The idea of a deep space mission with humans in cryo-sleep for the journey but someone wakes up early has been done a few times in science fiction history. What makes Passengers look good is the advancement of CG effects. In the clip below, Jennifer Lawrence goes for a dip in the ships swimming pool that includes an end that has a big open window into space. As she's swimming, the ship loses gravity control. Now I'm no scientist, so I have absolutely no idea if that is how water would react in zero gravity… but as a guy with a wee bit of a drowning phobia, that is one scary scene.
I might need to drop a note to Neil degrasse Tyson and ask.
Passengers opens on December 21st.