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Train to Busan(부산행)

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Korea · 2016
1h 58m
Director Yeon Sang-ho
Starring Gong Yoo, Ma Dong-seok, Jung Yu-mi, Choi Woo-shik
Genre Action, Horror, Thriller

Martial law is declared when a mysterious viral outbreak pushes Korea into a state of emergency. Those on an express train to Busan, a city that has successfully fended off the viral outbreak, must fight for their own survival.

Stream Train to Busan

What are people saying?

Billy Donoso Profile picture for Billy Donoso

'Train to Busan' is a really solid zombie movie, one of the best visually. I haven't seen it in a while and while I can't say some of the smaller plot details are particularly memorable, I remember the action being so tightly controlled and delivered to screen in an incredibly impressive way. The train as a vessel for our ensemble of characters just adds to the hight octane energy of the film. It plays with some interesting themes but I don't think takes them far enough to take them seriously because there is too substantial an amount of time devoted to our main characters and becoming invested in their safe escape to largely consider the possibility of a government conspiracy. Sometimes the reason why the zombies are around are better left ambiguous, and while I feel that would be the case here, I also am not as familiar with the South Korean context 'Train to Busan' was produced and released in.

Marjorie Testa Profile picture for Marjorie Testa

In my opinion, this is one of the greatest zombie movies ever made. The pacing is incredible -- everything is wrapped in tension due to steady progression of the virus in tight quarters and the physical setting of the high-speed train. Several times I even found myself getting up to pace around, much to the amusement of those watching with me, because I was too stressed out to sit still! I must admit that I found several aspects of the end of the film (don't worry, I won't include any spoilers!) to be a bit unnecessarily dramatic, but overall this is an amazing addition to the horror movie anthology.

Conner Dejecacion Profile picture for Conner Dejecacion

The story of how I watched this movie is actually pretty funny - I was fresh off "Parasite" and remembered Bong Joon-Ho had made another movie about a train. That's "Snowpiercer," obviously, but the title eluded me at the time. Instead I watched "Train to Busan," which turned out to be one of the best zombie movies ever! Confined spaces, plenty of gore and limited access to firearms made the violence all the more intense, and the fact that our characters are just regular people trying to survive makes every death all the more gut-wrenching. Glad I found this one by accident!

What are critics saying?


Screen International by

Although it lacks the layers evident in Yeon’s acclaimed animations (including the thematically-linked Seoul Station), this is still an entertaining ride, as well as providing political commentary when it overtly references the Korean government’s response to the MERS virus alongside commenting on the country’s class system.


IndieWire by David Ehrlich

For almost 45 minutes, Yeon Sang-ho’s Train to Busan is on pace to become the best, most urgent zombie movie since “28 Days Later.” And then — at once both figuratively and literally — this broad Korean blockbuster derails in slow-motion, sliding off the tracks and bursting into a hot mess of generic moments and digital fire.


Slant Magazine by Ed Gonzalez

When divorced of message-mongering, the film’s scare tactics are among the most distinctive that the zombie canon has ever seen.


The New York Times by Jeannette Catsoulis

Often chaotic but never disorienting, the movie’s spirited set pieces — like a wriggling ribbon of undead clinging doggedly to the last compartment — owe much to Lee Hyung-deok’s wonderfully agile cinematography.


Variety by Maggie Lee

Train to Busan pulses with relentless locomotive momentum. As an allegory of class rebellion and moral polarization, it proves just as biting as Bong Joon-ho’s sci-fi dystopia “Snowpiercer,” while delivering even more unpretentious fun.


Miami Herald by Rene Rodriguez

Best of all, the story moves as fast as that bullet train, careening from one impossible predicament to the next while the characters jostle to survive.


Los Angeles Times by Robert Abele

The key to the fun is that Yeon eschews lookie-loo gore for thrilling set pieces: his fleet, imaginative action scenes recall Brad Bird’s crisp transition to real people in peril when he made his “Mission Impossible” movie.


Village Voice by Simon Abrams

Yeon's patient direction and clever plot twists make Seok-woo's transformation from selfish antihero into brave caregiver consistently compelling.

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