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  • Warning: Spoilers
    I read about 20 from the currently 350 reviews here and as far as I've seen, nobody seems to mention 2 key scenes which seemed very important to me, so I'd like to add my two cents here, a different attempt of interpretation.

    First key scene: the teacher scene. We witness how completely the children absorbed the doctrine of Wilford. The train manager became a benevolent deity, the system is never questioned, and the train must go on forever. The teacher is a sycophant, very much like Mason. What future do the children have if they are not allowed to think critical?

    Second key scene: Wilford's monologue when he explains how sacrifices have to be made (only by others, i.e. the lower class). If the system can only continue by murder, then mankind survives by inhuman means, although Wilford sees himself not as the leader who created the train and the system, but as just another cogwheel in the machine. Therefore he expects that a younger man might replace him when he is too old, without any change to the system. He cannot imagine any alternative, but others can.

    In conclusion, what matters is that the train must be stopped somehow to get out of this treadmill. Other reviewers have asked: is it possible to survive in the cold outside, wouldn't it be safer to keep going with the train. I think they fell right into the trap here that the movie makers prepared. Because just like the train is going in circles, returning every year to the same places, we are living our lives in circles, safe but in a society that loses its social qualities, as you can see quite often in the treatment of children or elderly people, for example. The revolution, as the film makers describe it, wants to break the circle and start a new life that may be less safe, but challenging and more human. I think people who ask: "wouldn't they freeze to death outside?" take the allegory too literal again. The frozen world outside represents the unknown, something you take careful glimpses at from the window, but whether it's 5 degrees below zero or 25 is hardly the point. The train itself was a better allegory than a ship or an airplane, because these do not strictly stay on the same tracks when they sail or fly around the planet. The polar bear at the end shows that life outside is possible, but one must try and face the unknown instead of continuing the same old evil.

    I liked 'Snowpiercer' a lot as it gives much food for thought, but I wouldn't call it a flawless masterpiece (voted 8 of 10). The killer shooting through the window, the decadent upper class passengers in swimming pools or the traitor among the lower class passengers are too much of movie clichés. The question of how food is produced was answered much more terrifyingly in 'Soylent Green' decades before, in 'Snowpiercer' it was just good enough for a quick shock effect. But don't these little niggles stop you from watching this very interesting movie.
  • mikkepost22 March 2014
    Warning: Spoilers
    The only reason I am writing a review right now, is because of how stunned I am at most of the user reviews. While its good that you enjoyed the movie, I am surprised at how most people here are overlooking some of the pretty terrible choices. I will be going through what I thought worked, and what kept me from enjoying the movie. Needless to say; MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD.

    The good: I like the plot, for the most part. Although I find the idea of a train being humanity last home extremely weird, it makes for a nice backdrop. The tone of the movie reminds me a lot of The Hunger Games. Chris Evans does pretty good. The wagons themselves have amazing character. The Art Director should be praised the most out of the entire film crew.

    The bad: Well, let me sum it up in questions. Questions keeping me from loving this: 1. Why divide the train into classes? This makes no sense. The train ecosystem would function fine with some rules regarding population control.

    2. Their great plan is to have a regular uprising to kill off people and keeping the population down? WHAT? See my first point.

    3. They used to eat people and babies, but are now disgusted by eating protein bars made by cockroaches? How does that work? And furthermore:

    4: WHERE did all those bloody cockroaches come from?

    5: If you've invented perpetual motion; why the hell use it in a train? Why not use it to power a generator in a camp, or heat a underground city? The train is death on tracks, with ice regularly blocking the path.

    6: Why is everyone on this train ready to kill? Seriously, 90% of EVERYONE is ready to throw down here.

    7: People take loosing their limbs SHOCKINGLY well in this movie. Like it's just a flesh wound, really.

    8: What the hell happened with that one bad guy who got stabbed through his guts and choked? He just gets up? Why did the korean guy stop his girl from stabbing him? And the korean girl later misses him by 7-8 shots? Furthermore: Tilda Swinton gets a knife through the leg, but walks fine right afterwards.

    9: Those weird antics of the characters. The woman in the yellow dress licking her blood off her fingers. Tilda Swinton with her strange comedic performance (although I did like the character, I found it a bit distracting), that incredibly weird Korean couple acting all over the place, things like the masked guy just smiling at Evans when they are sitting down. Sometimes I felt like I was watching Charlie and the chocolate factory.

    10: The starved people of the tail takes out an army of axe wielding fighters with night vision? After apparently yelling for help through the entire train, and a kid lighting a torch, and running up to them in no time? Stretching it thin, movie!

    11: The soldiers had bullets, but they weren't using them at the ONE PLACE they needed bullets? Are you serious??

    12: The shootout between Chris Evans and what I can only assume was Terminator. On opposite sides of the train, probably 1000ft from each other. Sniping with a submachine gun. Through a blizzard. Nice aim there, fellas.

    13: Mr. Terminator shooting his comrades all the time. Seriously. What was to be gained from that? He did it several times. Who is this guy??

    14: The only way the train can function is to stuff small kids down small holes to keep the engine running? Really? Was the train designed to stuff small kids down there, or did it just appear to be the perfect solution? How convenient.

    15: The wagon closest to the engine is the RAVE-CLUB where all the freaks go to party? Incidentally, the elementary school is next to the slaughterhouse.

