Title: The Girl On The Train
Release Date: October 7, 2016
Studio: Amblin Entertainment
Director: Tate Taylor
Release Format: Theatrical
I have a serious question to ask; Why is every single critic comparing this movie to Gone Girl? No, I’m serious, why are you all comparing it to Gone Girl? With exception of a woman going missing, Gone Girl & The Girl On The Train could not be more different. Oh, wait, I’m sorry there is one other comparison I can make; both films are great. The Girl On The Train is a fantastic thriller with tension, mystery, and intrigue. I am completely against the majority of other critics on this one. Most hate the film but I have a feeling they would love it if Gone Girl didn’t exist. All that matters is that the film is good and this film is certainly very good.
The Girl On The Train follows the stories of three specific characters, Rachel (Emily Blunt), Megan (Haley Bennett) & Anna (Rebecca Ferguson) and how their lives intersect. Rachel is a recently divorced alcoholic who rides the train back and forth to the city every day. This allows her to see many things from the train window, more particularly how blissful her ex-husband, Tom (Justin Theroux) is with his new wife, Anna. Furthermore, she becomes obsessed with Tom and Anna’s neighbors, Megan & Scott (Luke Evans), as their marriage seems perfect. However, when Anna has an alcohol-induced blackout, Megan mysteriously goes missing and Anna finds herself the number one suspect. Is she responsible? No one knows for sure; not even Anna.
What I love about this movie is that it never feels the need to hold my hand for even a second. The Girl On The Train is a Class-A thriller that treats its audience as thinking people with functioning brains. This isn’t When The Bough Breaks where the film spoon feeds you information to the point of projectile vomiting. The Girl On The Train trusts us to figure out what’s happening within the story and without ever having to spoon feed us information. It gives us the clues and situations to deduce the conclusion on our own. Furthermore, it is also not against throwing curveballs at us from time to time, which helps to keep things interesting. Compare this to Gone Girl, where the tension never let up but all the mystery was gone half-way through when the twist reared its head.
The acting is wonderful. Emily Blunt gives one of the best performances of the year as a broken alcoholic, stuck in a terrible situation. There’s real depth and layers to her character. Even when Rachel does the things she does, we realize its not out of hatred or malice but rather desperation and heartache. This is a character who is just broken and, despite the things she does, it’s hard not to root for her. Rachel’s a good person buried underneath alcoholism and self-loathing and Emily Blunt’s acting sells it beautifully.
In addition, Haley Bennett and Rebecca Ferguson do great in their roles as well. The film does a good job at showing flashbacks of Megan’s perspective before she went missing, ultimately culminating in an unexpected and shocking finale. Anna is another story as you’ll definitely hate her in some scenes but feel bad for her in others. Luke Evans gives a solid supporting performance as Megan’s husband. It was actually good to see this actor just play a normal guy for once and to pull it off so effectively. We’re used to seeing this actor play bad guys so this was quite refreshing to see from him.
In addition, The Girl On The Train also manages to be a very good looking film. The cinematography and editing in certain scenes is remarkably well handled. If i have any complaints with the film it’s that the ending felt rushed. The reveal at the end is great but what occurs after it left me wanting more. I felt like more could have been done with the climax given how much build up there was towards it. I also felt like other supporting players like Lisa Kudrow and Allison Janney were wasted. These are great talents and I wanted to see more of them in the film.
Overall, The Girl On The Train is an above average thriller with twists and turns to spare. It allows you to use your brain, which is more than I can say for most thrillers being released today. The performances are great as is the writing and the direction. I would of liked a better ending but nevertheless, this is a thriller that is very good and very impressive.
- Emily Blunt's Best Performance By A Mile
- Great Acting All Around
- A Wonderful Brain-Teasing Mystery
- A Twist I Couldn't See Coming
- Beautiful Cinematography
- Anti-Climactic Ending, Despite A Great Twist
A graduate of Full Sail University with a Bachelors Degree in Creative Writing, Adam is a Writer and Film Critic, looking to make his mark on the world. When he isn’t at the movies, writing for The Nerd Stash, playing Duck Hunt (respect the classics) or delivering pizzas to his neighbors, he is back at school earning his Masters Degree in Film Production.