Mystery Train (1989)
Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 32
Fresh: 28 | Rotten: 4
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 8.2/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 1
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 10,059
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
Nov 17, 1989 Wide
Mar 28, 2000
Orion Home Video
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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.
Happily, Jarmusch's formal inventiveness is framed by a rare flair for zany entertainment ...
If there is a rationale for what takes place on-screen, it's not evident. Things happen, and nothing means anything.
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.
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.
...has the same weird beauty as a Van Morrison vocal, a mannered eccentricity that somehow cracks open and lays bear the stuttering, fervid heart of what could have been banal material.
... his unhurried rhythms give the deadpan mix of quirky Americana, pop culture, and cinematic poetry a quietly lived-in quality...
Jarmuschs films are usually about the gradual accretion of small details than the articulation of a conventional narrative.
Jarmusch finds visual poetry in the run-down, the ignored, and the decrepit, especially via the use of neon colors cutting into the darkness and the gray
[in] Jarmusch's strange elegy for faded Americana... nostalgia reigns, love is lost, death is never far away, and everything is haunted by the ghost of Elvis, "young and beautiful looking, like in 1956".
Jarmusch's mildly entertaining film tells three stories that take place at the same time but are told sequentially (end-to-end) rather than through intercutting, which is Hollywood's prevalent norm.
Intriguing, if hit-or-miss comedy from Jarmusch.
Peculiar and peculiarly fascinating.
An experimental film that went 'pulp' before 'fiction.'
This film offers an entertaining slice of modern life in the town celebrated as Elvis Presley's home.
Jarmusch doesn't really seem as interested in telling stories as painting portraits, developing rich characters and weaving complex texture, so that he reveals to his audience an Americana that is with us every day but probably not visible to most of us.
Audience Reviews for Mystery Train
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