Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 239 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: The sun is dying. It is no longer providing the energy and the light that mankind needs to survive on Earth. The entire global community pools its resources to send a mission into space to deliver a bomb to reignite the part of the sun that is failing. Our story concerns the eight astronauts and scientists who lead this mission. On their journey towards the sun the crew stumble upon the ship that was sent on the same mission seven years previously, the Icarus I, drifting in space. From this point on things start to go very wrong. Its about how the crew react under the enormous pressure of their endeavor to save mankind. (Fox Searchlight) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 34
  2. Negative: 1 out of 34
  1. A bare outline of the plot reads like a space-adventure thriller with end-of-the-world stakes and a hint of celestial spirituality, and the haunted spaceship twist in the third act is pure B-movie madness.
  2. Sunshine is its own creature, taking inspiration from classic science fiction films but insisting on a gritty reality that much improves on past space adventures.
  3. 75
    Science-fiction fans will like it, and also brainiacs, and those who sometimes look at the sky and think, man, there's a lot going on up there, and we can't even define precisely what a soliton is.
  4. For though it can't maintain its momentum all the way to the end, Sunshine until it stumbles is gratifyingly far from the usual space-opera stuff.
  5. 63
    So what starts out as fascinating sci-fi becomes just fi, and winds up pulp fi.
  6. Reviewed by: Don R. Lewis
    Danny Boyle still creates an impressive world, visually rich and yet cold and claustrophobic.
  7. Directed by Danny Boyle, it lacks even a single moment of charm or interest.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 91 out of 117
  2. Negative: 14 out of 117
  1. May 1, 2013
    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!
  2. AlexanderM
    Jan 18, 2008
    This is a wonderful move; one of my all-time favorites. My initial interest was in the sci-fi aspect of the movie, but after the 'rising action' starts it becomes a lot more than a typical "save-the-world-in-a-spaceship" and forces you to think a lot about life, mortality and human purpose. A lot of the ideas are just beneath the surface. If you can shrug-off some of the insensibilities, suspend your disbelief and enter with an open mind, you might find a new movie to add to your favorites. If you just can't get past all the little imperfections, you're in for a rough ride. I loved this movie -- an instant favorite for me. Expand
  3. helloyou
    Jan 8, 2008
    Dunno what some of these guys are talking about. It's a movie, so you can't base it completely in our reality. But even if you do, nothing is too absurd to believe in this movie. I really enjoyed this movie. I rented it with 3:10 to Yuma and ended up watching both the same day and Sunshine sticks in my mind far more. The beautiful imagery alone is worth watching this movie. On top of that the cast was great all around, especially Cillain Murphy (as usual) and the guy from the Fanastic Four movies was suprising excellent (dunno his name atm). Both these guys really carried the movie for me. Once you think you have seen everything there is to see in the movie and think it may start to get a bit redundant it completely throws you a new angle a little more than halfway through. Some people have a problem with this...I don't know why...for me it was the best part of the entire movie. Expand
  4. AlexC
    Aug 6, 2007
    Sunshine is an excellent, but flawed, movie. Boyle asks you to follow him as the film slides from sci-fi voyage to action-adventure to (very briefly) horror. Unlike some reviewers, I had no problem with this. The major flaw is in the last 20 minutes, when the flow of action becomes somewhat muddled (though stunningly shot). This is the rare movie that could stand to be 10 minutes longer; a few more short scenes would better situate the action at the end. Beautiful, thought-provoking, and tense. Expand
  5. Phil
    Jan 21, 2008
    I think a lot of people judge this film too harshly. It isn't perfect, but it is a decent entry into the sci-fi category.
  6. katherynh.
    Sep 8, 2007
    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. Expand
  7. SeanP.
    Jul 23, 2007
    The San Francisco Chronicle, namely Mick LaSalle, was correct. Pure cinematic dreck.

See all 117 User Reviews