User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 245 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 24 out of 245

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  1. Sep 25, 2011
    9
    I got what I expected from Sunshine; a profound SF masterpiece that doesn't contain all those unnecessary dialogue and stupid characters. Though Danny Boyle was foolish to put a zombie into the movie, nevertheless its one of the year's best films.
  2. May 1, 2013
    10
    Spoiler alert!
    Reading reviews of Sunshine is a profoundly depressing experience, and reminds me that western culture is in its last death throes. Every single archetype, symbolism and cultural alliteration swushes as completely and utterly over the heads of reviewers as a Star Trek spaceship, before they proceed to complain about narratives they don`t understand because of illiteracy
    Spoiler alert!
    Reading reviews of Sunshine is a profoundly depressing experience, and reminds me that western culture is in its last death throes. Every single archetype, symbolism and cultural alliteration swushes as completely and utterly over the heads of reviewers as a Star Trek spaceship, before they proceed to complain about narratives they don`t understand because of illiteracy and an ending they understand even less for the same reason.
    On a first viewing, Sunshine is a visually impressive, if claustrophobic story of a group of scientists on their way to reignite the Sun with the largest nuclear bomb in NATO history. Nothing special there, and if this is all the movie remains for you, more impressive movies can certainly be found. But even on a first viewing it should be obvious that there is another story being told that reaches down into the very foundations of western cultural traditions. You`d think reviewers born and raised in the west might notice this therefore. No such luck!
    To mention all the symbolism, religious and cultural references contained in Sunshine is not easy; indeed I may not even have noticed them all. But from the basic allegory of the Sun as truth/God/creating force present in the Greek, Egyptian, Roman and Christian traditions, many of them are so evident I squirm with embarrassment on behalf of those who fail to notice even any of it.
    The first is the ship in which they travel, named Icarus after the Greek mythological figure who flew too close to the Sun so his wings fell off. As with everything else this is not a literal event being retold, but an allegory regarding the force of truth/God and the futility of trying to become God. If the entire movie is viewed as an allegory of the search for truth, you could easily see that most reviewers would need very powerful sunglasses indeed. If this is correct though, the gatekeeper of truth is the movie`s nemesis, Penbacker, who seeks to destroy the Icarus and prevent the crew from reigniting the Sun, by killing them all. Like a Syrian pillar hermit he has spent seven years close to God (the Sun) and presumes to have understood the futility of denying the death of God (truth), and aggressively seeks to prevent anyone from reigniting the Sun/remaking God/finding truth.
    The actual bomb is triggered from a cross-shaped scaffolding. The cross was traditionally a symbol of the rebirth of God, even before Christianity. Around this cross is a square, representing order. Logically then, as the bomb goes off and God (The Sun) is reborn on the Cross, the main character (Capo) transcends, is reborn as God and a new order begins.
    This is why the ending to the movie is the way it is. Not to be weird but to tell an allegorical story about God/truth/rebirth. To the allegorical illiterates in this weird society this is all nonsense of course, and Sunshine is a bad movie because it`s not simple enough for them.

    I could obviously talk more about all this, and it would be nice if at least one conversation about Sunshine would. Some people detest allegory and wouldn`t recognize a cultural symbol if it jumped up and gave them a haircut, which is perfectly fine. But it might be helpful if the people criticizing this splendid movie understood what an allegory is at least. Personally I firmly believe that certain things can`t be properly communicated without them, as my puny attempts to verbalize them here should illustrate, and I feel that movies with allegorical depth are the only ones that ever become classics. Much the same can be said of literature. And if it`s allegorical depth you want you can`t find a better movie than Sunshine. I defiantly vote 10!
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  3. Sep 8, 2010
    10
    wonderful!!! i absolutely loved it! acting - WOW! story - WOW! soundtrack - double WOW! i just can't believe that so few people saw it. i recomed to everybody to see this wonderful picture..... really well done
  4. STS
    Jun 11, 2012
    9
    This is one of my favourite sci-fi films, though it can be hard to re-watch it after you know the story. It is a great example of a quiet and thoughtful science fiction film, moved by characters and some really solid acting. And in all honesty, I did NOT want to see it due to the initial premise. The sun going out, you say? Rubbish, I say. But once I sat down and actually watched it,This is one of my favourite sci-fi films, though it can be hard to re-watch it after you know the story. It is a great example of a quiet and thoughtful science fiction film, moved by characters and some really solid acting. And in all honesty, I did NOT want to see it due to the initial premise. The sun going out, you say? Rubbish, I say. But once I sat down and actually watched it, I really really enjoyed it. I guess it's one of those sci-fi films where you have to just agree to not worry too much about the actual science. Just accept the initial premise and go from there. Incredibly heart-wrenching at times, this is a great film. Expand
  5. Nov 26, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This movie... I loved it since I came out in Theaters. So I'll try to be as objective as I can. My review has a critical goal this time: to let the people who doesn't know it that this movie was a really outstanding space science fiction film, while it was so underrated and not even popular. The strongest points in this film: the atmosphere of the space isolated people far away from having communication with other people, that made me feel so immersed in this ''kind of'' claustrophobia thing. The OST music, all of the tracks, mixed with spectacular scenes, I mean from one side the scenes were so good, not forced in any time, in the other side the music fitted perfectly in each scene. The characters are all good and essential, all of then have an objective for being there. I liked all this stuff. Plus: it reaches your heart, makes you feel, as I said, immersed in the desperation, the rush, the claustrophobia, the anger, the sadness, the greatness of the space! Those are the good points. I also mentioned I was going to (or trying) be objective. These are my ''bad''. All the Pinbacker plot... I liked the Icarus I thing, all was good until they appeared to be some sort of entity, non human, he didn't die at full sun brightness, he had no skin... he was strongest than anyone else, while I've seen the rest fight and stop just because of ''losing oxygen'' he was in his full capacities. That was pretty unreal. Adding that effect of blurring him... they tried to make him a ''monster'' for a horror B movie. I didn't like it, not because is a bad plot... because is was hard to believe, even for a scify movie. Also... maybe strange decisions in the directing: the faces of the Icarus I members all around... and I don't get it. My guess: they wanted to be somehow creepy, to scare... but they lose their target there. Is this a Scify or a Horror movie? They had a lot of thing to be ''suspense'', the isolated people idea, the mystery of the space, the Icarus I atmosphere, no needed for a ''bad guy'' or a ''monster'' or ''floating faces''. I love this movie, those things don't make me change my mind, but they are mistakes that prevented this movie to be an (maybe) Oscar winning film. Expand
  6. Nov 5, 2011
    10
    A very dramatic sci-fi thriller that leads to a very planned out plot and an exciting setting. I think the performances in this film were a little So and So.
  7. Nov 25, 2011
    10
    Its outstanding the work it has been done here.
    Boyles creative mind to set us in a ficcional but real struggle of humans extinction is incredible.
    I love the scenes of the planets, the stars, the worlds... the OST is pretty cool and do what it must.

