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Sunshine, a Movie Review

Updated on October 28, 2018
tamarawilhite profile image

Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, an industrial engineer, a mother of two, and a published sci-fi and horror author.


The movie Sunshine (2007) portrays the opposite of global warming, a world sinking into a permanent ice age. The starship Icarus 2 is sent with a nuclear device to restart the ignition of the sun and save humanity. The survival of the human race is precarious, due to the dimming sun, made all the more perilous because the first ship sent to try to save the Sun failed.

I am a science fiction author, as well as a sci-fi movie buff.
I am a science fiction author, as well as a sci-fi movie buff. | Source

Highlights of the Movie Sunshine

  • The care put into these sets is spectacular to realistically portray spaceships and space travel in the future. The oxygen farm alone is beautiful, and it is a realistic innovation in lines with several decades of science fiction and actual research. Why bring air into space when you can make your own using plants?
  • The technology in Sunshine is likely and realistic. There is no absurd singularity event that has rewritten the laws of physics, jeopardizing the credibility of the plot. There is no warp drive or radical new invention that makes the plot even plausible.
  • The music of "Sunshine" is amazing, in my opinion, rivaling many modern attempts to imitate classical music. "Surface of the Sun" is among the best of the musical scores I have ever heard.
  • The human element is believable until the encounter of the captain from the other ship. From the mistakes Trey makes that endanger the mission to the debate of whether or not to kill a crew mate as they run out of air, the people in the film act like real people. You want these characters to live, though, at the end, none do.
  • Humanity's survival is at risk, raising the stakes of this movie. The connections the crew show to the world they left behind and efforts to stay connected allow you to feel invested in the characters as well as the story.

Low Points of Sunshine the Movie

  • The planners on Earth know that the mental health of the crew is at risk given the isolation, the stress and the difficult conditions. The need for a psychologist to keep everyone sane is reasonable on a star ship. Given all the care and consideration for the mental state of the crew, the captain who has gone mad is difficult to accept and strains the suspension of belief required for so many fictional works.
  • The plot twist mid-movie detracts from an otherwise great film. SPOILER ALERT - A captain who decides to murder everyone and worship the sun to the point of burning his skin severely and repeatedly takes away from the ability to believe the movie. We go from a thrilling "let's save humanity" space film to a horror flick that rips off many other films while bordering on cheesy. Only the scenes of Capa initiating the device restores the science fiction element to the movie. END OF SPOILER


I give the movie "Sunshine" a score of three out of five stars. If the horror aspects had been more believable, the movie Sunshine would be 5 out of 5.

For the Sunshine soundtrack itself, I give five stars.


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