    16: There is no policy on drugs on this finely tuned train? Everyone just goes buck wild with this incredibly potent drug next to the engine room? And furthermore...

    17: The drug of choice is basically C4? And it just lies around everywhere - again - next to the engine room?

    18: Why not pay attention to what the korean guy is doing to open the doors and then open them themselves instead of having him slow them down?

    19: The people with axes putting fish blood on their weapons before fighting? That was random.

    20: The other wagons are TOTALLY unaffected by the explosion in the first wagons. Wow. They don't really notice until they derail. What a masterfully crafted train.

    21: I know it fits with his story, but did Mr. Evans really need to sacrifice his arm to pull that kid out? He could probably stop the machine with something else than a limb and take better care of that child.

    22: The people who jumped off the train still haven't been covered up by snow after 15 years in a never-ending blizzard?

    Those were some of the things that stopped me from loving this movie. It just got too dumb. There was definitely something here, and I feel this could have become an excellent movie with more thought put into it. It came off extremely unrealistic. And in sci-fi, it's all about fooling the audience into thinking it could have happened. That's the "science" part.

    All in all though - probably an entertaining movie if you'e not a nitpicker like me. Thankfully a lot of you aren't :)

    EDIT: Someone corrected me in that the couple were korean, and that one of the bad guys never takes a bullet, like I thought he did. Sorry about that, but it still seems far fetched.
  • I don't like movies as art. I like movies that have rules and internal logic, and the premise of this movie is idiotic from both a scientific and common sense angle. It really works though. Like it really works. If you can just suspend disbelief and accept that a train can run forever and sustain some sort of biodome indefinitely then this movie is a masterpiece.

    I see reviews where people basically complain about how the premise impossible, or that the themes are cliche, and I'm totally with you guys there. Both of those things are true, so if you need realism then you probably won't like this movie. But if you can just accept the premise as it is then this movie is something really special. One of the better movies I've watched in a really long time
  • I noticed that people seemed to rate this film either quite high or extremely low and reading the reviews, I can see that those who rated high and those who rated low were watching completely different movies.

    A huge part of the negative criticisms for this movie is the prevalence of plot holes. These are absolutely undeniable. The concept is far-fetched, the execution bizarre, and the upper class characters quite comical. The key to appreciating this film is understanding its purpose. Snowpiercer is clearly a social commentary, but going into it expecting a Hunger Games sort of dystopian social commentary, you are absolutely going to find it ridiculous.

    Instead, a much better genre match to this film would be Brazil. Its absurdity makes it even more horrifying. The fact that there is no true logic, the contrast between the dingy tail section and the bright colors and extravagance of the front, and the utter hopelessness of the plot make this movie, yes, bizarre to watch and difficult to relate to. However, the alienation of this world from ours brings out the social commentary and the cautionary tale within.

    Another up-side was the diversity presented in the train and the framing of women WITHOUT the male gaze! All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by this film and my only real criticism is that it was way too long.
  • Snowpiercer was a surprise to me. I thought it would be just another "social commentary" dystopian film trying to ride the coattails of The Hunger Games craze. Instead what I ended up getting was one of the best post-apocalyptic films I've ever seen. A smooth roller coaster of action and quiet, dark dialogue.

    And don't get me wrong, it is another "social commentary" dystopian film, and yes, perhaps it's riding The Hunger Games craze just a little bit. But, when that riding ends up producing a film of this quality, is it a bad thing? And it's not like The Hunger Games invented the idea of alternative future where the poor are trying to usurp the rich people that are controlling them from their towers of ivory. These are both just variations of Orwell's 1984, which draws heavily from the age old tale of the underdog, David versus Goliath.

    It's the execution of an idea that makes or breaks a film and here that execution is nigh flawless. Everything from the design of the train to the A-list cast of actors to the storyline that keeps up the relentless pace, but still has time to reflect on the motives, histories and moods of the characters.

    Snowpiercer is simplistic art. It doesn't try to win you over with limitless of details, high explosives or flashiness. Rather it takes a central idea and fills it with as much quality as possible. Highly recommended for all fans of science fiction out there.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I actually like this genre of film, but this was a lousy attempt from this studio. In my opinion there simply are to many things we as viewers are expected to go along with. Without any explanation. Don't agree with me? I will give you some examples then (MAJOR SPOILERS);

    1. Why did they need to eat each other at the start of their trip, and then suddenly this protein bar-machine appeared. It seems hard to accept that the magnificent Wilford would make this train with room for this low-class people, but with no way to feed them. And how did they make this bug-protein-bar machine while traveling at such speeds?

    2. Having this class-system and using riots as a way to kill some of the population, seems a very cruel and inefficient way to keep the trains population regulated. And not to mention risky, after all this "grand plan" is what sets in motion the events that lead to the trains demise. There are tons of other option that history has shown is better ways to handle situations like this. And what about just plain simple birth regulations?

    3. What does the engine run on? Hopes and dreams? explain please. Nuff said.

    4. How those no part of the railway the train runs on gets destroyed or needs fixing during this 18 year long train ride? In an such extreme climate some part of the rails are bound to be somewhat damaged.

