• Network: TNT
  • Series Premiere Date: May 17, 2020
Metascore
55

Mixed or average reviews - based on 23 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 23
  2. Negative: 1 out of 23

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Joyce Chen
    May 13, 2020
    83
    Instead of a more straightforward rebellion pushing Evans’ Curtis from the tail to the front of the train, the series takes advantage of its multi-chapter format to present a complex web of lies, false identities, and complicity.
  2. Reviewed by: Ed Cumming
    May 22, 2020
    80
    I suspect your enjoyment of Snowpiercer the TV show will depend on how much you like the core idea. You could make the case that this is grim, silly dystopian sci-fi, a comic-book idea that got out of hand. I think it’s a fabulous premise, realised here with less anger than in the film, but equal wit and imagination and the same clarity of setting.
  3. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    May 13, 2020
    75
    This is a great-looking series, with just enough CGI shots taken from outside the train to remind us of the ludicrously spectacular nature of this rolling experiment, and nifty camerawork taking us from the colorful decadence of first class through the “Night Car,” a club dripping with opportunities to explore the sins of the flesh, through the “Ocean Car,” with its tanks of fish, to the dark and hopeless and suffocating world of the tailies. Daveed Diggs gives a powerful performance as Layton.
  4. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    May 26, 2020
    70
    Could the show be launching a slyly subversive attack on planned economies? I thought about that for a moment, then went back to wondering what they do with all the poop. But with a smile.
  5. Reviewed by: Sonia Saraiya
    May 11, 2020
    70
    What follows is a soapy, ambitious sci-fi season that takes big swings and follows through, engaging with not just class struggle but also leadership, loyalty, compromise, and coalition.
  6. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    May 14, 2020
    68
    What “Snowpiercer” does best in early episodes is world-building. But it’s problematic for the show’s long-term prospects that the various train cars — cattle car, aquarium car, classroom car, night club car (with multiple levels and a surprising number of staircases for a train) — stir up more initial excitement than the characters or story.
  7. Reviewed by: Danette Chavez
    May 13, 2020
    67
    Though many of its 1,001 cars are cast in a familiar mold, Snowpiercer still manages to find new ways to interrogate power structures, as well as build up steam—or rather, power the eternal engine—for a second season of quietly compelling stories. Its style might not match its ambition, but after an arduous trek, Snowpiercer mostly proves to be worth the wait.
  8. Reviewed by: Lucy Mangan
    May 26, 2020
    60
    Snowpiercer the series manages, gloriously, to bypass all that is great and almost all that is good about both of its sources of material, and turn it instead into a police procedural that just happens to be set on the aforementioned giant armoured train.
  9. Reviewed by: Matt Webb Mitovich
    May 11, 2020
    58
    While Episode 1 overexerts itself juggling multiple storylines (there’s a B-story involving a young tailie that simply vanishes for long stretches), the episodes that follow are more tightly wound as the murder case, which dominates half of the 10-episode season, takes frightful turns.
  10. Reviewed by: Ben Travers
    May 11, 2020
    58
    Season 1 is as about as far removed from Bong’s cinematic vision as you can get, without reaching the “so bad it’s good” level of TV that inspires mouth-agape hate-watching. The show is fine. It’s just fine. In an all-too-obvious twist, it’s exactly the kind of science-fiction drama that TNT has been making for roughly a decade.
  11. Reviewed by: Melanie McFarland
    May 18, 2020
    50
    The fact that it lands somewhere in the slack middle of the quality scale is bound to be disappointing for fans of the film hoping for better. ... Helpfully the TV adaptation deviates enough from the film to keep viewers guessing about a few things.
  12. Reviewed by: Jen Chaney
    May 15, 2020
    50
    The TV version is larger in scope, messier in execution, and bathed in a basic cable aesthetic that couldn’t be more mainstream. Even its grit has a bit of gloss on it. Still, Snowpiercer is not an entirely bad show. It’s not great, either. Really what it does is start out meh, then become more compelling from the midway point onward, which averages out to a final assessment of halfway decent.
  13. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    May 13, 2020
    50
    So while insurrection boils at the back of the train, fomented by a proletariat in perpetual motion, “Snowpiercer” also becomes a police procedural. A stylish production as well, though one does have to make concessions—this “Snowpiercer” is nothing like the original, nor could it be—as well as leaps of faith and suspensions of disbelief.
  14. Reviewed by: Judy Berman
    May 12, 2020
    50
    TNT’s adaptation is slower and, unfortunately, somewhat convoluted.
  15. Reviewed by: Dan Fienberg
    May 12, 2020
    50
