The Girl on the Train

(2016)

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Title:
The Girl on the Train
Release Date:
6th October 2016
Runtime:
112 min
MPAA Rating:
R
Genres:
Directors:
Tate Taylor
Writers:
Erin Cressida Wilson, Paula Hawkins
Languages:
N/A
Stream Quality:
1080p / 720p / 480p

Storyline

The Girl on the Train is the story of Rachel Watson's life post-divorce. Every day, she takes the train in to work in New York, and every day the train passes by her old house. The house she lived in with her husband, who still lives there, with his new wife and child. As she attempts to not focus on her pain, she starts watching a couple who live a few houses down -- Megan and Scott Hipwell. She creates a wonderful dream life for them in her head, about how they are a perfect happy family. And then one day, as the train passes, she sees something shocking, filling her with rage. The next day, she wakes up with a horrible hangover, various wounds and bruises, and no memory of the night before. She has only a feeling: something bad happened. Then come the TV reports: Megan Hipwell is missing. Rachel becomes invested in the case and trying to find out what happened to Megan, where she is, and what exactly she herself was up to that same night Megan went missing.

Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 44%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 56%
IMDb Rating 6.7

Casts

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bartonj2410 9th October, 2016

Thriller that serves up a real mystery

We've all experienced the same monotonous train commute to work in our lives at some point. You go by the same places and see the same faces each and every day. None of us have quite had a commute that changes our lives quite like Rachel Watson in The Girl on the Train though. Emily Blunt stars as Rachel Watson, an alcoholic divorcee who takes the same train to work each day. On her journey, Rachel fantasises about the relationship of Scott (Luke Evans) and Megan Hipwell (Haley Bennett), who live a few doors down from her ex-husband, Tom (Justin Theroux), and his new wife, Anna (Rebecca Ferguson). Rachel's unstable state leads her on a downward spiral that sees her embroiled in a missing persons investigation that will change her life forever. Based on the best-selling novel by Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train is a mystery thriller that reminded me of David Fincher's Gone Girl, which is not a bad thing at all. Now, while I don't think this is a better film than Gone Girl, I do think it serves up a worthy mystery that kept me guessing right up until the twist/reveal later on in the story. The narrative is told from the point of view of the three main female characters; Rachel, Anna and Megan. It could have easily become quite convoluted and messy yet Erin Cressida Wilson's screenplay allows things to move along smoothly and without any confusion. A lot of my hopes for this film were depending on the twist/reveal that would undoubtedly arrive in a mystery like this. Thankfully I can say that it was very well done and actually offered something totally different to what I was expecting. Yes, it gets a little far-fetched in the final act but if you go with it, The Girl on the Train really is a suspenseful watch. Coming to the performances, The Girl on the Train features a great lead performance from Emily Blunt and a solid supporting cast, Haley Bennett and Rebecca Ferguson jumping on the paranoia train with Emily Blunt to great effect. So, if you're a fan of either mysteries or thrillers, The Girl on the Train will be a journey you want to go on. If not, best to wait at the platform for the next train.

Reviewed by Jane Zhang 9th October, 2016

An unambitious and mundane mystery

Based on Paula Hawkin's novel of the same name, 'The Girl on the Train' is a predictable mystery thriller that lacks suspense and originality. The premise itself is inventive, but the film failed to offer excitement that I so looked forward to. Emily Blunt gives a powerful performance as Rachel, a depressed alcoholic who rides the train everyday to Manhattan and back. She is obsessed with spying on her and her ex-husband Tom (Justin Theroux)'s house (which can be conveniently seen from the train), and his new life with Anna (Rebecca Ferguson), a girl he cheated on her with. The story gets messy when Megan (Haley Bennett), who lived next door and is a nanny employed by Anna and Tom, goes missing and Rachel is suddenly personally involved in the chaos. Blunt has to sacrifice her beauty for this role and she was as compelling and real as she could be given the circumstances. Her forlorn, lifeless appearance suited the film's dark and dreary mood. Sadly, the characters are just as colourless. The film could only afford a singular exploration of their emotions and they had no opportunities to create depth to their personalities. You've seen stereotypes of those characters all before. The story itself is excessively melodramatic. I was hoping that it was more than just your standard affair mystery, but as it turns out, it was exactly that. The time jumps designed to create more suspense for revelations was instead confusing for the audience, given that we already have to follow three separate story lines simultaneously. A great mystery thriller usually keeps me pondering, wondering, and enthralled throughout. This 'Girl on the Train' however, sucks all your energy out and leaves you feeling empty. I felt exhausted sitting through this film. Apart from a couple of shockingly brutal scenes, there is really nothing in this film that would get your heart pumping. The final revelation of the villain is staged at a point that you realise there couldn't really be anyone else. This is such a disappointing film that if I was on the train to witness the story, I would have looked the other way.

