The Man on the Train (2003)



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

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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.
R (for some language and brief violence)
Art House & International , Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
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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
Alain Guellaff
as Surgeon
Helene Chambon
as Radiologist Nurse
Sophie Durand
as Operating Room Nurse
Sébastien Bonnet
as Tough Guy's Friend
Jean-Jacques Cornillon
as Bank Manager
Véronique Kapoian
as Bakery Salesgirl
Jean-Jacques Cormillon
as bank manager
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Critic Reviews for The Man on the Train

All Critics (111) | Top Critics (36)

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.

June 27, 2003
Top Critic

Under Leconte's artful direction, a believable bond develops between the men, each envious of the direction the other's life has taken.

June 6, 2003
Miami Herald
Top Critic

It is a perfected fable flashing across a screen.

June 6, 2003
Denver Post
Top Critic

The actors couldn't be more perfect.

June 6, 2003
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic

The movie has the kind of texture and depth that will make true movie-lovers sigh with the pure cinematic, human grace of it all.

Full Review… | June 5, 2003
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Man on the Train

The Man on the Train (2002) This is a great french drama about two men unsatisfied and regretting their lives. Milan (Johnny Hallyday) is a grizzled con (ala Charlie Bronson) looking for one last score, and Manesquier (Jean Rochefort) is a retired literature professor scheduled for a triple-bypass surgery, who wishes that he had lived a more exciting life. As I get older, I can identify with this movie more than maybe a younger viewer, but I highly recommend this movie, if you get a chance to see it.

Rick Rudge
Rick Rudge

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

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


A very delicate film, but it works.

Bob Stinson
Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

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