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Seasonal Movies-The New York Times

Something about the cold and snowy weather seems to help talk about trains passing through the forbidden wilderness. (See also “Snowpiercer”.) In “Trans Siberia,” two couples in trouble in the past are taking a train to speed up from China to Russia. Cramped spaces and repellent outdoors pose problems for these travelers. Because they are becoming more and more difficult to keep secrets from each other or from dubious characters on their tails. Director Brad Anderson takes advantage of the actual location of the Baltic Sea to stage a white knuckle action sequence in a place that looks like the edge of the world.

[Read the New York Times review.]

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The frigid winter landscape also influenced the plot of “Simple Plan,” the script for his tense thriller novel by Scott B. Smith, directed by Sam Raimi. Billy Bob Thornton and Bill Paxton play the brothers who found a bag of money when a plane collapsed in the Minnesota Forest. Their previous calm life is severely disrupted as they try to figure out how to hold cash. They quickly discover how difficult it is to stay cool in a small snow-covered town. There, each step leaves a mark and returns to the door.

[Read the New York Times review.]

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Most of this laid-back west takes place indoors in a remote trading post in Wyoming, where an eclectic gathering of outlaws and law enforcement officers (many of whom are Civil War veterans) waits for a snowstorm and stews old beef. I will. The All-Star Cast (including Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Dern, Tim Roth, Kurt Russell, and Oscar-nominated Jennifer Jason Leigh) takes full advantage of the savory and vulgar conversations of writer and director Quentin Tarantino. Treat like a stage to play. But Tarantino never lets the audience forget how harsh the outside conditions are, as the terrible cold winds of a still-divided country penetrate through the cracks in the walls.

[Read the New York Times review.]

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Seasonal Movies-The New York Times

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