Today I rewatched his science fiction film Sunshine, and I have to recommend it as a masterpiece of the genre. It's the kind of movie that puts other sci-fi spectacles to shame. Full of dramatic tension and suspense, brimming with speculative fiction ideas rooted in science rather than fantasy, it's a gripping tale from the opening voice-over narration (and the image of our sun that sets up the premise) right up to the final deeply emotional scene revealing to the audience whether or not the mission to save our solar system's star was a success.
A lot of science fiction movies often fall into two extremes -- either over-the-top special effects craziness or slow-paced, boring pseudo-SF arthouse flicks. Sunshine is a visually stunning tale that doesn't hold back on action, terror, and terrific characterization. The cast, which includes Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans, Michelle Yeoh, and others, is superb. The plot is believable, thought-provoking, and full of surprises. The cinematography is often beautiful for what surely wasn't a big budget project. The editing, while sometimes a bit jarring, still manages to create subtextual images and juxtapositions that add to the mood of the story.
Sunshine is one of those films that I wish more people could see, even non-science fiction fans, because it demonstrates everything the genre could be. I hope Danny Boyle directs some more sci-fi goodness in the future.