    5. At the end of the movie they step outside and into the cold "harsh" weather. And let me just tell you. We call that summer in Norway, not an apocalyptic freezing weather. There truly need to be some better way to deal with the problem of this "extreme" weather. (and yes i know it was the middle of the day and the weather was nice, and maybe its worse at other times and blah blah, but still, doesn't seam to make sense.)'

    6. The peoples behavior wasn't believable either. First of all, we need to remember that it was an closed environment, and people in the different classes all knew each other. And when after 18 years on this train some of the upper-class people see these dirty, bloody and new faces, they don't seem to give one single f**k. Not one single one of them. And why did Curtis choose to destroy the engine, the only thing that was keeping all the people on the train alive, to temporarily save one kid? He basically doomed the whole train, including the child he just saved. (And don't get me started on how he did it, jeezez.)

    The list of these "What?!" moments just goes on and on and on. Some are short and brief, but others (like the examples i have given) are major movie-enjoyment-destroying. The sum of all these moments just leaves you with an bad feeling when you are finished watching the film.

    BUT, the movie ain't all bad. This fictional setting of the film, makes for a type of film that is enjoyable. But often it boils down to; Are you able to believe the case that the film presents, or do you find it just to unrealistic to bear with. At the end of the movie, where all was revealed, the "mind blown"-moment. I just sat there with to many questions and a big "what?!"- expression. And not the "I-just-got-my- - head-exploded-"What?!", but the what just happened "what". And that the reasons why all this things had happened was the general premise of population control, wasn't mind blowing material, if you ask me.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Very disappointed would be a good summation for this film especially considering it's early rating here. Once the review process has exhausted the fans and people who haven't seen or heard of the comic are reviewing it I expect it'll fall like a stone.

    The major flaws as I see them (spoiler alert!). The whole concept of a train being the last salvation of mankind on a frozen planet is just beyond belief. Where does the train stop for servicing to it's undercarriage etc. without any stations? Who maintains the track? An engine that runs on magic as much as anything! Why not make it nuclear or at least something believable. If you were to set up a society in a closed environment why wouldn't everyone have a purpose with controlled breeding rather than be lugging around many people with no contribution to the whole. Why would you engineer a rebellion to control population? There are many better ways. Why would you expect some rebel to want your top job doing things your way? The very word rebel suggests that a change of system is wanted.

    Major flaws aside there are other issues with the film. The characters are not believable. They belong in the comic it's based on. Nobody has made any effort to translate them to film or realised that some adjustments are even necessary. Film requires a different approach and nobody who made this film understands that. A great example of how to do it right is Dredd. This is a great example of how to do it wrong. The film tries to open up great philosophical issues but fails to do so due to the setting they are working in, ie a comic book. You continuously think that none of this is real and so pay no attention to the great moral dilemmas they are trying to foist on you. It's akin to being lectured by a 10 year old.

    On top of the major flaws there are many minor ones. I'll just give the one example of the hero of the piece stuffing his arm in a moving machine to save one child (didn't bother to look for anything better suited to the task such as a steel bar) whilst then dooming that child to death with everyone-else.

    The one redeeming quality of the film is it's well made. It's not remotely enough to save it from being a turkey though.
  • I just came across it again after-hours on TV and rewatched the whole thing, although i have seen it twice back in 2013. For the ones who'd want to check it out and dont mind a dark violent social commentary this is a treat. Good cast, good acting (Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton are a highlight), good action and relentless pace. Probably most are familiar with the story of snowpiercer, the train that holds the last of humans and keeps going around the world, while its people are split in sections in the train. That story itself constitutes a great -but not new- metaphor about society. I would keep the metaphor in the background as the backbone of the story and focus on the other exciting elements of the film, which are very rewarding. Good film, 8/10
  • ¨Know your place. Accept your place. Be a shoe.¨

    I was pleasantly surprised at how well Korean director, Joon-ho Bong, made the transition to this his first English language film because the style and tone of the film still felt entirely Korean despite starring some well known Hollywood actors. I enjoyed this film so much that I ended up watching it twice and that is something I rarely do. Based on the French graphic novel, Le Transperceneige written by Jean-Marc Rochette, Snowpiercer is an ambitious dystopian sci-fi film that despite having a very absurd premise works really well thanks to Bong's direction. It has some great performances with memorable characters, several exciting action scenes mixed with bizarre comedic moments, and a thought provoking metaphor on classicism. It is a bleak film but Bong handled the material so well that it kept me engaged and interested. Unfortunately the film does suffer from a rather unconvincing final act, but for most of its running time I was so entertained that I wasn't too disappointed.

    Snowpiercer takes place in 2031 after a failed global-warming experiment has frozen all of Earth and wiped out all life. The only survivors are the passengers of a super train traveling across the globe with a perpetual-motion engine. Designed by Wilford, an engineer who knew the experiment would fail, the train has been running for 17 straight years and a social class system has developed as the passengers of the rear end live in extremely poor conditions. Here we are introduced to a young man named Curtis (Chris Evans) who is trying to come up with a plan to get past all the security guards in order to reach the front section where Wilford is presumed to be. He isn't alone on this quest as most of the passengers are upset for the abuse they've suffered and the extreme poor conditions in which they are forced to live in. A wise old man named Gilliam (John Hurt) who helped Wilford design the engine, has been helping Curtis rally the men together. Curtis's good friend, Edgar (Jamie Bell), is also awaiting the moment to begin their revolution as things begin to get worse once the guards take a few kids away from them. Tanya (Octavia Spencer) and Andrew (Ewen Bremner) are among the victims whose children have been taken away from them so they are also eager to attack. The first step of the plan involves freeing Namgoong (Song Kang-ho), a prisoner who has a special gift for unlocking the doors to each section, but the task won't be easy as the guards will do what it takes to make sure they stay at the rear section of the train.

