The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen Part IV: Sunshine

The most recent entry into TBMYNS is somewhat of an enigma to me. This movie is a recent release with a major director and cast, yet it seems that nobody saw it. And wow, that’s a mistake. It seems that together director Danny Boyle and writer Alex Garland are slowly working through the genres, doing one picture in each of drama (The Beach), horror (28 Days Later) and finally sci-fi with the stellar (pun intended) Sunshine.

Sunshine is a movie with a simple premise, stated in the opening voiceover of the movie. “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. Eight astronauts strapped to the back of a bomb. My bomb. Welcome to the Icarus Two.” And it only gets better from there.

Sunshine is a movie that grabs hold and doesn’t let go. What begins as a tense interpersonal drama evolves into something much more frightening as the film progresses. The events on board the ship are so engrossing that it is easy to forget the fate of the world hangs in the balance of their mission, no easy task. I went into Sunshine with very little conception of what I was seeing, and I was supremely impressed by the twists and turns that the story takes. Sunshine is definitely a sci-fi film, but it crosses into other genres so effortlessly that it is astounding.

Part of what makes Sunshine so great is the cast. Leading the way is none other than the scarecrow himself, Cillian Murphy. Murphy plays Robert Capa, the physicist and man in charge of the biggest bomb ever created. This is ultimately his movie, but there are strong supporting performances by Chris Evans, Rose Byrne, Cliff Curtis and Troy Garity. Evans plays as a foil to Murphy, and the two begin as enemies stuck together on board the same ship. Byrne serves as the love interest, while Curtis is engrossing as the ship’s psychiatrist who is obsessed with looking into the sun from the ship’s observation deck. Garrity plays the second in command, and he is deeply flawed and human, often acting out of selfish impulses rather than for the good of the mission.

All in all, Sunshine is a movie that should not be missed. This tension filled thrill ride has no lulls and its unflinching look at the flawed personalities of the crew will draw in even the staunchest opponents of sci-fi. Unless you are a movie buff living in NY or LA, you missed this movie in theaters, so go out and rent it now.

– Meller


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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Despite not living in LA or the big apple, Densen and I actually caught this masterpiece at the Hi Point Theater in St. Louis. Densen only felt luke warm about it, but I loved it with all my heart. I think Danny Boyle is a genius, and you forgot his foray into the family film genre with Millions, which could potentially be a good candidate for a later edition of TBMYNS.

  2. If I wasn’t already getting “Mystery Men” on HD-DVD (see reference from G.M.’s previous post about that Fbomb) I’d have it tomorrow. God gave me a gift. I shovel well. I shovel very well.

  3. Lance Hunt wears glasses, Captain Amazing doesn’t wear glasses. It doesn’t make any sense. How could he see when he transforms?

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