Here is a competent and mostly believable thriller more in the Hitchcock mode than James Bond. There are no outrageous stunts, just a slow build-up of tension until it gets pretty tense indeed. Just about all the action takes place on the Transsiberian train from Beijing to Moscow, the longest train ride in the world. Woody Harrelson and Emily Mortimer meet another couple, and you suspect early on that these people are smuggling something. And sure enough … but it gets a lot more complicated than that. Ben Kingsley plays a cop who is also on the train.
This must have been a bitch to film. They are going through Siberia, and the one thermometer I see is registering –23. I don’t know if that’s C or F, but even if its C, that’s about –10 F. Yes, I know that was probably a prop, but every outdoor scene is frozen solid with real snow and ice. I have been on movie shoots in the cold, and believe me, standing around for hours and hours—which is what you mostly do when shooting a movie—is miserable even if it’s only 25 F. And only the top stars have trailers to retreat to. Everyone else just freezes their asses off.