    Bong has directed several successful Korean films like The Host and Memories of a Murder, and in his first English language film his style remains untouched. Despite having some scenes that borderline in the ridiculous he somehow manages to balance those moments really well. For example there is this huge action scene that he has set up between the rebels and the guards who are awaiting them with axes. The bloody and violent confrontation begins, only to be interrupted as the train is approaching a bridge which serves as a landmark for the New Year. The fighting stops for a few seconds as everyone begins the countdown and admires the view of the outside world from inside the train, then the violence and mayhem continue. There are several moments like this where Bong perfectly balances these gorgeously crafted choreographed scenes with moments of quirky comedy and twisted sense of humor. The best example of this type of humor comes from the two characters played by Tilda Swinton (who is unrecognizable in this film) and Alison Pill who are terrific and steal the few scenes they are in. I really loved that classroom scene that felt completely out of place with the dark tail section of the train. I think it was those goofy moments that I enjoyed the most in this film. It was a great sensory experience to get to follow these characters through each section of the train and I have to give Bong credit for his visionary style because as our heroes progress to the front of the train things begin to get more and more bizarre and you never know what to expect. The film is short of being a masterpiece because the final 30 minutes are disappointing, but as a social satire Snowpiercer worked better than other recent sci-fi films like Elysium. It is a very weird and strange film, but it is really good and I enjoyed it even more on my second viewing.
  • lauren_mayer2 October 2014
    Warning: Spoilers
    I was really looking forward to this film. I love post apocalyptic stories, I didn't think it would be amazing, but I certainly thought it would be better than this. I have never made a review on here before, I have only rated films/TV shows. But I felt compelled to after watching this and noting the major, numerous gaping holes in this film.


    1) If this Wilford guy knew this C4 gas or whatever was going to turn the world into an ice- age why didn't he do more than just build this train? He talks about this engine being eternal - so why didn't he use it to power an underground city, with actual space to move?

    2) Who maintains the train and the tracks? In 18 years no repairs have needed to be made? None whatsoever? In this post apocalyptic ice age there is no damage? I don't think so!

    3) Why was there no explanation as to how this engine actually works? Literally, no explanation whatsoever.

    4) The poor need to be routinely killed by allowing them to uprise so they can be slaughtered? What kind of idea is that. Why not suggest a child policy?

    5) Why was a class system needed at all on this train. No explanation as to why they couldn't be put to work to be productive members of this ridiculous train society!

    6) Who were the bad guys who dressed up with night vision goggles? Why were they so ready to kill? Which class were they a part of? Do they have a back story?

    7) How did the fire reach from the back of the train to the carriage where they were fighting so quickly?

    8) Why was Tilda swinton who played mason stabbed with a knife in the leg but could walk fine in the next scenes? And why did she randomly take her teeth out? And what were he weird little speeches about?

    9) There are apparently first class, economy and the freeloader sections if the train? But where were the economy passengers?

    10) Where were the animals that produced the meat for the refrigerated meat section and why couldn't you see their breath on there - surely it was cold.

    11) Where were the chickens that produced the eggs? Where were the cockroaches coming from that made the protein bars? Oh and where did the rice come from that went with the sushi?

    12) They have a dentist, a tailor, a hairdressers, jacuzzi, sauna, bar, a nightclub and a crack den but no nice bedrooms for first class? Where do they sleep? Note there are the bedrooms next to where the protein bars are made but there is no explanation as to who stays there and they were a bit grey and small to be first class accommodation.

    13) Where did the kids go that were being taught in the school. Curtis didn't pass any of them again while going through the train.

    14) Why did he waste all his bullets trying to shoot the bad guy through windows of the train? How dumb was that?!

    15) Why did that bad guy live through so much? We literally saw him die. We saw it happen. He was stabbed in the side and died. But all of a sudden he stands up and walks and pulls out the knife no problem and has enough energy to have a full on fight for no apparent reason.

    16) Who was the woman in the yellow coat? What was the point of her?

    17) Why were all the people from the nightclub suddenly wielding axes and chains? Because the two Koreans stole their drugs? Really? Why is everyone so excited to kill on this train that is the last hope for humankind? Why couldn't the girl kill anyone whilst shooting about 8 times into that crowd?

    18) Why did Wilford want to give up his job as engine commander. He says it's was because he was old but he only looked 50/60. What was so demanding about sitting there that meant he couldn't do it anymore?

    19) Why did that kid ignore Curtis like he was brainwashed and walk into that weird engine thing that popped out? And what was he doing in the engine thing? And why was he in a cupboard? And why did he come out at that moment?

    20) Why did Curtis chop off his arm to save a kid when they were about to blow up the train anyway? Why not use one of the weapons that were around a lot of the film to put in between the gears to take him out? Or not bother at all.