Reviewed by E23-films 8th October, 2016

★★★ - slightly dull puzzle

Director Tate Taylor has previously been very good at making gritty dramas (such as Get On Up and The Help), and for the most part he does a decent job with The Girl On The Train. His characters are well fleshed out and interesting, and there's a very strong, moody ambiance throughout the movie. The problem for me, ironically, is the story... I've not read the so-called "novel that shocked the world", and I certainly won't. After a woman goes missing, the story follows (mostly) Emily Blunt's character, Rachel, whose alcoholism causes her to blackout every so often. People usually think this is clever storytelling, but it's actually really easy to write from an amnesiac's perspective and make it seem interesting by lopping out chunks of the plot. This story also has a non-linear narrative to keep the audience guessing and trying to piece it together in their minds, but again this isn't as intelligent as it appears - the order needs to make sense (even if it's non-linear), and it doesn't. The real trouble is, after all its faffing and keeping things hidden from the audience, when the reveal happens at the end, it's incredibly anticlimactic. But the movie certainly isn't without merit - the cast, for a start, is brilliant. Blunt is fantastic in the main role; you like her, then dislike her, then feel sorry for her, then are afraid of her - a wonderfully complex character with a great performance. The rest of the cast are great too, Bennett and Ferguson are great as 'the other women', but Evans was particularly compelling as possibly the victim or suspect. So overall, there's great tension consistently, deep characters and solid acting to keep it real and human. But for me the story is like a bland jigsaw - too patchy, takes too long to get to the final result which just reveals a fairly dull picture. 3/5

Reviewed by paulmcuomo 6th October, 2016

Read the book. No, seriously, read the book, it's so much better than this

The Girl on the Train is a novel that kind of jumped up on the world, especially with the unbelievable success of the book and movie versions of Gone Girl. Since then, this sub-genre of Domestic Noir has exploded and it seems that every novel that can be compared to Gone Girl has been optioned for a film: this, and Renee Knight's Disclaimer had the film rights purchased before the novels were even released to the public! It's a bandwagon that needs to stop, because I cannot understand how this movie could've been so disappointing and poor as it is. As an Englishman, the film's location shift did aggravate me a lot. It's one of those things that changes nothing but everything at the same time; the train system in London is a very different one to New York, where it's more underground based. But that's a setting thing, doesn't affect the movie as a whole. What does affect the movie is how viciously, and how insufferably BORING IT IS! Seriously, this film treats everything like its the most binal and uninteresting thing, in which all the characters talk in flat and monotone voices, and the fact that screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson has removed so much of the kinks and human error from it. Add to this is that most of the characters are completely flat, with almost no backstory - the only real "backstories" being had by Megan and Rachel, more of those in a second - and this makes everything SO hard to sit through, or barely care when stuff happens. Tate Taylor, who made the excellent The Help some years ago, and directed his actors in that with such confidence and zest, makes me wonder why this movie is so lifeless, and why he struggled to direct his actors in this with any human qualities to them. It's like he is trying to out-Gone Girl Gone Girl, but the problem with that is that David Fincher is clearly more adept at darker material; the way Fincher accentuates moments of extreme pivotal violence, like Amy's murder of Desi, or gives a clear indication of where/when stuff is happening, or made the only real monster of the movie Gone Girl Amy, and made the others human but just flawed in some way. Everyone here is just nasty, in some way, but in such unremarkable ways - or ways that are made to feel unremarkable, such as Rachel inserting herself into Scott Hipwell's life after his wife is murdered. OK, Rachel's backstory is quickly glossed over; she was unable to conceive, so she began her spiral into alcoholism. That's it for her, and Emily Blunt, who is at her best when portraying characters being slowly broken down by life, does her best, but as stated, there's really no humanity to Rachel, so alas is all blowing into the wind. Megan, played by Haley Bennett, is by far the most tragic character, and that is because we can see how irreparably damaged she is from the death of a baby she conceived at a young age, to the point where she ends up in the situation that gets her killed. And Anna? Yeah, she's just there, she does nothing short of providing a good ending for Rachel, but all of her vindictive attitude is removed from the book, and so Rebecca Ferguson looks completely lost and is easily the weakest of the 3 main characters. Luke Evans tries, but is stumped by the absurd amount of sex scenes him and Bennett are involved with and an absence of character beyond that. And Justin Theroux as Tom is just a nasty guy; now, in the novel he's a nasty guy, but he was a nasty guy with a past, and in this he has no past. Really, in the end, Blunt and Bennett tried. Thumbs up for that. This movie however is just jumping on the Gone Girl bandwagon, but not taking the effort or care that movie took with its material. Just...just read the book.

Reviewed by Jack Huitson 5th October, 2016

Gone Girl without the tension, emotion or drama

First off, I will admit that I've not read the bestselling book that The Girl on the Train is based on so my thoughts are based purely on the movie adaptation. I usually love a fast paced thriller with twists and turns to keep me metaphorically on the edge of cinema seat. The trailers had led me to believe this might be the case for The Girl on the Train. How wrong I was. The screenplay and direction were often sloppy while the editing was so messy it often felt like scenes were pieced together purely at random. I really struggled to warm to or identify with any of the characters in a film where all men are portrayed as controlling and deplorable and any sense of female empowerment is lost amidst the absurdity of the relentlessly twisting plot. I have to call out Emily Blunt's stunning lead performance - she steals every scene she's in with a nuanced, conflicted and honest portrayal of a complex and intriguing character. Quality support performances from Luke Evans and Haley Bennet help but don't save the movie and most other characters are so slight and one-dimensional that they fade into the background. The Girl on the Train felt like Gone Girl without the tension, emotion or drama. 5/10