Flash Movie Review: The Girl on the Train

A good way to feel the heartbeat of a city is to take a ride on its commuter train. It is an easy way to not only see the city but to watch how its citizens mingle throughout the city’s arteries. When I used to take public transportation to work I would find myself getting lost into the brief visual vignettes all around me. There were the train’s adult babies who would quickly be lulled to sleep by the swaying of the train car as it rolled down the tracks. Among the passengers there was the group that always had a hardcover or paperback book to read, while another group used their electronic devices. The thing I liked to do was look out the windows. From my train car I could watch a parade taking place that had citizens carrying a long paper dragon down a street in a neighborhood with a large population of Asian Americans. In another part of the city I could see people sitting outside at a café having an afternoon coffee with shopping bags lying at their feet like trusted pets. After a few times on the same route I would know which train stops some of the passengers would get off at; business attired people would step out in the downtown area of the city and passengers with book bags or textbooks in their laps would get off at one of two stops that was close to a city college. For a different type of experience taking the train at night brings in a more intimate experience; at least it does for me. Apartment buildings would reveal a grid of lit windows where each one told a different story. With one blink of the eye I could see someone cooking up a storm of a meal or two people studiously peering down at a table full of jigsaw pieces. Each day would be a different scene and you would never know what you could witness.   CATCHING the same train everyday Rachel, played by Emily Blunt (Into the Woods, Sicario), would come up with an internal story for the people she would see. But what if a person was not following her script? This mystery thriller based on the bestselling book also included Haley Bennett (The Magnificent Seven, The Equalizer) as Megan and Justin Theroux (American Psycho, Wanderlust) as Tom. Since I did not read the book I was confused for the 1st half of the movie, though Emily was excellent as Rachel. The issue for me was the script. I did not care for the scenes jumping back and forth in time along with several scenes that did not come across as authentic. All this did for me was to slow the pace down of telling the story. It was not until the last half of the picture where things picked up and it started to actually be a mystery thriller for me. An interesting side note; when I mentioned this to one of my classes 5 out of 6 people who read the book said they did not like it and felt the same about the book as I did about the film. Too bad the train ride I took did not reveal much excitement for me.


2 ¼ stars



About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on October 10, 2016, in Thriller and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. I find the movies that have the most promotion (and this one has had a ton here!) usually are the ones that need it because they’re just not that good…. Which is a bit disappointing in the case of this movie as it looked pretty good in the trailers… Still, I’ll see it eventually..

    • Hello, it is a pleasure to meet you. Your observation about intense promotion is something I agree with and this movie had it. When you do finally see it I would enjoy hearing your take on the film. Thank you.

  2. I actually abandoned the book due to the jumping back and forth. I went to see the film last night with a friend, and thought the whole thing thoroughly depressing. The chap at the end of our row went to sleep, and snored loudly most of the way through it!

    • Hi Stevie, it is a pleasure to meet you. I see the movie followed the book regarding the jumping around in the story. Snoring at the end of the row?!? Oh no, even if a film is not working for me I still appreciate a silent audience. Thank you for your comments.

  3. Could not stand the book. She was chunky and sweaty and it was set in London with a male lead detective. And I couldn’t stand the characters. Thanks for the movie review.☺

  4. The commercials should never compare the movie to the book. Just cuz the book was a thrilling best seller doesn’t mean the movie is and I get it why they do it so you’ll go and spend the money to see it naturally but how many times have you seen a movie and walking out of the theatre you hear numerous people say, “The book was better” or have said it yourself?! It’s a complete rouse to get you in to the cinema and we all know that with very few exceptions that the movie adaptation of a book is at the mercy of the director who may or may not have read it all the way through, perhaps flipped through it or had someone read it for them eh? This one I was skeptical from the commercial only because they’re rating it to be as good as the book whether you loved or hated the book. The commercial was so funky it smelled. I’ll wait for Netflix or something like that lol. Cheers.

  5. I read the book and enjoyed it. I think that was partly because I used to take the train in and out of London and often people watch and imagine what people’s lives might be like. Anyway, I wonder if that means I am more or less likely to enjoy the film. Either way I will be waiting until it is available on the small screen.

    • So far Laura you are in the minority of people who liked the book. I was surprised to hear the story actually took place in London. When you finally see the film, I really would enjoy hearing your take on the book and film. Thank you.

      • I liked it but didn’t love it. It was that sort of lazy summer days read. I read it because it came highly recommended by several friends but it didn’t live up to their hype. It was entertaining but not compelling. I wonder if transplanting it away from London made a difference.

  6. I just finished reading this. The book was good, not edge of your seat good, but a wonderful read nevertheless. I’ve also seen the trailer, which is honestly what prompted me to read the book, because it looked like a really exciting and emotional sort of movie. It’s interesting to hear that it isn’t really. I still plan on seeing it, I’m far past curious now to know how it adds up to the book.


    • Thank you for telling me; I will be quite curious to hear what you thought of the movie compared to the book.

      • Just watched the movie a few days ago : D
        I could see right away that if you hadn’t read the book you’d be over your head in confusion right out the gate, so many characters, so many plot lines..
        Despite that, I felt like they did a decent job at adapting this into a movie. It was completely Americanized too, set on the east coast (New York if I correctly recall), and eliminated the accents that make a lot of American viewers tune out (I don’t have a problem with this, but I know people who do). They didn’t screw with the important details of the plot though, the essence and feel of the book is still there!
        So in short, if you liked the book, you’ll probably like this, hated the book, you’ll probably hate this.

        Meno ❤

      • I appreciate your comments and noting the difference between reading or not reading the book. Thank you.

  7. Another granddaughter read the book, and I was going to borrow it because I read good reviews. When asked to see the movie, I declined. When turned away from our intended movie, we watched this one. I didn’t like it at all. Maybe my eyesight isn’t as good as it should be or ? But I had a hard time trying to keep track of what blonde did what in the beginning. Disappointing even when I knew what was going on.

  8. Btw, my 20 yr old granddaughter loved the book, read it in one evening.

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