ShareThis Page
Home

Review: 'Transsiberian'

| Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008

Director Brad Anderson has been an unknown commodity for quite a few years now. The Connecticut native did deliver the accomplished 2004 thriller "The Machinist," but that film was best known as the one in which Christian Bale lost all that weight. His latest picture -- "Transsiberian" -- is another step in the right direction.

A tense thriller with heavy bouts of suspense, "Transsiberian" is a solid piece of work that puts a talented cast in the right position to successfully navigate through a Hitchcock-like tale. Anderson turns a routine train trip between China and Russia into one of sheer terror for two American passengers.

Roy (Woody Harrelson) and Jessie (Emily Mortimer) are a married couple from the United States who decide to take the Trans-Siberian Railway back to Russia after a mission trip in China. Like a lot of couples, Roy and Jessie have their share of problems, but they're hoping this trip might make things better.

Things start out wonderfully until they're paired with another couple -- Carlos (Eduardo Noriega) and Abby (Kate Mara), shady globetrotters who turn out to be drug dealers.

When a stop on the trip separates the four passengers, the suspense picks up. Jessie finds herself in a delicate situation with Carlos, and crooked Russian authorities bent on ending trafficking on the Trans-Siberian are sniffing around. Eventually, Roy and Jessie find themselves the target of a KGB agent named Grinko (Ben Kingsley), and what was supposed to be a relationship-healing trip turns into a fight for their lives.

Mortimer really stands out here among a talented cast. Her ability to keep the uncomfortable undertone of the film alive is undeniable. Additionally, the evil Kingsley and wholesome Harrelson are strong in supporting roles.

It's Anderson, though, who sets forth a present-day gem of a thriller. With its detail-oriented cinematography, captivating story and sense of suspense, "Transsiberian" is a feature that the original master of suspense -- Alfred Hitchcock -- would be proud of.

• The Manor Theater, Squirrel Hill

Additional Information:

'Transsiberian'

Rated R for some violence, including torture and language
Three stars
(out of four)

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me