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Sunshine is a 2007 science fiction film directed by Danny Boyle from a screenplay by Alex Garland. The film follows a spaceship crew in the year 2057, played by an ensemble cast of Rose Byrne, Cliff Curtis, Chris Evans, Troy Garity, Cillian Murphy, Hiroyuki Sanada, Benedict Wong and Michelle Yeoh, who are tasked with reigniting Earth's dying sun.
In the year 2057, the Sun is failing, and the Icarus project has been formed with the intent of traveling to the sun and detonating a massive thermonuclear payload to re-ignite it. Seven years before the events of the film, the spacecraft Icarus I was launched but failed for reasons unknown; its successor, Icarus II, is en route to the star. Since all of the Earth's fissile material has been mined for the two Icarus ships, life on Earth is doomed if the mission fails.
While passing Mercury, communications officer Harvey (Troy Garity) discovers the distress beacon of Icarus I. Physicist Capa (Cillian Murphy) is asked by Captain Kaneda (Hiroyuki Sanada) to decide whether to change course and approach Icarus I. Carrying out a risk assessment, Capa decides to rendezvous with the stricken vessel in order to acquire another payload. While calculating their new course, navigator Trey (Benedict Wong) neglects to correct the heat shield's angle, causing potentially mission-compromising damage. Kaneda and Capa go on a spacewalk to make repairs. When pilot Cassie (Rose Byrne) rotates the shield to facilitate the repairs, an unshielded antenna is vapourised by the sun, reflecting intense sunlight into the ship's oxygen garden. This causes the computer to automatically re-adjust the shield back into alignment with the sun, with no way to override the process. Capa makes it back to the shield's underside, but Kaneda opts to remain behind to finish repairs. He succeeds, but is incinerated.
The crew extinguish the fire in the garden, but lose a substantial amount of their oxygen reserves. A return trip is impossible unless oxygen can be recovered from the Icarus I. Psychiatrist Searle (Cliff Curtis) asseses Trey to be a suicide risk, and places him under sedation.
Upon rendezvousing with Icarus I, Capa, Harvey, Searle and engineer Mace (Chris Evans) board the ship. Mace finds a video suggesting the crew of Icarus I abandoned their mission. Deferring to "God's will" under the leadership of Captain Pinbacker (Mark Strong), they destroyed their computer, rendering their bomb useless, and killed themselves. However, the ship's garden is thriving and could provide oxygen desperately needed by Icarus II. The airlock connecting the ships suddenly decouples inexplicably. Searle sacrifices himself to manually open a hatch, allowing the rest to leave. Harvey and Mace wrap themselves in insulation and cling to Capa's spacesuit, hoping they can return with him to Icarus II through the vacuum of space . Harvey is knocked loose and freezes to death, but Mace survives.
The surviving crew are confronted with a dilemma; with five crew members their oxygen reserves will not suffice, but enough oxygen remains for four. The crew decides that Trey must be killed; he is suicidal and was the only one who could have sabotaged the airlock. However, Trey has already committed suicide. The computer informs Capa that there are still five people on board. Capa locates Captain Pinbacker, horribly burned. Pinbacker, who decoupled the airlock, chases Capa and seals him inside the airlock. He kills botanist Corazon (Michelle Yeoh), sabotages the computer, and chases Cassie into the payload section. Mace dies while restoring computer control to the ship. Knowing the bomb must now be released and armed manually, Capa dons a spacesuit and destroys the airlock door, depressurizing Icarus II. He decouples the payload section, and manages to board it before its boosters fire. Icarus II is destroyed by the heat.
Inside the payload section, Capa is attacked by Pinbacker, but escapes with Cassie’s help. Before the payload can be incinerated by the sun, Capa detonates the bomb. On Earth, Capa’s relatives watch his final message to them. Suddenly, the sky brightens, an indication of the mission's success.