Dystopian science fiction is notoriously difficult to pull off but Snowpiercer succeeds where films like City of Ember and Elysium have failed. Through Joon-ho Bong's gritty visual storytelling and some outstanding performances (Tilda Swanson, that means you), Snowpiercer is an engrossing if morbid parable of global class stratification. It is equally unexpected as it is unpredictable. The film follows a motley crew of low class passengers on a perpetual-motion train encircling post-apocalyptic Earth. Led by Curtis (Chris Evans), they move from the poverty-stricken tail section to the opulent forward sections of the train. As they open the gate to gain access to each train car your heart will race with anticipation for what might lie on the other side, and the answer almost always takes your breath away. Take one part Das Boot, one part Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, dump them in a glass of Blade Runner and stir well, and you have yourself Snowpiercer.
Casting James Franco as the ape-loving scientist accidentally responsible for the "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" was this film's greatest error. But Andy Serkis' performance is phenomenal. Serkis continues to revolutionize film making as he masterfully pioneers the art of motion-capture character acting.