Mystery Train (1989)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Written and directed by the ever-unpredictable Jim Jarmusch, Mystery Train is comprised of three short anecdotes involving foreign tourists in Tennessee. Each story is set in a fleabag Memphis hotel which has been redressed as a "tribute" to Elvis Presley. Story one involves two Japanese tourists whose devotion to '50s American rock music blinds them to everything around them. Story two finds eternal victim Luisa (Nicoletta Braschi) sharing a room with stone-broke Dee Dee (Elizabeth Bracco) and … More

Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Jim Jarmusch
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 28, 2000
Orion Home Video


as Mitsuko

as Bellboy

as Johnny

as Man in Station

as Will Robinson

as Newsvendor

as The Ghost

as Man in Diner

as Radio DJ

as Tourist Studio Guide

as Sun Studio Guide

as Tourist Family

as Tourist Family

as Streetwalker

as Airport Clerk

as Second Man in Diner

as Waitress

as Pedestrian

as Pall Bearer

as Pall Bearer

as Dave, Pool Player

as Pool Player

as Pool Player

as Liquor Store Clerk
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Mystery Train

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (6)

The three-part structure of Mystery Train is still a bit shambling and slight, but there's an undeniable air of deadpan cool that permeates the film and gives it a haunting sense of place.

Full Review… | June 10, 2010
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Happily, Jarmusch's formal inventiveness is framed by a rare flair for zany entertainment ...

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

It's the best thing Mr. Jarmusch has done to date.

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

Certainly Jarmusch brings back his favorite predilections (and probably always will), but he makes his passengers interesting, kicks the plot off the platform whenever possible and keeps the way ahead refreshingly uncertain.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

If there is a rationale for what takes place on-screen, it's not evident. Things happen, and nothing means anything.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

The best thing about "Mystery Train" is that it takes you to an America you feel you ought to be able to find for yourself, if you only knew where to look.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Mystery Train


Three stories, each story interweaving with one another, an international cast including several musicians (the brilliant and sorely missed Joe Strummer and the fantastic Screamin' Jay Hawkins who was the invisible star of Jarmusch's first film) and a killer soundtrack, not to mention Elvis's ghost. I wonder if Quentin Tarantino has ever seen it? Jim Jarmusch = Cool. Night on Earth's elder brother and an inspiration to many great films.

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

Another classic from Jarmusch with the backdrop of Memphis and featuring great performances especially from Mr. Screamin' Jay Hawkins.

Graham Jones
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

Mystery Train was capable of much better. It's divided into thirds; the first portion is the best, far and away. The Japanese couple are the richest characters, have the best dialogue, and experience the most interesting situations. The second portion is uninvolving, with a couple of gleaming moments to be taken from the chaff. The third is just dumb.

The fact that these three stories overlap time is a purposeless gimmick - something to tie these incongruous tales together. Ideally, you'd do best just watching the first forty minutes and shutting the movie off.

Drew Smith

Super Reviewer

Mystery Train Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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