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Review: The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train
10.06.2016
3 10
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PLOT: Rachel (Emily Blunt), an alcoholic obsessed with her ex-husband (Justin Theroux) and his new wife (Rebecca Ferguson), becomes embroiled in the disappearance of a young woman (Haley Bennett) she’s been observing on her daily train commute.

REVIEW: Everyone’s been expecting THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN to be this year’s big sleeper hit, with the prestige-ready 4th quarter release date, the marquee cast, and the fact that it’s based on a bona-fide literary phenomenon. Paula Hawkins’s thriller has often been compared to GONE GIRL, something that must have made producers salivate. I can only assume that whatever made the novel so popular is missing from the film adaptation as this is one of the most clueless, inept Hollywood thrillers in years. It’s a tragic waste of an amazing cast, all of whom come off looking bad by the time the credits roll on this schlock thriller.

the girl on the train emily blunt

Emily Blunt, an actress I like so much I devoted this week’s “The Good, the Bad and the Badass” to her, is poorly miscast as an alcoholic. A little make-up to make her skin mildly pasty (but not too much - they still bank heavily on her sex appeal to sell the film) is the only concession to alcoholism that’s made. This is Hollywood drunk, where nothing too unseemly, like a hangover, is ever actually shown. Compare this to something like SMASHED or even (going way back) DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES. Given that alcoholism is supposed to be one of the defining traits of the part, some care should have been taken to get the affliction down right, but this borders on being cartoonish, and even someone as skilled as Blunt can't elevate it. It takes a really poor film to make one of the best actresses of her generation look bad, but THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN is up to the task.

Perhaps director Tate Taylor deserves the blame. While THE HELP was a solid crowdpleaser, his follow-up, GET ON UP, was a mess and GIRL is even worse. He seems ill-equipped to handle what’s trying to be a Hitchcockian thriller, with amateurish attempts to be arty with slow-motion and wobbly construction that makes the flashback/flashforward structure of the movie collapse within minutes. By thirty minutes in, you won’t know what’s going on, but what’s worse is that you won’t care.

the girl on the train  haley bennett

Nobody here fares well. Rebecca Ferguson, fresh-off her star-making turn in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - ROGUE NATION, is wasted in an extremely two-dimensional housewife part, and she seems far too intelligent to convey the character’s naivety. As her spouse, Justin Theroux gives a bland performance, which is a shame as he’s supposed to be so charismatic that most of the women characters are obsessed with him. You won’t buy it. Edgar Ramirez briefly offers the film a spark of life as a psychotherapist, but he’s in and out of the movie quickly. Luke Evans, who’s usually always worth watching, is embarrassingly stiff as a macho red-herring. I’ve never seen him play a part so broadly, and it doesn’t work.

Haley Bennett, who recently stole THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, is the worst-served by Taylor’s directing and the clunky dialogue. Ostensibly the femme fatale, she comes-off as alternately stiff and cartoonish. She’s far from the Hitchcock blonde Taylor seems to be framing her as. One of the few positive things about THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN is that Danny Elfman contributes one of his best scores in years to it, but his efforts are wasted.

Rarely has a two hour thriller felt so punishing to sit through as THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN. An absolute Razzie-level misfire from beginning to end, it’s a disastrous stab at an erotic thriller comparable to bad nineties attempts like COLOR OF NIGHT (this week’s Awfully Good). Perhaps there’s some camp value to this but I doubt it. All told, THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN ranks among the worst major studio releases of the year and a horrible waste of some tremendously talented performers, all of whom will no doubt bounce back.

Source: JoBlo.com

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3:50AM on 10/07/2016
cool, one less film i have to see this year
cool, one less film i have to see this year
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3:27AM on 10/07/2016

I liked it

Not a perfect movie. But not horrible. I didn't find it slow either. Made me want to read the book too. Hayley Bennant is really hot too.

6/10
Not a perfect movie. But not horrible. I didn't find it slow either. Made me want to read the book too. Hayley Bennant is really hot too.

6/10
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4:01PM on 10/06/2016
I am not even a little surprised. I won't say I thought this was going to be 3/10-level bad, but after a bunch of trailers I still had little idea what the hell this was even about. I'm shocked that Emily Blunt fares so poorly, but judging from the promos I'd have guessed she was schizophrenic instead of alcoholic. For a movie with such a talented roster, I never felt like I was being sold on something the same way as Gone Girl, and Tate Taylor, in my opinion, is just not a very good director.
I am not even a little surprised. I won't say I thought this was going to be 3/10-level bad, but after a bunch of trailers I still had little idea what the hell this was even about. I'm shocked that Emily Blunt fares so poorly, but judging from the promos I'd have guessed she was schizophrenic instead of alcoholic. For a movie with such a talented roster, I never felt like I was being sold on something the same way as Gone Girl, and Tate Taylor, in my opinion, is just not a very good director. Even The Help is less than the sum of its parts (although I also blame the source material for that).
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3:39PM on 10/06/2016

So...exactly like Gone Girl?

