Pros: Dystopian class warfare set aboard an unstoppable train traveling around post-global-warming-crisis Earth; Snowpiercer is actually an intelligent, gripping action/sci-fi story that delivers something undeniably different from other movies with similar themes.  A diverse and talented international cast—including Chris Evans, Song Kang-Ho, Ed Harris, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, and Ah-sung Ko—provides an ensemble atmosphere and gives us a welcome break from the usual single-hero-driven summer blockbusters.  This is The Hunger Games-for-adults meets Kafka.

Cons: Its feature-film length doesn’t give it much chance to offer any explanations, although it takes its no-explanations-necessary approach and runs with it.  Also: polar bears?

The Verdict: One of the few contemporary releases I’m willing to endorse.  Absolutely worth seeing, as long as you can find it; not many theaters have shown this one, since apparently Transformers 8 1/2 is more profitable.  Bonus points: directed by Joon-ho Bong and with South Korean producers, this is technically a foreign film, so you can feel good about yourself for seeing it.



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