    21) Why would they blow up the train? For what reason? What possible good could come from that? Curtis had the power in his hands and he could have made this little bizarre train world a better place, but nope - let's derail the train and kill everyone with an explosion!

    22) What the hell are that teenage girl and little boy supposed to do now? She just killed everyone on the train and if the cold doesn't kill her and that boy then the polar bear will probably kill them! And again no breath! It's meant to be freezing cold and they couldn't stretch themselves to make the actors' breath visible! Poor!

    On the plus side the garden and aquarium sections looked nice...

  • Warning: Spoilers
    Spoilers - but seriously that in itself is a joke, the plot, acting, and script is so insanely stupid it cannot be spoiled any further.

    With so many good reviews I can only think that its the emperors new clothes effect, oh look its semi Korean sort of, and has oh such important things to say about humanity so it must be good! Get a goddamn grip people its just sh*t! I love post apocalyptic films, social satires and commentaries so this looked good on paper. Apart from the whole humanity on a train thing, I mean that just sounds stupid and pointless. But I was sure that would get explained in some clever way soon into the film. It wasn't. Nothing was. At all. There is no point to this film. The whole plot comes to zero.

    Putting aside the stupidity of the premise that a train could run for 17 years in a frozen dead world where track maintenance guys are all dead, and of course the premise that living on a rapidly moving train would somehow be better than building a base, the plot holes in EVERY frikkin scene is staggering. Continuity is non existent. The heroes are fighting a horde of people on second, the next they have simply disappeared.

    The rich have meat and wine from thin air, and party on drugs. No-one does any useful work apart from about 5 conductor types. The poor do absolutely nothing apart from whine about oppression. The speeches given by Tilda and Ed Harris are so monumentally derivative and dumbed down its insulting, apart from which they make no practical sense in reality. Ed Harris must be desperate. John Hurt even more so.

    The hero ends up derailing and entire train, killing everyone except a teenage girl and a 5 year old. They have approximately 10 minutes to live as they've just seen a polar bear who is probably very hungry. Well done hero guy! I've just wasted 2 hours of my life. Don't waste yours.
  • Let's get this out of the way. Yes, this is my first review. I've watched about half of IMDb's top 250, and did like most of them. Somebody brought this movie to my attention, and as a 7/10 I didn't have high expectations. Honestly, though, knowing this is at least an attempt at some sort of allegory, most of the plot holes are kind of petty and minor. Comparing Snowpiercer to "The Room" (don't watch that) because you couldn't tell how someone would have an Irish accent, or realized that the premise of this movie is brutal and inconvenient - is kind of realizing the problem with 99% of all movies altogether.

    For anyone brutally bothered about plot holes, tell me, is The Hunger Games more logical? Ant-man? Even Inception, the Dark Knight, or Lord Of The Rings? You can't blame a movie for plot holes, rate it a 1, and then ignore those same plot holes in every other movie in existence. By that token, any and all of the Star Wars movies should be rated a 2.

    No. People here are nitpicking, and that's a nice way to put it. You don't know how the cockroaches kept spawning? Jesus, maybe they breed fast. I have no idea. But then you should point out that Yoda's aches and pains should have technically kept him out of commission years ago, Jack Sparrow should be dead, Captain America has no sources for his morals, Harry Potter makes no sense, and any and all plot holes about Mordor that you can find online.

    But do they? Nope. Most of the negative reviews here are a one-show, leading me to think there's someone with multiple accounts and a large amount of time to hate this movie.

    I've seen quite a few sci-fi films - I'm no newbie to the genre. But their are always plot holes in those films, at least technical ones. Faulting Snowpiercer (an allegory, of all things) for having plot holes that are granted in other movies is just not right.
  • After graping the global movie universe's attention with "The host" (2006), Korean director Bong Joon-ho serves up his first offer in the English language with "Snowpiercer", a futuristic, sci-fi fable as well as a hybrid of art house and mainstream thriller.

    The micro depiction of the macro human race is through the titular vehicle (literally meant) – a train that circles the post-apocalyptic world, a frozen hell resulted from the backfire of an over-executed maneuver in battling global warming. Secluded from the outer world, the survivors are stratified by social class, the highest at the front (a perpetual-motion engine) and the lowest at the back. The linear (in more ways than one) story is quite simple, the underprivileged bunch at the back fighting its way, car after car, all the way to the front to gain control of their own destiny. Through the allegory progression, the audience witnesses a rich pageantry of environments – rough workplace, lush greenhouse, giant aquarium, plush lounge, and more.

    The impressive cast is well assembled. Chris Evans sheds his "All American" heartthrob image to play this perhaps his first heavy-weight role as an earthy leader of the revolution. John Hurt is the semi-disabled wise old man, a rich reservoir of knowledge. Other key members of the group include Jamie Bell as the young follower, Octavia Spencer as a mother searching for a missing child "drafted" by the ruling class for some obscure purpose, and Song Kang-ho as a Korean security expert. The show-stealing personas, however, are on the opposite side. Most delicious is Tilda Swinton, barely recognizable with ingenious makeup (essentially of a dental nature) playing the spokesperson for the dictator. Allison Pill (so impressive as Zelda Fitzgerald in "Midnight in Paris") is another manifestation of eccentricity, a pregnant kindergarten teacher, all sweetness until she produces a gun and starts shooting. The dictator is competently played by Ed Harris.

