There's something about trains that evokes a sense of mystery and timelessness. When a director makes one the focal point of his film and puts Ben Kingsley on board as a Russian detective, the tension and trepidation are palpable before you ever step foot in the theater. Despite this film's obvious present-day environment, the scene is set like a classic film noir. A young American couple (Woody Harrelson and Emily Mortimer) decides to take the scenic but sleepy ride from Beijing to Moscow on the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway. Along the way they meet and happily befriend another American couple, but when the group gets split up before the end of their journey, secrets begin unfolding from these travelers and the picturesque landscape alike. With all the bad attempts at suspense these days, Brad Anderson's Transsiberian thankfully plays out more like a Hitchcock film than a modern-day thriller. See the film that scared Roger Ebert this Friday through Sunday at The Modern in Fort Worth as part of The Magnolia at the Modern, an ongoing series featuring critically acclaimed films. Tickets are $8.50 or $6.50 for Modern members. Advance sales begin two hours before each show. For showtimes, visit themodern.org/magnolia.html.
Fri., Oct. 31; Sat., Nov. 1; Sun., Nov. 2, 2008