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Reviewer's grade: B


Fifty years in the future, the sun is dying. Mankind's only hope is Icarus, a spaceship that will fly to the sun and, hopefully, reignite the dying star. There are no guarantees, and given the high potential for mechanical failure and human screw-ups, they may not even get far enough to find out if the thing works.


Director Danny Boyle ("28 Days Later," "Trainspotting") and writer Alex Garland ("The Beach") team up to produce this sharp study in human nature and the way people react under pressure, isolation and the constant threat of sudden death. Though studded with horror elements, "Sunshine" owes more to "2001: A Space Odyssey" than "Aliens."


The scope is as broad as Kubrick's film: It's more concerned with the big questions about human survival in the long run than the survival of a single protagonist. With a solid, well-chosen cast and writing, direction and stunning visual effects that provide reinforcement to the underpin-nings of the story rather than the flash-and-dazzle of most outer-space movies, "Sunshine" is a rare spot of cinematic illumination. Hurry and see it before AMC clears the screen to make space for "Underdog." R


"?Michael Robertson  


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