    The movie is quite long (a little over 2 hours) and does not hurry itself as most blockbuster thrillers would do. Instead, it takes its time with careful, well-crafted character development. But it does hold the audience's attention with excellent acting and artsy photography.
  • I rarely write reviews and will keep it brief. It's a fun movie! It's by no means the best, but an enjoyable story to watch. A lot of the bad reviews really do bang on endlessly about it not being believable. It's not, it's science fiction, why does it need to be believable? Seems like there are a lot of train fans getting their point across such 'the under carriage would need to be serviced'..... for those less uptight about train stuff, give it ago. I nearly skipped it because of the low reviews, glad I didn't; the higher star rating is definitely earned.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Third class on a train never felt so bad. No private rooms or showers, and just one item on the menu. Don't even think about filing a complaint with the conductor's black-clad goon squad; they don't take kindly to dissent. But that's not the worst of it: you'll never get off this train, since it comprises the only habitable environment left on earth after global warming countermeasures triggered a new ice age.

    While the setting of Bong Joon-ho's film incorporates a few original ideas, much will seem familiar to the post-apocalyptic film audience. Society is divided between the first class minority, with their fine tailors and cocktail parties, and the downtrodden masses, with little more than the rags on their backs they can call their own. Of course, revolution is in order, but the plan for regicide will require a trip down the length of the train, with a few bloody battles and the discovery of what life is really like "on the other side" filling in the remainder of the story.

    Class struggle is naturally the topic of so many sci-fi films, from classics like "Fahrenheit 451" and "1984" to contemporary derivatives such as "District 9" and "Elysium." So taking up such a topic is a little like opening a hamburger joint -- you really have to do it well, and ideally provide your own twist, to have any hope of impressing your clients.

    Unfortunately "Snowpiercer" follows the tried-and-true formulas a little too closely to inspire, and it's hard not to feel like we've been served a Big Mac of a film. There are caricatures, not characters: the hero who doubts himself, the naive sidekick who worships his idol, the wise octogenarian guiding the flock. There are even a couple of video-game references thrown in for the kids in the forms of a martial arts expert and the "boss" who comes back from the dead. We share in the characters' wonder about the extravagant lives of passengers in the front cars, but little else drives the plot. The script reads like something written by a non-native speaker, quite honestly, and, as with other films that aspire to the demands of an international box office, the writers settle for brevity, simplicity, and imitation where tactfulness and originality were called for.

    I didn't see Chris Evans in "Captain America," but I imagine that your appraisal of his acting in that movie might go a long way in determining whether you like his role in this one. In my mind, Evans does little more in "Snowpiercer" than dutifully recite his lines and chop down some bad guys, but judging from box office returns these days, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

    For those who want to step outside the boundaries of Hollywood, I heartily recommend you skip this film in favor of Bong's earlier Korean works, especially "Barking Dogs Never Bite," "Memories of Murder," and "Mother." Those films are wonderfully crafted windows onto Korean society that touch upon real divides between class and generation instead of the roughly hewn metaphors we endure in "Snowpiercer."
  • Absolutely amazing. A cinematic microcosm of society. For those of you uninterested in topics like '1984' and 'Animal Farm', watch this film for a hazard course in understanding the human condition. From start to end you see a small-scale depiction of society from it's most basic 'proletariat' level, right up to the elite, in perfect order. And we see the evolution of civilisation from simple beginnings to science, education, quality, luxury, then hedonism, wastefulness and eventual demise, in exactly that order.

    All of that can be overlooked, however, if you're just the average movie-goer who simply wants a good story with a hero, an adventure and an end goal. In which case I say the film is a good one but nothing special in that respect. Certainly there were parts where I thought, "eh?", until it clicked later that it was all part of the Director's greater cinematic design.

    But for the arty film student types, this film is sure to be the topic of many, many essays for years to come.

    Clearly every part of the film was deliberate - every shot, every line of script, every item in the background. It was true art. None of that quick-buck profit-incentive Hollywood stuff.

    In conclusion I recommend this film to everyone, particularly people who want to learn something or gain some insight from what they watch. For the everyday movie-lover, go into this with an open mind and have a really long think about how you can compare it to the world today.

    Top stuff, 10/10
  • First I want to say that this is one of the best (and entertaining as hell!) social commentary films I've seen since Terry Gilliam's Brazil and Paul Verhoeven's Robocop.

    Yes there are a lot of plot points that don't make much sense if looked at from the perspective of our "reality."

    But this film does NOT aim to be "realistic." In fact, I'd say the goal of the director is to make it as "surrealistic" as possible.

    And I applaud him to be so successful in that: in many moments during the film, I felt I was experiencing a fevered dream of a fried fish. -- That's how insane this film is.

    It takes great genius to present something as insane as the plot of Snowpiercer.

    This film will be remembered, analyzed and revered for a long, long time.

    The icing on the cake is that the social commentary content is actually intriguing. The film is decent enough to leave enough ambiguity so that the audiences can make their own conclusions.

    9 out of 10.
  • The film is too boring and illogical. Total waste of time.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    No pacing, no decent dialogue, no characterisation, no decent action. No surprises. It's completely pointless and non-sensical.

