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Cargo (2009) Review

Cargo is a 2009 Swiss thriller film directed by Ivan Engler and Ralph Schwingeler. The film stars Paul Scheurer, Jasmin Tabatabai, and Maximilian Simonischek. The film was released in Switzerland on October 8, 2009.

Cargo is a gripping and suspenseful thriller that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats. The film follows a group of criminals who hijack a cargo ship in order to smuggle drugs into Switzerland. However, things quickly go awry and the criminals find themselves fighting for their lives against the ship’s captain and crew.

The film is expertly directed and features some great action sequences. The acting is also top-notch, with Paul Scheurer and Jasmin Tabatabai leading the way. Cargo is a must-see for fans of thrillers and is sure to leave audiences entertained from beginning to end.

Swiss Science Fiction Movies aren’t something we get to see everyday, so it was with enthusiasm that i picked up this little indie flick for a watch. The basic premise sounds interesting, Earth’s Ecosystem has declined to a terminal point, all of humanity is forced to live, huddled up, in space. Those fortunate enough, can pay their way to a better life on the recently terraformed planet of Rhea. Laura Portmann serves on board a cargo spaceship, hoping to make enough money, so that she can abandon her dreary space based existence and go live with her sister out on Rhea. Things take an unexpected twist however when Laura starts to notice odd occurrences during one of her solitary shifts on the ship. After awakening the crew and informing them of the strange goings-on, things get more bizarre as it turns out the ships cargo is stranger than they could ever have imagined.

OK  I should mention firstly that this is movie is in German with English subtitles. I know some people hate this, personally I don’t, but it’s definitely something you want to know before grabbing this movie for a watch. I’m not familiar with any of the  the cast members in this movie, but I can say that everybody puts in a solid performance. The special effects are a cut above the usual indie movies that you see and indeed I would say that Cargo stands along side most A-budget Hollywood flicks. The effects are impressive, but not mind blowing.

The movies storyline is somewhat original, you could compare it to something that Arthur C Clarke or Philip K Dick would create. It is a visionaries movie, but it has one leg firmly stuck in reality. If I had to compare cargo to any other movie it would probably be either 2001 or Pandorum, it has the same solitary feel that those movies have. I don’t want to spoil the movie but suffice to say there are some really neat twists as things moves along. It touches on political/philosophical aspects such as environmentalism and the nature of reality (Matrix style).

The movies pacing can be somewhat slow, especially at the beginning and it definitely requires your attention all the time, otherwise your going to be shaking your head wondering what the hells going on. But if you can persevere, the ending is worth it. So, Cargo is fully recommended for those who can deal with subtitles (this doesn’t apply for people who can understand German Obviously), but if you can’t, probably best avoid.


Cargo is a 2009 Swiss drama film directed by Ivan Engler and starring Anna-Katharina Schwabroh and Michael Suter. The film tells the story of a Swiss cargo ship that becomes stranded in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean after its cargo catches fire. The ship’s captain and crew must find a way to survive as they await rescue. Cargo was shot on a real cargo ship, and the cast and crew spent several weeks at sea during production. The film received mixed reviews from critics, but was a box office success in Switzerland.

Movie Details

Director: Ivan Engler
Writer: Ivan Engler
Actors: Anna-Katharina Schwabroh, Max Rüdlinger, Regula Grauwiller
Release Year: 2009