    I´ve watched like ten times and i love it every time
  8. Aug 13, 2012
    10
    Britain's best director Danny Boyle is back and this time with a interstellar epic. Dr Robert Capa is aboard the ship Icarus II along with several crew members sent to deliver a payload of universal proportions to the dying Sun, this payload will hopefully re-ignite it and save the human race from a new Ice Age and inevitable extinction. However they soon realise how the Icarus I's missionBritain's best director Danny Boyle is back and this time with a interstellar epic. Dr Robert Capa is aboard the ship Icarus II along with several crew members sent to deliver a payload of universal proportions to the dying Sun, this payload will hopefully re-ignite it and save the human race from a new Ice Age and inevitable extinction. However they soon realise how the Icarus I's mission to do the same job failed and find their own lives in danger as long as the rest of humanities. Mind blowing special effects, edge of your seat action and a touching story of isolation, friendship and teamwork. Sunshine is British film making at its best. Expand
  9. Sep 21, 2012
    10
    Arguably the best sci movie of the last 20 years. If you cant handle that at the end of the movie the hero activates the payload inside the sun, its not for you. Partly horror, it still puts good movies like Armageddon, Deep impact and Event Horizon in another league.
  10. Apr 20, 2013
    10
    This movie althought some will argue that it wasnt "realistic" or it had some "blurry" scenes was actually beautiful and if you know what you expect to see its even better. Most people who said it wasnt that good were expecting to see sex & the city or borat or i dont know what else was on their mind. For the script-scenario of this film it was perfect. IF people dont like this movie andThis movie althought some will argue that it wasnt "realistic" or it had some "blurry" scenes was actually beautiful and if you know what you expect to see its even better. Most people who said it wasnt that good were expecting to see sex & the city or borat or i dont know what else was on their mind. For the script-scenario of this film it was perfect. IF people dont like this movie and just write a mindless review awarding 0 in this movie then they have no clue. If that movie gets negative reviews IMAGINE what scores should 99.999% of the rest trash movies that they throw us on our face every day... Event horizon, moon, sunshine are almost equally good but the later is kinda on top. Expand
  11. Apr 6, 2014
    10
    Sunshine has a very intense atmosphere and the most unimaginable travel I've ever seen! The combination of beautiful pictures and a damn good soundtrack makes this movie for me unforgettable.

    The characters are good constructed in the first act and then they will even change during the movie. I have to admit this movie isn't for everyone: It has a deep philosophical aspect and little
    Sunshine has a very intense atmosphere and the most unimaginable travel I've ever seen! The combination of beautiful pictures and a damn good soundtrack makes this movie for me unforgettable.

    The characters are good constructed in the first act and then they will even change during the movie. I have to admit this movie isn't for everyone: It has a deep philosophical aspect and little action. But I'm really happy there's finally again a movie, which doesn't have stereotypical heroes like in Armageddon!

    Many people complain about the third act, but I think it matches to the movie, because think about the problems, which ALL the characters had to solve! This movie gets better every time I rewatch it and everything (also the third act) gets clearer. I rarely experience this. Yes, it's not completely realistic, but it's a science-FICTION-movie, so it doesn't really bother me.
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  12. Nov 30, 2014
    10
    This movie is just an amazing, very compelling and highly underrated Triumph! It has everything what a great movie needs. It is, exciting, thrilling, moving, visually outstanding, it plays with symbolism, asks and explores philosophical and moral questions in a profound way and and and the work and effort they have put in that movie is remarkable. A Masterpiece to me! ... Can't believe howThis movie is just an amazing, very compelling and highly underrated Triumph! It has everything what a great movie needs. It is, exciting, thrilling, moving, visually outstanding, it plays with symbolism, asks and explores philosophical and moral questions in a profound way and and and the work and effort they have put in that movie is remarkable. A Masterpiece to me! ... Can't believe how little it made in the box office ... Expand
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. Reviewed by: Nathan Lee
    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.