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Snowpiercer – In this wonderful and well-crafted futuristic sci-fi film, an attempt by the world powers to lace the atmosphere with a substance to reverse global warming goes wrong; the planet becomes frozen and humanity becomes extinct except for a few thousand who live on a train that circles the planet. The people are divided into social classes by car; the film begins with those in the tail cars of the train who live in squalor and are subjugated and controlled by those who inhabit the engine. Curtis, played by Chris Evans (Captain America, and almost unrecognizable to me), is the one those in that section designate their leader who will lead them forward to take over the train at the engine, run by designer of the train, Wilford (Ed Harris). What ensues is a visual and heady delight. The movie is an allegory of capitalism and is numerous metaphorical references. The movie is great for many reasons: a) There are continual plot twists and turns that keep the movie moving as fast as the train, b) the satire is great, and the movie is simultaneously very funny and very serious in its message; c) the acting is exceptional (featuring a hilarious and nearly unrecognizable Tilda Swinton as one of Wilford’s lieutenants and wonderful turns by Chris Evans, Octavia Spencer, Jamie Bell, and John Hurt); d) the filming was amazing – the brutality in the tail cars and the changes in environment as they moved forward through the cars was exhilarating to watch. Huge thumbs up for a movie I found incredibly exciting and what is so far one of my favorite movies of the year. It won’t be for all – it is a dystopian story, but all of the brutality that was not a part of Hunger Games and Divergent is here; for many, the film will be hard to watch. But if you love political and social satire and allegory as well as expert film writing and cinematography, don’t miss this. I think it is in limited release – this should be seen on the big screen. (2014; 5 Stars)

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