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Man on the Train
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Man on the Train More at IMDbPro »

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34 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

worth watching

Author: edington-3 from Canada
25 November 2011

I had no idea who Larry Mullen Jr was before I watched this movie but I thought he was great. He should have taken up acting years ago. Too busy being the drummer for U2 I guess. Donald Sutherland was good too. I liked the literary references, such a refreshing change to see in a movie. EE Cummings, Bukowsky, Henry James. Hey who doesn't love Henry James? Just joking, probably only me and a few academics. The idea of wishing you had lived someone else's life is intriguing and was handled well. The Professor talks a lot about the choices he has made in his life. The other man (Mullen) doesn't talk about his choices but we can guess what they were. Wish someone would explain the ending though. I liked the ending, just didn't understand it. It was also a very funny movie and had lots of levels, definitely going to be mulling this one over for a few days.

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19 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

interesting drama

Author: billcr12 from United States
18 December 2011

Donald Sutherland is a retired professor of poetry living alone in a large Victorian house, listening to Schubert in most of his spare time. He meets a stranger, played by Larry Mullen, Jr.(yes, it is the drummer of the Irish rock band U2), a criminal type who is the complete opposite of the professor.

Mr. Mullen can definitely give up his day job, he is the cinematic acting discovery of the year. His style is that of James Dean in "Rebel Without A Cause" or Martin Sheen in "Badlands," and he matches the veteran Sutherland in scene after scene. The two are terrific together. Mullen possesses a natural, charismatic charm.

A major problem is the soundtrack, which frequently features a piano in the background at a volume clashing with the actors' lines; at times I was wishing for subtitles.

The professor and the stranger with no name ponder each others lives, contemplating the paths they have chosen, a universal theme we can all relate to. The two leads keep it moving along and make it worthwhile.

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16 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

All Aboard

Author: Pamela Powell from United States
18 November 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Donald Sutherland, accomplished actor, co-stars with Larry Mullen, Jr., neophyte actor, to complete a re-make of the French film L'homme Du Train from 2002. Not having seen the original, I cannot compare the two films. I can, however, tell you that this 2011 version is wonderful!

Donald Sutherland plays an optimistic, always friendly, if not a little quirky, professor in a small town named Orangeville located in Anywhere, North America. It's a small, trusting town which, with its lack of security, invites a criminal and his thugs to town to rob the bank. The bank robber is played by Larry Mullen, Jr., of U2 fame. He's quietly mysterious and is welcomed as the house guest of the professor. These two men couldn't be any more of polar opposites. Despite their differences, the two seem to admire one another and become friends over the subsequent days prior to the bank robbery and the professor's upcoming surgery. I was continually trying to figure out what the professor knew and why he had befriended this obvious ne'er-do-well. Only in the end, was I able to figure this out. Both Sutherland and Mullen were superb. The story line had me hooked from the beginning and constantly reeled me in until the credits rolled.

I loved this movie. The two main characters were realistically portrayed and I rooted for each of them. The story, direction, and acting were wonderful. Sutherland continually giving quality performances and Mullen giving us a successful first! This sweet and charming movie is well worth seeing!

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13 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful simple movie.

Author: Paulo Corceiro from Gafanha da Nazaré, Portugal
8 April 2012

I loved this wonderful peaceful movie and can't understand why it has only 5.7 rate by IMDb reviewers. A simple and sensible story (by the way, don't forget that's a remake of a french title). Nowadays, I really enjoy watching movies like this because I'm tired of all those commercial, predictable, boring American movies. The film was produced with very limited resources but with heart and intention. It's one of those who at least makes us think and has not a boring final battle between good and evil. It is wonderful to find a movie that does a lot with so little. Donald Sutherland and Larry Mullen are both great and the simple music is effective and contributes to the intimate atmosphere.

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20 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Donald Sutherland acts his socks off, but the film is a bore

Author: spotlightne from United Kingdom
8 December 2011

Basically this film centers on just two actors, Donald Sutherland and Larry Mullen Jr.

As we all know, Donald is a seasoned veteran but U2 guy Larry is new to cinema, and boy does it show.

I guess Donald has about 3,000 pages of dialogue here to Larry's one page. Larry's excuse is that he is playing a guy (we never know his name) who doesn't say much, although he's on screen nearly as much as Donald.

Basically the movie is about Larry (known as the thief) who arrives in town straight off a train and makes an accidental acquaintance with a Professor, played by Sutherland. Bizarrely, the professor invites the thief to stay at his home, while the thief secretly plans a robbery at a local bank.

It's a very slow film that never picks up speed. Donald acts his socks off, but Larry is so quiet and dull, the film hardly makes an impact.

