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Movie Review: Transsiberian

Alternate Title: Don't Talk to Strangers

Story: How stupid are some American tourists? This film depicts the ultimate in your worst imagined traveler's nightmare. Director and writer Brad Anderson has taken the familiar trapped on a train genre and sadly, jumped the rails along the way.

A do-gooder American couple, decide to take the long way home after their Church's trip to China on the Trans-siberian train from Beijing to Moscow. Sounds simple and romantic but as quickly as they board this mystery train nothing goes according to plan. They find that they have to share a cabin with another young couple who ooze with suspicion. When our do-gooder train enthusiast gets separated from the group things go from creepy to scary quickly. Enter a frightening narcotics Russian detective, local Gulag ex-residents, heroin, angry drug dealers, secrets and lies. This was certainly not on their itinerary.

Having an American Express card on this trip would not have helped this stupid couple. After awhile, when they did such brazenly idiotic things, I gave up caring about them and started to believe they deserved the mess they were getting into. I would not say this movie was a train wreck because I did like the scenery and some of the plot twists, but I cannot yell 'all aboard' either.

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5MUTPx_SIY

Acting: Woody Harrelson as the do-gooder Church guy was not as convincing as he should have been. Emily Mortimer is fine actor but her role was uneven and weak in spots. I did not buy her as the reformed bad girl. Kate Mara was interesting, but did not have much of a part. Eduardo Noriega was reminiscent of a much younger Benicio Del Toro and was fine to watch. Ben Kingsley was terrific as the Russian detective, as always he is.

Trivia: Kate Mara is the great-granddaughter of the founder of the New York Giants, Timothy Mara and Art Rooney, founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers. She sings the national anthem at some Giants home games.

Predilection: None

Blatant Product Placement: Canon Eos Rebel has a HUGE part in the movie.

Critters: Drug sniffing dogs, a wolf and a hawk.

Food: Lots of drinking, soup, potatoes and train fare.

Sex Spectrum: Glimpses of sex in a moving train car.

Soundtrack: Tense

Opening Titles: Titles superimposed over our first meeting with the Church group before the couple goes separately to the train.

Visual Art: Pretty country.

Theater Audience: About 12 other train enthusiast

Weather: Cold, cold and colder in Siberia.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: There are some very squirmy torture scenes.

Drift Factor: I drifted a bit in the middle.

Predictability Level: After awhile, I simply did not care.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: If you like train films, it might make a rental list for you.

Length: 100 minutes