    A mess, full of half-developed characters, illogical plot choices and incompletely realized social satire. But it's not awful. Thanks to solid production values, maybe a half-dozen amusingly pitched performances and several moments of giddy lunacy, Snowpiercer settles into a watchable rhythm.
  16. Reviewed by: Daniel D'Addario
    May 11, 2020
    50
    Bong’s film of this material had an equally thudding manner of carrying across its point. What is new here is the relative dullness of characters’ dialogue and backstories. It’s somewhat grounding that even in the midst of chaos, cataclysm and global reorganization around a bizarre means of conveyance, folks will still speak mainly in cliché; it’s also true enough to life. ... The result is watchable, but not much more.
  17. Reviewed by: Allie Gemmill
    May 11, 2020
    50
    While Snowpiercer is not necessarily unwatchable, but it’s certainly not easy to remain engaged from episode to episode.
  18. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    May 15, 2020
    40
    Seemingly a difficult concept in the best of times, Snowpiercer becomes more problematic in the midst of a pandemic, focusing as it does on humanity's warring remnants in a post-apocalyptic world. Even adopting a charitable view of that bleak outlook, the show suffers from soapy silliness, stilted situations and a lack of narrative momentum, preventing this train from ever getting out of the station.
  19. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    May 15, 2020
    40
    It’s a show that’s so overtly plot-heavy that it has no time for little things like character and setting. It just keeps pushing forward, completely unwilling to give you people to care about in this vision of the future, hoping that you’ll just go along for the ride.
  20. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    May 15, 2020
    40
    The series transforms itself significantly in the season’s back half, and a lot of wild things happen right on top of one another (including some pretty fun action sequences, albeit nothing remotely as great as the movie’s axe fights). But asking viewers to slog through a slow, mediocre fake police show to get to what you’re really doing isn’t reasonable in Peak TV.
  21. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    May 14, 2020
    40
    The action is routine, the drama tends toward the banal and sentimental, and the social symbolism of class division and technocracy, while cleverly worked out, isn’t compelling or coherent enough to tie it all together. ... Connelly’s performance as a tightly wound, fiercely competent woman bearing a crushing responsibility is so good that it’s almost enough reason to watch.
  22. Reviewed by: Tim Surette
    May 13, 2020
    40
    It's a clearly inferior version of something that was already great and never needed to be revisited again. But even without taking the film's existence into consideration, it lacks a certain edge that's needed to stand out.
  23. Reviewed by: Matthew Dessem
    May 19, 2020
    30
    Snowpiercer doesn’t even get out of the station before it goes off the rails. ... The standout performance comes from The Americans’ Alison Wright as Connelly’s second in command—she does a nice riff on Tilda Swinton’s gonzo performance from the film—but in general, the quality of the writing and acting are very basic cable, even for basic cable.
User Score
5.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 21
  2. Negative: 7 out of 21
  1. May 19, 2020
    7
    The 2020 video series Snowpiercer is of the steampunk genre like the original 2013 movie. So, there is that retrofuturism that seems to beThe 2020 video series Snowpiercer is of the steampunk genre like the original 2013 movie. So, there is that retrofuturism that seems to be widely appealing - but, the series and the movie have different plots.

    I am writing about episode 1 of season 1.

    I found it interesting that animation was used as an introduction to the series. I think we are seeing animation used more frequently to keep projects on budget.

    There was some very good acting. I can't list them all - but, I especially enjoyed:
    Jennifer Connelly as the "Voice of the Train"
    Mickney Sumner a brakeman (later a hostage)
    Alison Wright another brakeman
    Iddo Goldberg a train engineer?

    The train is obviously a metaphor and (to me) an interesting plot device.

    The technical aspects of the series are of very good quality. Perhaps the editing was somewhat too fast paced - but, I can understand how there was a lot to cover in the first episode.

    I will be watching the second episode.
    I anticipate that this will be enjoyable entertainment if you like to think about things.
    Full Review »
  2. May 18, 2020
    7
    A lot better than people are going to give it credit for.

    Yes the premise is incredibly stupid on multiple levels. But the performances do
    A lot better than people are going to give it credit for.

    Yes the premise is incredibly stupid on multiple levels. But the performances do a good job at making it easy to suspend disbelief and enjoy the development of the plot threats.

    Definitely worth watching for a few more episodes to get a better feel if this is something to follow or not.
    Full Review »