    There are so many plot holes and impossibilities, even within the world of the initial premise, that right from the first line you understand that the only way you can get anything out of this stupidity is to follow along with the heavy-handed allegorical message.

    Unfortunately the film never waivers from the allegory even when you get the message after ten minutes. Still waiting for plot surprises? Sorry there won't be any. The only point in waiting for the end is just to see what happens. Trust me, if you having washing to do, do that instead.

    Spoiler Alert !

    It's not worth finding out who lives, who dies and what happens to the kids.

    If you like allegories may I suggest Animal Farm, the Bible, the Matrix or the Wizard of Oz. Avoid this, unless perhaps you're high on plastercine. It's dreadful, one-dimensional tosh.

    Spoiler alert!

    And where on earth were the chickens?
  • Wow, i honestly did not expect much from this movie from the trailer. The message seemed one dimensional, and the whole 'action' bit from the trailer wasn't really that impressing. Only thing that dragged me to the theater was the director's name (also the great cast), and i am happy to say that i'm pleasantly blown away by director Bong once again. The movie looked great, the first half was beyond thrilling, the acting for the latter half was just, top notch, the action was bloody and fantastic, and most of all, the ideology behind the story was interesting to say at least.

    I can't really say anything more than that since saying anything beside the trailer would be a dead giveaway, but really, wow.

    I honestly don't know how the director's unique style and choices would get to the American audience, but as a person who enjoys this strange and beautiful execution of director Bong, this movie fulfilled everything i want from Bong's film an intellectual Sifi movie. It gave me a handful amount of things to think and talk about, and those kinds of movies always give me the best movie experiences. Definitely one of the must watches of this year.
  • No spoilers here !

    Remember Metropolis, the great silent film by Fritz Lang, and probably the most revered science-fiction film of all times ? Well, if Snowpiercer is not such an absolute masterpiece, I do believe it's the best reiteration of the same concept that made Lang's film so unique : asking questions about the condition of mankind in a futuristic society, and how it does and does not evolve as compared with current times.

    It's good that not all near-blockbuster scale sci-fi movies do not come out of Hollywood anymore. Snowpiercer is based on a long-forgotten 70's French graphic novel. The Korean director got his hands on a bootleg translation in a Seoul bookshop while filming The Host and got totally hooked. The end product is a French-Korean production, in the making of which one of the authors of the original graphic novel got directly involved.

    The plot is simple : ecologist freaks have pushed governments to unleash a gas in the atmosphere to control global warming, this proved so effective that the world is now a standalone, snow-covered giant ice cap. The only survivors are all aboard a revolutionary train that goes on and on making loops around the world. It's like Noah's Ark, but including the politics that come with it : first class, second class, workers, fraudsters, the ticket is your fate - for generations. And the consequences are extreme, to such and extent that you can't conceive. Prepare to be shocked at times. Imagine the vertical multistoreyed humanity of Lang's Metropolis, the horizontal way. Some of the tail section fraudsters decide to rebel against their condition and progress to the head car of the train regardless of the risks. Every car they go through bears its grotesque and mind-bending surprises. And tells us more about how this society actually works and what it relies on.

    This film has style. Even though it reminds of Gilliam (see 12 monkeys) and Matsumoto (Galaxy Express), there is real personality and originality. CGI is limited to a few breathtaking scenes that really add up to the storyline. Acting is mostly excellent, especially by Ed Harris and John Hurt. But most importantly, this film triggers reflection, soul-searching and debate like true Sci-Fi gems should. Unlike most Hollywood movies, it is not Manichaean : the story and morals are complex and debatable. You heart keeps swinging for scene to scene as you learn more. The ending asks a lot of questions.

    All in all, when the end credits start rolling, it's a film you want to rewatch, not because you haven't understood, but because you want to understand more, and experience more.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    After years this is movie which make me open account here at IMDb. Why? Well i couldn't believe such high ratings for this movie. Terrible screenplay, terrible story, completely without logic and common sense, so full of contradictions. Favorite character: unkillable bad guy, no meter you stab him, choke him, bleed him. He is, like one reviewer here nicely notice,Terminator. There is no info why the Korean girl is so terrified of him or why he is so obsessed to kill her but not rebellion leader(Chris Evans). And end of movie when they just blow the doors causing train destruction.There is so many logic flows in this movie. Whats the point of all of this. Just pass this, there is much more better time wasters than this one terrible movie.
  • odomatic26 April 2014
    Warning: Spoilers
    How to start this? I think I'll begin with the people who haves this movie a decent review. A lot of reviewers said this was a microcosm of society and the struggle of the rebels showed the climbing through the classes of to the ultimate end which is demise. These people also weren't concerned with the functionality of this microcosm and some even said it would have ruined the film if it was explained.

    Sweet Jesus lord Buddha Allah Yahweh!

    I hope these people are never in charge of this fictitious realm that indulges psychotic caste behaviour. We'd all be dead in a week or they would be and humanity would have fighting chance. Which is what this movie implies. Do not fight, know your place and shut up. Although the balance of power makes absolutely no sense in film. The well off out number the unfortunate at least 2:1. Which in a balanced system of hierarchy doesn't happen. There need to be more workers to provide for the upper class. This didn't exist in this story. The overall end game is to maintain humanity in a suspended state with rebellion as regulation to preserve a class system. Know your place. However there is no economic system presented to maintain it. How they select the uppers and the lowers isn't explained. Which brings me back to the people who would find this movie profound. Lack of understanding for the more important self.

