Transsiberian

Director Brad Anderson’s self-consciously “Hitchcock-inspired” thriller plays cat and mouse with a pair of American tourists (Emily Mortimer and Woody Harrelson) on a train trip across the Russian hinterlands. Crossing paths with another couple (Kate Mara and Eduardo Noriega) and with a shady detective (Ben Kingsley), they find themselves sinking into a snowdrift of deception and increasingly sinister (sometimes implausible) developments. Co-scripted by Anderson and Will Conroy, it’s well acted enough to be ironic that the actors’ gifts point out the limitations of their material. Kingsley and Mortimer in particular seem to hit the ceilings of their parts (she gives it a gravitas it doesn’t quite deserve), and Harrelson squanders his authenticity by overplaying the cornfed-rube routine. But, the limitations of its human characters aside, the movie has a terrific feel for the chilly, remote character of its environment.

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