Sunshine Movie Poster Image


Grim, intellectual space adventure. Not for kids.
Parents recommend
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 107 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Crewmembers argue with each other and show selfishness, then support each other absolutely when faced with a larger threat.


Several startlingly bloody and harsh images. Two male astronauts fight with each other a couple of times (hard-hitting fists and grunts); discovery of dead bodies in another ship (they're mostly shadowy, and have burned to death); an astronaut floats loose in space, his death by freezing shown graphically and briefly (face shatters, then blood shatters); a crewmember has nightmares of falling into the sun; a crewmember slashes his wrists off-screen, with his bloody remains explicitly displayed; extended killing sequence by the figure the crew meets at the end includes bloody stabbing (bloody handprints and splashes all over walls and windows), freezing in liquid, fighting and running, falling; eventual bomb explosion into the sun comprises a lengthy scene, very bright light, lots of flames.

Not applicable

Language indicating anger and fear: mostly "f--k" (at least 15 instances), plus fewer uses of "bitch," "s--t," and "hell."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film isn't for kids; in addition to some brief, very violent scenes, it features extended discussions of intellectual and philosophical issues. Violence includes shots showing the effects of intense sunlight on human flesh (burned, bubbly, and scarred), a couple of vigorous fistfights between crewmembers, the very affecting death of a crewmember who is accidentally loosed in space (he freezes, face in close-up, and his face and then his shatter); a suicide victim appears so his slashed wrists are visible and blood is everywhere (crewmembers display upset); bodies in previous ship appear huddled together and burned to ash; final chase/fight is extended and violent; final explosions are fiery, loud, and devastating (also rather poetic). There are repeated uses of "f--k," with some other profanity.

What's the story?

It's 2057, and, as narrator Capa (Cillian Murphy) puts it, "Our sun is dying." In order save the earth, Capa and seven other astronauts board the spaceship Icarus II on a mission involving a stellar bomb. After a 16 month journey, they enter the "dead zone" (no more communication with earth) and discover the first Icarus, lost seven years earlier: Should they check it out, recover the ship's bomb, or just pass it by? The decisions they make are shaped by errors in calculations and guesses at their own futures. Arguments increase as options dwindle. Engineer Mace (Chris Evans) gets into psychical altercations with Capa; biologist Corazon (Michelle Yeoh) guards her greenhouse, and comm officer Harvey (Troy Garity) blames others for what goes wrong. As Captain Kaneda (Hiroyuki Sanada) tries to keep the crew on track, the pilot Cassie (Rose Byrne) complains of the occasional "excess of manliness." Yet they need to work together if they want to survive.

Is it any good?


The premise might make Danny Boyle's SUNSHINE sound like another coming of Armageddon; it is, in fact, not an action flick at all. Rather, it's a study of personalities, philosophies, and ethics, with a bit of Alien-like horror in the mix as well. The utter vastness of the space around them is contrasted repeatedly with shots of their narrow interiors -- long, white-walled walkways; close, dark sleeping quarters; the observation deck, where the sun, viewed even at only 1 percent strength, is overwhelmingly bright.

Knowing they are "expendable" in pursuit of saving the world, the crew begins to see each other differently. And this is the beauty of the film, its mediation on seeing and visual poetry. Though the plot turns a little silly by the end, the imagery remains magnificent.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the difficulties of traveling in space for long periods: How do these astronauts contend with their loneliness, competition, rising tensions, and difficult decisions? How does the film show the structure among the crewmembers, across race, age, and gender differences? What do you think about the possibility of the mission succeeding? They can also talk about science fiction in general and what makes a good sci-fi flick.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 20, 2007
DVD/Streaming release date:January 8, 2008
Cast:Chris Evans, Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne
Director:Danny Boyle
Studio:Fox Searchlight
Genre:Science Fiction
Run time:107 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:violent content and language.

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Adult Written bynhodnicky August 24, 2010

a good sci-fi flick and popcorn muncher.

I personally felt that this movie was a good sci-fi flick. I gave this a five star rating and said that it was on for ages 13 and up. However, there are many factors to take into account when deciding weather your child is ready to see this if they are between the ages of 13 and 15. One of these factors would be the suicide of a crew member and the open display of his corpse. A good discussion to have with your children would be about the act of suicide itself if they are bothered by it. Another factor would be the appearance of the malevolent captain of the prior ship motivated by religious extremism. This will most likely be a conversation starter do to the fact of the characters frequent references to his "gods" desire to let humanity perish and the use of that as an excuse for murdering the crew. A few more factors would be the many corpses, blood, and intense scenes. If you have a child who at those younger ages can grasp the philosophical issues stated in the movie, then i highly recommend this move for the stated age group. Aside from the stated factors, this movie is a very enthralling and engaging sci-fi. It raises many very good discussion points and allows for a mind flexing thriller.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 17 years old Written byrobots in disguise April 9, 2008

I real sci fi movie! and kind of original too

I thought this movie was really good. There is nothing in it you wouldn't see or hear in a PG-13 movie except a few F words. It is kind of slow so little kids probably wouldn't like it anyway but for teens it is interesting. I want to own it
Parent of a 4 and 10 year old Written byCensor-Bot January 8, 2011

Beautiful film suited for my little Einsteins

The film is only made for smart kids, and since mine are the smartest naturally I showed them this film and they loved it! They cheered when that no good space-suit hog got frozen out in space and cried when the man who committed suicide was shown, however I believe this film helped prepare them for real life topics such as suicide and religion being taken to an extreme.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Great messages
Great role models