Parents' Guide to

Snowpiercer

By Martin Brown, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Decent sci-fi action series explores class, has violence.

TV TNT Drama 2020
Snowpiercer Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 18+

Did Common Sense Media ever get it wrong this time!

I have always found Common Sense Media’s ratings to be reasonably accurate and use on them to guide my decisions for my four kids. But man, did they get this one wrong. It’s an enjoyable series, make no mistake. But it is NOT for under age 18. The themes are incredibly dark and too weighty and morose for young teens. But even more than that - this show is raw and brutal! SO many scenes of torture and maiming. To be clear - my issue is not with violence per se...lots of great teen-friendly movies are violent. But this is an entirely different level, the scenes here show true sadism - limbs large and small are routinely cut off as punishment, someone is forced to commit suicide to atone for a disappointing the “boss” (while naked in a tub with his boss who is watching, and then a dog comes and starts lapping up the bloody water - it’s a truly vile scene)...I could go on and on. The long and short of it is that this is a decent series for ADULTS, but sure as hell not 15+ teens.

This title has:

Too much violence
age 18+

Lots of Nudity Not for kids

Common sense media did a poor job reviewing the sex and nudity scenes. I almost approved my 12 year old watch this because of their "romance and kissing" review. This show has homosexual and heterosexual sexuality and graphic scenes so definitely not for kids. Very disappointed in Common sense media, I can't trust them.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5):
Kids say (7):

It's hard to imagine how this series would be judged if it didn't come on the heels of its beloved, singular movie predecessor. Much like his 2019 Best Picture winner Parasite, Bong Joon-ho's 2013 film Snowpiercer is a fairly straightforward allegory about class warfare. It succeeds on the back of its elegant structure: Revolutionaries make their way from the back of the train to the front, fighting compartment by compartment through the lower classes in order to overthrow the rich. The premise is so simple, but it's easy to see how a TV adaptation could expand upon it beautifully. The longer run time could mean more character development, richer backstory, or even an episode dedicated to each section of the train.

Unfortunately, this series chooses a different track, needlessly complicating the setup by making the central character (the woefully miscast Daveed Diggs) into a homicide detective in search of a serial killer in an attempt to steer the wild plot more toward a standard mystery. It's the type of focus-tested plot you'd see parodied on Bojack Horseman or 30 Rock (they actually use the phrase "train detective!"). Things only get more chaotic and muddled from there, and without the benefit of compelling characters, great dialogue, or a richly developed setting, Snowpiercer the show turns a fascinating premise into a bit of a muddle.

TV Details

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