    The scientific laws on this train do not apply. Logic, mathematics, physics, chemistry basically anyone who made it to grade nine should see canon sized holes in this story. Leave aside the perpetual motion machine. A train can't contain industrialized mechanics for a recycling system. Sources have to be introduced for a human organism to be supported. There would have to be scientific control in closed system other than a woman reading a book while the oranges grow. Where is the cockroach harvesting car? The aquarium car must be maintained by the sushi chef. The cleaning products must come from the ammonia produced by recycling urine. The bar gets its alcohol from the engine fumes or that muck the kid was cleaning out. The track that never cracks could be maintained by.... I've run out magical solutions.

    The idea behind this movie is to demonstrate we are all flawed and try to maintain order in what we think society should be, but it doesn't embrace those flaws. It ignores them and does whatever it can to fight those flaws with no common good. It takes for granted how things are done and who is doing them. Everyone is in it for themselves and will rip apart anyone who gets in their selfish way. If you truly found this movie to be good you are already on that train at the end of humanity and you will not survive that way. It means you already take for granted your own life and all the little white lies you tell yourself are as big as that landscape out of that trains window.

    That train should have stopped and as someone suggested use the engine to build a sustainable society instead of bombing head on into oblivion with no end in sight. Ultimately this movie could have ended no other way with a failed attempt at maintaining a snooty, greedy, childish society with no responsibility but to its own anal stage of development
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I am genuinely shocked that this movie has such high ratings. By no means do I mean this in a malicious way, but this movie was just.. a messy rollarcoaster for me. There were so many plot holes and random little cheesy twists thrown in. I must say, I don't see how it was necessary to throw in the whole 'baby killer' monologue from Curtis. Okay, so he felt bad and wanted to cut his arm off but couldn't. Boo hoo- then he gets his 'hero moment' 5 mins later saving Timmy and his arm gets cut off. His dream sacrifice! It just all seemed to set up yet too random at the same time. The cgi threw me off as well and ruined the suture as well as the insane zoom in and outs w shaky cam during all the action shots. I understood everything Joon-ho was going for with this and I have such appreciation for his work, but everything just seemed to miss the mark slightly for me. I didn't see how much of the plot lines were necessary. Why did Gilliam have to be in on it? I'm not sure, it left me slightly frustrated for so many reasons.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This movie is an abomination of plot holes, pure stupidity and genius.

    Unfortunately the genius is only viewable in the beautiful artwork done for this movie, because indoor shots as well as outdoor shots are breathtaking.

    Spoilers ahead.

    However, every character in the movie seems to have a death wish, if they are not too busy poking holes in the plot wider than a train tunnel.

    This movie is best watched either high on Krenole ( the industrial waste people seem to be enjoying blowing away their brains with in Snowpiecer, pun intended... ) or with a good portion of surreality, because nothing in this movie is anywhere close to being made intelligently.

    To people who say this is a movie criticizing our society: The only thing that this movie portrays is an astounding stupidity on everybody's part. Nothing deep or thoughtful happens in this movie. NOTHING.

    You can read any review here on this movie scored 3 or lower and get tons of good ideas on how to NOT DO A MOVIE, but for my own amusement I will list my own top ten ( or twenty or more. You could basically do this all day long ).

    1) No guard posts are set up, even though there is open rioting going on. Oh, wait. I forgot about the new holiday policy on the train.

    2)The stupidity of having to control your population by having riots killing off people regularly is... well, at least you save on condoms, right?

    3) After FIVE MINUTES of massacre in the tunnel literally everybody is still alive and can call out for torch lights being carried Olympian style through the entire length of the train, to arrive there five more minutes later, to still find everybody intact and in fighting shape. Oh and that torch obviously had babies on its way to the fray. Cute.

    4) A full store cabin of foodstuff, yet not a single cart carrying actual livestock. I am guessing the train is actually piggybacked on a cattle trail. Made immune to cold. Yepp, sounds about right. Makes more sense than the engine being a perpetual motion thing anyway.

    5) Luring your enemies into your child's classroom, only for the PREGNANT teacher drawing out an Uzi to assassinate them is PURE GENIUS! I always knew teachers had a dark streak, much like clowns, and finally giving them the chance to act on their frustrations... WELL DONE!

    6) Gilliam works from inside the tail section to instigate riots to help the population control. So we are to believe that a guy gave his arm to cannibalize on willingly to safe a baby in order to stick to a lifetime of poverty and dirt in the tail section to regularly send people to their death? Lolwut? Oh, wait, I forgot. Evereybody on this train is a mental patient, so all is well and everybody is acting normally, within their respective limits.

    7) I don't think I can do more than five. My eye is starting to twitch nervously just thinking of writing more about this train wreck of a movie.

    Overall the entire movie gives a lasting impression of a feverish dream while being on a bad trip.

    And in the end, when everybody except two have killed them self off, you see them meeting a polar bear in the Himalayas and you know everything is going to be well: The polar bear will eat those two, too, and finally the entire train of stupid has come to a halt. Thank you, Mister Polar Bear. Well done!
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