The Station Agent

2003

The Station Agent

Critics Consensus

A sweet and quirky film about a dwarf, a refreshment stand operator, and a reclusive artist connecting with one another.

94%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 158

89%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 34,747
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Movie Info

When his only friend dies, Finbar McBride moves to an abandoned train station in rural New Jersey, to live the life of a hermit. His attempt at solitude is soon interrupted, however, by interactions with his neighbors, including Olivia, a struggling artist coping with the recent death of her young son, and Joe, a thirty-year-old with a talent for cooking and an insatiable hunger for conversation--whether anyone wants to talk to him or not.

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Cast

Peter Dinklage
as Finbar McBride
Patricia Clarkson
as Olivia Harris
Bobby Cannavale
as Joe Oramas
Paul Benjamin
as Henry Styles
Jase Blankfort
as Store Customer
Richard Kind
as Louis Tiboni
Lynn Cohen
as Patty At The Good To Go
Maile Flanagan
as Pappy's Waitress
Sarah Bolger
as Girl In Bar
Ileen Getz
as Mrs. Kahn
Annie Del Moro
as `What about blimps' Girl
Carlos Rosas
as `Blimps are cool' Boy
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Critic Reviews for The Station Agent

All Critics (158) | Top Critics (39)

  • Dinklage is a star, for sure, but the film is hypnotic because of its unusually certain and constantly delicate tone.

    Dec 18, 2017 | Full Review…
  • What saves the movie, and gives it what emotional reality it has, is the acting. A lot of the good will this movie has generated is due to Dinklage, who single-handedly overturns decades of screen stereotypes.

    Nov 1, 2007 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Newsweek
    Top Critic
  • The brilliance of Peter Dinklage's performance as the ironclad loner is that he doesn't much care

    Apr 19, 2004 | Full Review…
  • This is a gem of a movie that, like its protagonist, boasts a fiercely independent spirit full of discreet optimism and deadpan humour.

    Mar 19, 2004 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Mr. Dinklage projects both size and intelligence in the fascinating reticence of his face.

    Feb 26, 2004 | Full Review…

    Andrew Sarris

    Observer
    Top Critic
  • While many movies reintroduce us to the same old types, The Station Agent is an original -- you've never seen these people on screen before, and it's a pleasure to make their acquaintance.

    Dec 31, 2003 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Station Agent

  • May 01, 2016
    A short, sweet, and quirky story of an improbable trio who come together in a small town - an antisocial train aficionado who just inherited an abandoned train station, an artist coping with the death of her son, and an extroverted food truck operator who provides comic relief. It's a great cast, led by Peter Dinklage, who is a fantastic actor. Tom McCarthy's script has all the right touches, and his direction is simple yet beautiful.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 18, 2014
    This is an excellent film focusing on the friendship of three very lonely people. They're all going through very different things in their lives, Olivia has pushed everybody away after the death of her son, Fin is angry at the world and the mocking he's had to suffer for decades because of the fact he's a dwarf, and Joe because of the fact that he's always busy all the time taking care of his sick father. While the circumstances of their loneliness are different, the end result is the same and I think the film handles this without the film becoming too much of a downer. The film definitely has its serious moments, but it feels organic and natural rather than contrived. This is helped by the excellent cast and smart writing that the film employs. The film is really funny but in a more natural way, rather than exaggerating personality traits that betray the heart of the characters. It's not hilarious, but it has the right amount of funny. As mentioned the acting is excellent. Peter Dinklage has always been underrated as an actor. He has incredible presence and command of the screen that just cannot be taught. The rest of the cast is tremendous, but this is a showcase for Peter and he knocks it out of the park. This might not be everybody's cup of tea, but I thought this film was excellent with a smart script and a wonderful cast.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Jun 18, 2013
    A dwarf moves to an isolated town in New Jersey and befriends a coffee salesman and a divorcee. Peter Dinklage is the highlight of this film. His performance is exceptional. However, the film begins with Dinklage's character resisting connections with Olivia and Joe, and Fin is so surly, so uncommunicative, and oftentimes aggressive that it defies believability that Joe and Olivia would continue to pursue Fin's friendship. In a way, Fin's defenses become the film's central conflict, but aside from societal rejection, what is the source of Fin's damage? It seems clear to anyone that Joe and Olivia are not prejudiced against dwarfs, so why the resistance? Overall, though Dinklage gives a good performance, I found the film's central conflict contrived.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Apr 05, 2013
    A very subtle but sweet drama about three loners who meet up and become close friends, The Station Agent is full of emotion, humor, and wonderful characters. Although it's predominantly a drama, the movie is very funny sometimes, especially when Bobby Cannavale is onscreen. All three actors (Peter Dinklage, Bobby Cannavale, and Patricia Clarkson) are absolutely fantastic, especially Dinklage who gives a very restrained but convincing performance as a lonely misfit who avoids friendship with others after his best friend dies. The characters are all perfectly rendered and very believable, and they grow on you so quickly that you'll wish the movie didn't have to end so that you could spend more time with them. The Station Agent is a great movie through and through, and it's well worth watching to get to know its charming characters and thoroughly enjoyable story.
    Joey S Super Reviewer

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