When I saw the trailer, I immediately said it was a Gone Girl knock off...which was one of the worst movies I have ever seen. I still can't fathom how it got any praise whatsoever. It was crap, and this looks to be much of the same. My fiance (who read Girl on a Train) said it pretty much is, and the trailer gave away the entire story and "twist". I will definitely pass on this one!
When I saw the trailer, I immediately said it was a Gone Girl knock off...which was one of the worst movies I have ever seen. I still can't fathom how it got any praise whatsoever. It was crap, and this looks to be much of the same. My fiance (who read Girl on a Train) said it pretty much is, and the trailer gave away the entire story and "twist". I will definitely pass on this one!
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2:55PM on 10/06/2016
"of the few positive things about THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN is that Danny Elfman contributes one of his best scores in years to it, but his efforts are wasted."

Is this as big a waste of his talent as "Fifty Shades Of Grey"? I don't believe it.
"of the few positive things about THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN is that Danny Elfman contributes one of his best scores in years to it, but his efforts are wasted."

Is this as big a waste of his talent as "Fifty Shades Of Grey"? I don't believe it.
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1:08PM on 10/06/2016
That's a shame. Emily Blunt shouldn't be wasted on garbage movies.
That's a shame. Emily Blunt shouldn't be wasted on garbage movies.
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12:48PM on 10/06/2016
Saw it last night. People were gasping at some of the scenes, which i rarely see at the cinema. I read the book last year and found it to be very good but slightly let down by a silly ending.

The film is about the same. I enjoyed it definitely but can see why others didnt. It is very by the numbers and lacks any sort of unique visual flair. It ticks the boxes of everything in the book but doesn't try to be anything more than that. Taken for whst it is i'd say its more of a 6 or 7 out of 10
Saw it last night. People were gasping at some of the scenes, which i rarely see at the cinema. I read the book last year and found it to be very good but slightly let down by a silly ending.

The film is about the same. I enjoyed it definitely but can see why others didnt. It is very by the numbers and lacks any sort of unique visual flair. It ticks the boxes of everything in the book but doesn't try to be anything more than that. Taken for whst it is i'd say its more of a 6 or 7 out of 10 in my opinion.
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1:19AM on 10/07/2016
The book was kind of a let down for me. Great up until the end. I saw the twist coming long before but people were raving about it so I figured something else would happen at the end and make a big climatic finish and then it just kind of end. The book is very compelling up until the big reveal and it just seemed very weak by the end.
The book was kind of a let down for me. Great up until the end. I saw the twist coming long before but people were raving about it so I figured something else would happen at the end and make a big climatic finish and then it just kind of end. The book is very compelling up until the big reveal and it just seemed very weak by the end.
12:39PM on 10/06/2016

Trailer made it look like a crappy Gone Girl knock off

If this was directed by someone with more talent, and didn't try its hardest to be dull and go at a snails pace, then it would have been a 5/10. There really wasn't much they could do to save this movie. It just comes across as a Gone Girl knockoff.
If this was directed by someone with more talent, and didn't try its hardest to be dull and go at a snails pace, then it would have been a 5/10. There really wasn't much they could do to save this movie. It just comes across as a Gone Girl knockoff.
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11:11AM on 10/06/2016
When I first saw the trailer. I couldnt help but think "wow. This movie is gonna bomb. This trailer is such a hot mess I have no idea whats going on?". Then people were hyping it up and I was confused as fk. Was i missing something? After reading all these reviews it seems that nope. No I wasnt.
When I first saw the trailer. I couldnt help but think "wow. This movie is gonna bomb. This trailer is such a hot mess I have no idea whats going on?". Then people were hyping it up and I was confused as fk. Was i missing something? After reading all these reviews it seems that nope. No I wasnt.
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11:11AM on 10/06/2016
Despite the low score, I'm still looking forward to this immensely. Loved the book and love the cast they got to play each one of the characters from the novel.

It obviously helps if one were to have read the book before going into the film and maybe not getting lost in the storyline because of it.
Despite the low score, I'm still looking forward to this immensely. Loved the book and love the cast they got to play each one of the characters from the novel.

It obviously helps if one were to have read the book before going into the film and maybe not getting lost in the storyline because of it.
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11:53AM on 10/06/2016
I'm pretty sure this isn't a case of you're the only one who understands it and everyone else is wrong because they didn't read the book. Seems pretty evident all around that it's trash.
I'm pretty sure this isn't a case of you're the only one who understands it and everyone else is wrong because they didn't read the book. Seems pretty evident all around that it's trash.
12:12PM on 10/06/2016
I'm not saying that. It's just that reading the book would help one maybe understand the film more and/or the characters motives and mind frame more.
I'm not saying that. It's just that reading the book would help one maybe understand the film more and/or the characters motives and mind frame more.
11:06AM on 10/06/2016
I'm very surprised at how this movie turns out to be. So far so many bad reviews for this movie.
I'm very surprised at how this movie turns out to be. So far so many bad reviews for this movie.
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