The Man on the Train (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Man on the Train (2003)



Critic Consensus: A lovely, contemplative character study with two wonderful performances at its center.

The Man on the Train Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Two men from two different walks of life develop an unexpected friendship in French director Patrice Leconte's 2002 comedy-drama The Man on the Train. Weary from his trip and in anticipation of the heist he's about to perform, Milan (French rock star Johnny Hallyday) steps off the train after arriving in the small town where he's to meet his co-conspirators and heads straight to the town pharmacy. After accidentally buying the wrong product, Milan makes the acquaintance of retired teacher Manesquier (Jean Rochefort), who offers to help the traveler and then promptly begins talking ad nauseum. Milan, after paying partial attention to the old man's ramblings, excuses himself to find accommodations -- only to run into Manesquier once more after learning that the hotel has closed for the night. As the two men talk, they develop a respect for one another, as well as a secret longing to live the type of lifestyle the other man lives based on the desire to escape their own. The Man on the Train gained positive notice after being selected for competition in the 2002 Venice Film Festival, as well as for the 2002 Toronto Film Festival.more
Rating: R (for some language and brief violence)
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Claude Klotz
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 25, 2003
Box Office: $2.3M
Paramount Classics - Official Site


Jean Rochefort
as Manesquier
Edith Scob
as Manesquier's sister
Maurice Chevit
as Hairdresser
Riton Liebman
as Burly Guy
Olivier Fauron
as Schoolboy
Elsa Duclot
as Waitress
Armand Chagot
as Gardener
Michel Laforest
as Pharmacist
Helene Chambon
as Radiologist Nurse
Sophie Durand
as Operating Room Nurse
Sébastien Bonnet
as Tough Guy's Friend
Véronique Kapoian
as Bakery Salesgirl
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Man on the Train

Critic Reviews for The Man on the Train

All Critics (122) | Top Critics (39)

Each actor comes to perfectly embody his character.

July 11, 2003
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Patrice Leconte's fanciful odd-couple drama oozes flavorful, provincial atmosphere.

Full Review… | June 27, 2003
Top Critic

Laconte's direction is calculative all the way, but his telling fails to register very much.

Full Review… | August 19, 2010
Cinema Writer

A bizarre yet touching tale of gangster and recluse finding in each other something they lack, the film definitely warrants a look.

Full Review… | June 21, 2007
Film Scouts

You get the feeling you are watching the adaptation of a classic novel, when in fact the script is an original work of impressive poetry and unpredictable dialogue...

January 15, 2005
Looking Closer

An exceptionally crafted western dream.

Full Review… | August 13, 2004

Audience Reviews for The Man on the Train


A very delicate film, but it works.

Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

[font=Arial][color=darkred]A dark stranger gets off a train in France. He has piercing blue eyes and a weathered face with a machine-like expression. This man is Milan (Johnny Hallyday) and he?s stopping by this small French town for a new job. Oh, Milan?s business is robbing banks. In this small village he befriends a garrulous retired poetry teacher, Monsieur Manesquie (Jean Rochefort). The two men spend their time wishing they had the life of the other. Milan openly seeks a comfortable life surrounded by books. Monsieur Manesquie is a huge fan of Clint Eastwood movies and longs for some action in his life. He secretly dreams of one day robbing a bank just for the fun of it.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]So, an interesting start for a film, right? Sure. But this IS the movie. ?The Man on the Train? is a middling character experiment. The two men rub off each other, with Milan teaching a young boy the wonders of poetry, and Monsieur Manesquie learning how to properly fire a gun. The scenes are nice and both actors are splendid (especially French rocker Hallyday) but the film is one long muddled and meandering trip until our inevitable climax. The ending feels needlessly open-ended and a tad clumsy. There?s also a subplot featuring a young mistress for Monsieur Manesquie that sticks out like a sore thumb.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]?The Man on the Train? is a well shot and well acted film but it only feels like the first half of a movie. I?m sure plenty of people out there will appreciate the character nuances and small moments, but this is a film completely driven by small moments that never add up to anything larger. Maybe ?The Man on the Train? just isn?t for me. Or maybe I need to just wait for the second half, if it ever gets made.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Nate's Grade: C+[/color][/font]

Nate Z.
Nate Zoebl

Super Reviewer

Nice very nice. A very interesting switcheroo with some genuinely good comedic elements.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

The Man on the Train Quotes

– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)

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