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The Girl on the Train (2016)

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A divorcee becomes entangled in a missing persons investigation that promises to send shockwaves throughout her life.

Director:

Tate Taylor

Writers:

Erin Cressida Wilson (screenplay by), Paula Hawkins (based on the novel by)
Reviews
Popularity
560 ( 72)

Emily Blunt Through the Years

Take a look back at the career of Emily Blunt on and off the big screen.

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Emily Blunt ... Rachel
Haley Bennett ... Megan
Rebecca Ferguson ... Anna
Justin Theroux ... Tom
Luke Evans ... Scott
Edgar Ramírez ... Dr. Kamal Abdic (as Édgar Ramírez)
Laura Prepon ... Cathy
Allison Janney ... Detective Riley
Darren Goldstein ... Man in the Suit
Lisa Kudrow ... Martha
Cleta Elaine Ellington Cleta Elaine Ellington ... Oyster Bar Woman (as Cleta E. Ellington)
Lana Young ... Doctor
Rachel Christopher ... Woman with Child
Fernando Medina Fernando Medina ... Pool Player
Gregory Morley ... Officer Pete
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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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What did she see? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, sexual content, language and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

7 October 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Girl on the Train See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,536,265, 9 October 2016, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$75,395,035

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$173,185,859
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At about 16 minutes into the audio commentary the director mentions the village of Croton (on Hudson), home to the historical Croton Dam. Locals will tell you that below the dam on the banks of the Croton River, Hollywood filmed the classic Tarzan movies starring Johnny Weissmuller with suburban Westchester County standing in for the African veldt. See more »

Goofs

When Rachel first sees Megan and the therapist embracing, she gets excited and runs down the train to get a better look only to have another train going the opposite way obscure her view. When we see this scene from Megan's point of view we see only one train going down the track; the other train is nowhere in sight. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Rachel: [narrating] My husband used to tell me I have an overactive imagination. I can't help it. I mean, haven't you ever been on a train and wondered about the lives of the people who live near the tracks? The lives you've never lived. These are things I want to know. Twice a day, I sit in the third car from the front where I have the perfect view into my favorite house: Number 15, Beckette Road.
[Rachel sees a woman on her back porch in the morning]
Rachel: I don't know when exactly, I suppose I ...
[...]
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Soundtracks

Twisted
Written by London Thor and Travis Howard
Performed by London Thor
Courtesy of Dirt Heel Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
You won't uncork a bottle of Malbec again without thinking of this film...
8 November 2016 | by bob-the-movie-manSee all my reviews

"The Girl on a Train" is the film adaptation of the best-seller by Paula Hawkins, transported from the London suburbs to New York's Hastings-on- Hudson.

It's actually rather a sordid story encompassing as it does alcoholism, murder, marital strife, deceit, sexual frustration, an historical tragedy and lashings and lashings of violence. Emily Blunt ("Sicario", "Edge of Tomorrow") plays Rachel, a divorcée with an alcohol problem who escapes into an obsessive fantasy each day as she passes her former neighbourhood on her commute into the city. Ex-husband Tom (Justin Theroux, "Zoolander 2") lives in her old house with his second wife Anna (Rebecca "MI:5" Ferguson) and new baby Evie. But her real fantasy rests with cheerleader- style young neighbour Megan (Haley Bennett) who is actually locked in a frustratingly child-free marriage (frustrating for him at least) with the controlling and unpredictable Scott (Luke Evans, "The Hobbit"). A sixth party in this complex network is Megan's psychiatrist Dr Kamal Abdic (Édgar Ramírez, "Joy").

In pure Hitchcockian style Megan witnesses mere glimpses of events from her twice-daily train and from these pieces together stories that suitably feed her psychosis. When 'shit gets real' and a key character goes missing, Megan surfaces her suspicions and obsessions to the police investigation (led by Detective Riley, the ever-excellent Allison Janney from "The West Wing") and promptly makes herself suspect number one.

Readers of the book will already be aware of the twists and turns of the story, so will watch the film from a different perspective than I did. (Despite my best intentions I never managed to read the book first).

First up, you would have to say that Emily Blunt's performance is outstanding in an extremely challenging acting role. Every nuance of shame, confusion, grief, fear, doubt and anger is beautifully enacted: it would not be a surprise to see her gain her first Oscar nomination for this. All the other lead roles are also delivered with great professionalism, with Haley Bennett (a busy month for her, with "The Magnificent Seven" also out) being impressive and Rebecca Ferguson, one of my favourite current actresses, delivering another measured and delicate performance.

The supporting roles are also effective, with Darren Goldstein as the somewhat creepy "man in the suit" and "Friends" star Lisa Kudrow popping up in an effective and pivotal role. The Screen Guild Awards have an excellent category for an Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture, and it feels appropriate to nominate this cast for that award.

So it's a blockbuster book with a roller-coaster story and a stellar cast, so what could go wrong? Well, something for sure. This is a case in point where I suspect it is easier to slowly peel back Rachel's lost memory with pages and imagination than it is with dodgy fuzzy images on a big screen. Although the film comes in at only 112 minutes, the pacing in places is too slow (the screenplay by Erin Cressida Wilson takes its time) and director Tate Taylor ("The Help") is no Hitchcock, or indeed a David Fincher (since the film has strong similarities to last year's "Gone Girl": when the action does happen it lacks style, with the violence being on the brutal side and leaving little to the imagination.

It's by no means a bad film, and worth seeing for the acting performances alone. But it's not a film I think that will trouble my top 10 for the year.

(Agree? Disagree? For the graphical version of this review and to comment please visit bob-the-movie-man.com. Thanks.)


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