July 27th, 2007

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Still of Hiroyuki Sanada in SunshineStill of Rose Byrne in SunshineCassandra Hepburn at event of SunshineStill of Cillian Murphy in SunshineStill of Chris Evans in SunshineStill of Cliff Curtis in Sunshine

A team of astronauts are sent to re-ignite the dying sun 50 years into the future.

Release Year: 2007

Rating: 7.3/10 (100,248 voted)

Critic's Score: 64/100

Director: Danny Boyle

Stars: Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, Chris Evans

50 years into the future, the Sun begins to die, and Earth is dying as a result. A team of astronauts are sent to revive the Sun - but the mission fails. Seven years later, a new team are sent to finish the mission as they are Earth's last hope.

Cillian Murphy - Robert Capa
Chris Evans - Mace
Michelle Yeoh - Corazon
Rose Byrne - Cassie
Troy Garity - Harvey
Hiroyuki Sanada - Kaneda
Benedict Wong - Trey
Mark Strong - Pinbacker
Cliff Curtis - Searle
Paloma Baeza - Capa's Sister
Archie Macdonald - Child
Sylvie Macdonald - Child
Chipo Chung - Icarus (voice)

Taglines: 50 years in the future, Earth's Sun is dying.


Official Website: Fox Searchlight [United States] | Twentieth Century Fox [France] |

Release Date: 27 July 2007

Filming Locations: Stockholm, Stockholms län, Sweden

Box Office Details

Budget: £26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: £1,021,063 (UK) (8 April 2007) (407 Screens)

Gross: $32,017,803 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

In the original screenplay, the Icarus payload was the same size, but was made of highly compressed dark matter (there is no mention of needing fissile material) and had the same mass as the moon, so it had its own gravity (one-sixth the Earth's normal). The science advisor pointed out problems with using a bomb that massive, so it was reduced to the mass of Manhattan. A take with the original line can be seen on the DVD, in a deleted scene.

Continuity: Critical damage is caused to Icarus II by sunlight reflecting off a communications tower onto the structure. Yet, when Icarus II approaches Icarus I - much closer to the sun - its shield reflects sunlight onto the rear of Icarus I with no ill-effects to that ship at all.

[first lines]
Capa: Our sun is dying. Mankind faces extinction. Seven years ago the Icarus project sent a mission to restart the sun but that mission was lost before it reached the star. Sixteen months ago, I, Robert Capa, and a crew of seven left earth frozen in a solar winter. Our payload a stellar bomb with a mass equivalent to Manhattan Island. Our purpose to create a star within a star.
[long pause]
Capa: Eight astronauts strapped to the back of a bomb. My bomb. Welcome to the Icarus Two.

User Review

Nearly there

Rating: 7/10

I'm sure many reviews will say something similar: This is two-thirds of a great sci-fi movie. Specifically, the first two thirds. Natural characters, intelligent dialogue, stunning visuals; I was thoroughly immersed in this philosophical disaster movie in space. Heck, even the moody, modern, sentimental score worked.

The central premise concerns humanity's last hope for survival: the Icarus II (EXTREMELY dumb name for a ship travelling to the sun, if you remember the Greek legend), whose crew must re-ignite said star with a nuclear bomb the size of Manhattan island. It's distant future stuff, but the filmmakers work hard at establishing plausibility. They certainly achieve it. Impressive.

Cast-wise, it's an eclectic group. Cillian Murphy gets the starring role, and he's good. Maybe it's just me, but he always looks slightly psychotic - something to do with the eyes perhaps? Anyway, he's a quirky and soulful leading man.

Nice work by Michelle Yeoh, Rose Byrne and Cliff Curtis. Not one weak link in the multinational cast.

I thought Chris Evans stole the acting honours. Despite his character's hot temper, he gave gravitas to every decision, and they included some pretty big ones. He's the pragmatic member of the group; logic's on his side, and he knows it.

The introduction of Icarus I to the second half of the story (the previous ship that mysteriously failed) is not handled particularly well. The crew's decision to deviate from the mission is a poor one, and has disastrous consequences. Later on, a horror element is introduced which is just laughable. All the filmmakers' hard work peters out in a third act of blurry shots, shaky cams and incomprehensible cuts.

Overall, 'Sunshine' is a real mixed bag. Director Danny Boyle and his cast work hard to create a believable scenario. The special effects really are special. I think the fault here lies with writer Garland, whose third act is derivative, contrived, and not worthy of the rest of this fine film.

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