Without Sutherland this film would have bombed. With a different actor playing the thief it might have been better.

I give it 5/10 because of Sutherland but the movie really doesn't deserve it.

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Enigmatic Ending Explored

Author: justusderdv from United States
6 November 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am writing this in response to some already well written reviews here wherein the ending of the film is questioned. You should watch the film before reading this, and then come back and see if my thoughts don't help you reach some clarity.

It should be clear to any viewer that this is a film with strong literary bones. Good writing never provides the reader with quotes from great authors randomly. Those quotes are meant to help us understand what is to follow. Therefore, when the Professor (Donald Sutherland) quotes Henry James that "Americans want tragedies with happy endings," we are given a key to the different endings that follows the climax.

The term "tragedy" means the hero must die. We see that happen, in this case two men who are foils, or reflections of one another, die. But then, we see them alive again, going about their lives in reverse. The average viewer, particularly Americans, will not appreciate the purposeful ambiguity. There are other literary clues dropped. For example, the discussion as to how to find the meaning of a poem. If you take the time to watch this film carefully, and note the literary clues as they are dropped, you might come to love this film.

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A nice surprise : different and engaging

Author: MannyInNewYork from United States
14 January 2013

I had no idea what to expect - I was sitting around checking out the new cable TV offerings and this came up. I was immediately caught up in this wacky little story (the path not taken, trading places, etc.). It's very low key for sure but that's a refreshing change of pace as far as I am concerned. The professor was a bit overly quirky (the nutty professor?) but still, if you accept it, it makes the movie that much more enjoyable.

I did not know that the "thief" was a U2 member - and I am glad I didn't know - I may have pre-judged the performance. I thought he was terrific - his character had fewer lines than Southerland but he definitely has an on screen presence that is engaging (I thought he must be some stage actor transitioning to movies because I'd never seen him before and I do see a lot of movies).

I am surprised to see negative reviews. Yes, the ending was a bit confusing but then it all comes together. One of the more interesting movies I've seen in a quite a while. Worth watching for sure.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Don't watch the trailer!

Author: holliebelle from Australia
16 July 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was a little reluctant to watch this as in the trailer Donald Sutherland's character comes across as a manipulative double crossing psycho.

When I started watching the movie he was quite eccentric and I thought he was putting on an act. I was waiting the whole time for him to switch into a villain.

The trailer was nothing like the movie, which was fantastic. I loved every bit of this, except found the very ending quite mismatched to the rest.

A few tears, a few giggles and plenty of intelligent script.

I expect the rating was low cause trailer made it appear to be an action movie.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

"Americans love a tragedy with a happy ending."

Author: LeonLouisRicci from United States
28 August 2013

This is a two Character Story about regret and missed opportunities and is fleshed out with a bouncy Performance from Sutherland with Rock Star Mullen standing in for the Role of the Professor's Polar Opposite. Mullen doesn't embarrass Himself with the Face of a road weary Soul, drained of energy and Life itself. But He really does nothing more than stand around, or sit around listening to "Words of Wisdom" with barely a reaction. This is not Acting it is showing up.

This is a delicate Movie with Literary Quotes and What If? contemplations strolling along to a somewhat Metaphysical Conclusion. It is interesting and is engaging enough for this sort of Stuff about a gentile Egghead and a tough and smart Born Loser.

Not the kind of Film for everyone and not the kind of Film that is on anyone's Best List. It is a Diversion, a way to escape from all the typical Hollywood Fare. This one is Laid Back and is couched in a Verbal rather than Visceral Style that is easy to like, but maybe just a little too aloof to Love.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Sutherland needs an acting partner

Author: SnoopyStyle
14 July 2014

A mysterious quiet man (Larry Mullen Jr.) arrives in the small town on a train. A poetry professor (Donald Sutherland) befriends the stranger and even takes him into his home. The man is in town to rob a bank with Sado (Graham Greene), Loco (Tony Nardi), and Max (Carlo Rota). He and the professor get to know each other as they discuss everything.

Mullen is playing the strong silent type and he does it with his stone face. Meanwhile Donald Sutherland is going off. He's acting for all he's worth with all his experience in tow. I don't see much in this performance for Mullen other than a lifetime of playing thugs with really short lines or playing in a really successful band. He should probably stick to the band. Sutherland is giving a lot here but Mullen isn't returning much. He has a flat monotone voice and stiff facial expressions. Although U2 fans may disagree vehemently. I saw the 2002 french movie, and I liked it for its attempt at a different kind of crime caper but I didn't love it. I have even less love for this one.

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