Snowpiercer

  • Review Date: June 27, 2014
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 126 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Brutal post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller has big themes.
  • Review Date: June 27, 2014
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 126 minutes

Age(i)

2
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5
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9
10
11
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14
15
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The train is set up like a miniature country, where certain numbers of people are kept in poverty simply to keep the economy and resources in balance; the poor people could be helped, but they aren't. One character learns to be a leader, even though he doesn't necessarily believe in himself at first. And a secondary character thinks outside the box, literally. He dreams of escaping the entire system and starting afresh; the two characters have different solutions to the problem of poverty and repression.

Positive role models

One character learns to be a leader even though he doesn't initially believe in himself. A powerful female character is shown to be just as strong as any man. Characters work together extremely well to attain a difficult goal.

Violence

Very brutal and bloody. Guards beat up an old woman and take children away from their parents. Many characters are violently beaten or shot during many assorted fights, brawls, and battles. Some are executed point blank; key characters die, and the overall body count is high. Characters fight with axes, knives, guns, and other weapons. Blood is shown dribbling and spurting. A man's arm is shoved through a hole in the train; after a few minutes, it freezes solid, and the bad guys shatter it. There's a gross-out scene involving some bugs. Children are shown to be brainwashed in a "school" car, and other children are forced to be laborers. Some disturbing dialogue about cannibalism. There's a huge crash.

Sex

Some bathing suit-clad women are briefly seen lounging in hot tubs and pools.

Language

"F--k" and its various permutations are used a few times, plus "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," "bastards," "damn," "crap," and English slang like "shite."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters are highly addicted to a fictitious drug called "Kronol," which one character describes as "industrial waste." Chunks of Kronol are stolen and used as bargaining chips. A character has saved two cigarettes, and they're smoked at various points, with characters eagerly savoring every deep drag. Characters are seen sipping wine and champagne in a background way.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Snowpiercer is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi movie with frequent brutal fighting and violence: There's shooting, spurting blood, guns, knives, axes, and a scene of torture in which a character's arm is frozen and shattered. The body count is very high and includes important/key characters. Strong language includes a few uses of "f--k" and "s--t" (once uttered by a little girl), as well as "a--hole," "bitch," and "bastard." Characters are seemingly addicted to a fictitious drug called Kronol, and a character's carefully saved cigarettes are smoked lovingly at key moments in the story. The material is dark, with intense themes about the behavior of humans in particular and society in general. But even though it takes a pretty bleak view of humanity, the movie (which stars Captain America's Chris Evans) still has some admirable characters who take leadership positions, prove their strength, and work together to fight difficult odds.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In 2031, after an attempt to quell global warming, Earth has become a frozen wasteland, and the only survivors are on board a spectacular, self-sustaining train that speeds continuously around the globe. The denizens of the rear cars are tired of being treated poorly, and talk of a revolution starts stirring. Curtis (Chris Evans) is the natural choice to lead, but they'll need the help of Namgoong (Song Kang-ho) to break through the locked doors, and they'll need extra courage, strength, and cleverness to deal with the hazards and pitfalls that await, and increase, at each level. Curtis could be the first to ever make it to the engine, with the fate of all humanity hanging in the balance.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

One of the world's most talented filmmakers, Korean director Bong Joon-ho (The Host, Mother, etc.) has proven that he can handle varied material that has strong themes with confident pacing and impressive visuals. SNOWPIERCER is a big film with a large cast, but Bong brilliantly juggles fights, characters, and ideas -- including a savvy use of food -- and fits it all succinctly within his amazing visual design and scope.

The movie's dystopian future could have been heavy-handed, but instead it's balanced with equal amounts of intelligence and hope. And, of course, filming in a long, thin corridor could have been repetitive, but the images are constantly striking and surprising. Bong doesn't neglect his cast, either. Song Kang-ho and Ko Ah-sung return from The Host (again playing father and daughter), Evans gives one of his finest performances, and Ed Harris is especially memorable. All in all, this is an exceptional sci-fi thriller, worth far more than just its visual effects.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Snowpiercer's violence. How much of it was necessary to the story? Did it seem excessively gory or brutal?

  • What's the ultimate reason that the people in the back cars were kept in poverty? Was this a logical decision? Was it best for the largest amount of people, or should they have been helped?

  • What's the appeal of the post-apocalyptic genre?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 27, 2014
DVD release date:October 21, 2014
Cast:Kang-ho Song, Chris Evans, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer
Director:Joon-ho Bong
Studio:Weinstein Co.
Genre:Science Fiction
Run time:126 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:violence, language and drug content

This review of Snowpiercer was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written bydarthsitkur January 13, 2015
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

the R Rated version of Non Stop

I wanted to check this out because I thought the title was pretty rad, this is a really great edge of your seat nonstop action thrill ride, and I thought this was better than the movie Non Stop, and the highlight of snowpiercer is the fight with the ax gang, that shit was crazy lol
Teen, 13 years old Written byamurrayxx January 9, 2015
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Cannibalism+Death+Truefacts= You will not sleep

Im 13 years old and this movie was horrific for me. The thing about this movie is that it makes you think. There have been ice ages before and there are most likely going to me more is the future. The worst part was the description of the cannibalism (when the man tells the story) Its very scary to think that its true in some situations people get so hungry they kill innocent people and eat them which has happened before. I have watched lots of scary - horror movies before but for me nothing compared to this. There was so much emotion but so much death (you cant even tell who the main characters in this movie are).
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written bymichaelmcgcp. January 3, 2015
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

Great but dark movie

This movie is amazing but not for everyone. I'm fourteen but this movie was dark for me too. It includes the lower class being shot and treated horribly by everyone else. There are a lot of close head shots (like executing) and also stabbing. At one point a woman is stabbed in the leg but she is a "bad guy" so some may be happy to see this (not gory). The lower class are forced to eat protein blocks which are later revealed to contain bugs. As you may have read a man's punishment for protecting his son was his hand being shoved through a window until frozen and then broken off. Very good movie.
What other families should know
Too much violence

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