The sun is weakening, so eight astronauts attempt to drop off a bomb near the sun that will brighten the star and save the world. But tension (and mercury) rises when the group decides to alter their course and rendezvous with the remains of a ship whose mission failed seven years before--in hopes of taking their bomb too. Chris Evans, Cillian Murphy and Michelle Yeoh star.
Big question: After his foray into family movies with "Millions," can "28 Days Later" director Danny Boyle scare us again?
Catch it: Flying circles around the spacey stuff in "The Fountain," "Sunshine" packs a gorgeous color palette and a fully realized vision of inter-stellar travel. It also taps into the big decisions, human error and triage that influence planet-saving missions, like a breathless outer space version of "Survivor."
Skip it: If you don't believe in wearing sunscreen at the beach or pool. Consider the risk of skin cancer when you're soaring directly towards the sun!
Bottom line: The crew's logic of diverting the mission seems questionable--what are the chances the former ship is still intact?--and characters are knocked off in the sadly typical manner of minorities first. But "Sunshine" bears the mark of all really good sci-fi flicks: After you see it, the world just doesn't look the same.
Bonus: Looking for a way to impress parents with high standards? Adopt Capa's (Murphy) approach and try saving mankind! It says more than an expensive anniversary gift ever could.
Matt Pais is the metromix movies producer.
Directed by Danny Boyle; screenplay by Alex Garland; photographed by Alwin Kuechler; edited by Chris Gill; music by John Murphy and Underworld; production design by Mark Tildesley; visual effects supervised by Tom Wood; produced by Andrew MacDonald. A Fox Searchlight Pictures release; opens Friday. Running time: 1:49. MPAA rating: R (for violent content and language).
Capa - Cillian Murphy
Corazon - Michelle Yeoh
Cassie - Rose Byrne
Mace - Chris Evans
Kaneda - Hiroyuki SanadaCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times