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Brad Anderson directs this tense, psychological thriller set on the Trans-Siberian railway, as an American couple become trapped in a deadly game between smugglers and the authorities. Deciding to travel back to Europe via the scenic route from Japan, American couple Roy (Woody Harrelson) and Jessie (Emily Mortimer) meet up with fellow travellers Carlos (Eduardo Noriega) and Abby (Kate Mara). Although outwardly friendly, Jessie's suspicions about the couple eventually rise to the surface, and when Roy returns to the train after being stranded, in the company of Russian narcotics cop Grinko (Ben Kingsley), her alarm bells start ringing. As the intrigue and tension build, with nothing seemingly what it appears, Roy and Jessie find themselves ensnared in murder and deception as they desperately try to escape their vacation from hell.
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Roy (Harrelson) and Jessie (Mortimer) finish their business in China and decide to take the Transsiberian Express from Beijing to Moscow. Here they befriend Carlos (Noriega) and Abby (Mara) who are sharing their cabin berth with them. From here on in their trip descends into a nightmare of panic, paranoia and pain.
Murder, intrigue, sexual tension and corruption! Sounds like a Hitchcock movie. Which in this case is high, and apt, praise indeed for Brad Anderson (Session 9/The Machinist) and his film. Transsiberian is adroitly crafted by Anderson, who makes full use of the cramped interiors of the train to keep the suspense ever pulsing in the narrative. Even when the action leaves the train and the expansive snowy surrounds envelope the characters, an air of disquiet permeates the plotting. With Anderson and Gimenez using hand-held cameras, it all feels up close and personal, which is another plus.
At its core it's a mystery thriller, with questions deliberately left hanging in the air until the film nearly runs out of steam in the final quarter. It's only there where the film lets itself down, mainly because answers are given and hope springs eternal. You sense it would have benefited the film greatly to have gone out on an ambiguous note, or better still, to have taken a trip down even darker roads than the ones that had just preceded it.Read more ›
The film is primarily based around Roy & Jessie (Harrelson & Mortimer) who after a volunteer stint in China decide to take the Trans-Siberia express train to Moscow thanks to Roys love of trains. They both end up with two fellow travellers Carlos & Abby (Eduardo Noriega & Kate Mara) who aren't what they seem and open up some dark parts of Jessies past and create some more troubles for her that she could have hoped. During the journey, Roy is left behind at a station forcing Jessie to get to know Carlos a little bit more which leads into a bit of a tragic affair.
One thing I will always be prepared to praise this film for is its setting, the country of Russia is such a beautiful place and although it may have a dark underworld "Transsiberia" manages to capture both the breathtaking beauty of the nation and the cruel situation of some of its natives. The aerial views of the train travelling through the snowy landscape are something to be witnessed, and I sincerely can't imagine how stunning it would be to see such a landscape in person but there's no doubting the film captured it perfectly.
The acting has to be seen to be believed also (of course) as each and every actor plays their part perfectly. Woody Harrelson's character is the gullible Christian do-gooder who only wants to make his girlfriend happy.Read more ›
Of the film itself I have to say I enjoyed it very much and found it to be a first-rate thriller with enough twists and turns of the plot to keep me gripped throughout. I thought the acting on the whole to be very good, particularly from those actors with whom I was not familiar before this, namely Emily Mortimer and Eduardo Noriega. I was especially impressed with the way Emily Mortimer portrayed her character as she slipped over the edge. I found Woody Harrelson's character to be particularly annoying and had he been a travelling companion of mine I would have been glad to leave him skulking around the sidings in Irkutsk for ever more.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great film, really gripping! I was on the edge of my seat most of the time.Published 13 days ago by M. Hirst
This is a stunning film. Great directing. Great acting. I travelled on the Trans Siberian Railway about 15 years ago from Moscow to Beijing. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Joni
The film starts at the far end of the Transsiberian railway in Vladivostok, with a Russian detective Grinko (an on-form Ben Kingsley) examining a murder scene. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Moira
Knew nothing about the film before watching and thought it was very good. Some great scenery too with train travelling past Great Wall and through Siberian forests. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Kindle Customer
Transsiberian has a genuine feel of a classic Hitchcock thriller. Woody Harrelson and Emily Mortimer play a naïve American Christian couple travelling from Beijing to Moscow on the... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Call me Al
This is a superb crime thriller which keeps you engaged from start to finish, Its full of evenly paced action and it has plenty of tense and exciting moments in, the whole cast is... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Mr. Joel S. Greenhalgh