission, but rather it became about ego's and personal beliefs and some supernatural dude who love getting a blistering tan (a la Freddy Krueger). Watch it if you have nothing else to watch... avoid if you see something else that interests you.
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Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 34
  2. Negative: 1 out of 34
  1. They’ve taken "2001" and Tarkovsky’s "Solaris" and "Silent Running," mixed in stuff from save-the-earth pictures like "The Core" and "Deep Impact," and thrown in a cheesy climax out of "Alien."
  2. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    60
    Like a collapsing star, Sunshine initially burns brightly but finally implodes into a dramatic black hole.
  3. 60
    Ideas scintillate over the surface of Sunshine without ever quite igniting, but at least the movie sparkles. What it doesn't do is cohere. Action flick, sci-fi thriller, metaphysical adventure, incoherent allegory, ethical hypothesis, and horror film all at once, this mad multitasker has the agenda of a dozen movies. Problem is, we know which ones.