The Girl on the Train

Critics Consensus

Emily Blunt's outstanding performance isn't enough to keep The Girl on the Train from sliding sluggishly into exploitative melodrama.



Total Count: 295


Audience Score

User Ratings: 34,303
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Movie Info

Rachel, devastated by her recent divorce, spends her daily commute fantasizing about the seemingly perfect couple who live in a house that her train passes every day, until one morning she sees something shocking happen there and becomes entangled in the mystery that unfolds. Based on Paula Hawkins' bestselling novel.

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Critic Reviews for The Girl on the Train

All Critics (295) | Top Critics (53)

  • The Girl on the Train is not weirdly great, or even good, though it doesn't really aim to be, positioning itself unabashedly as a knock-off Gone Girl.

    Oct 10, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Nothing is duller or more stifling, as a rule, than people who wish to make it perfectly plain how stifled they feel by their dull suburban existence.

    Oct 10, 2016 | Full Review…
  • If it came across your desk, you would probably give it a C-, along with feedback on how to improve on the next assignment.

    Oct 8, 2016 | Full Review…

    Nico Lang
    Top Critic
  • The flashback structure isn't wholly satisfying, and the climax leaves an abundance of questions, so much so that the movie might have benefited either from taking the time to further flesh those revelations out or stripping them down.

    Oct 7, 2016 | Full Review…

    Brian Lowry
    Top Critic
  • Tate Taylor's new adaptation of The Girl on the Train takes the worst parts of the novel (excruciating dialogue, paper-thin plotting, ludicrous twists) and amplifies them.

    Oct 7, 2016 | Full Review…
  • The Girl on the Train plods along, playing like a lifeless wax museum version of a real thriller.

    Oct 7, 2016 | Rating: C- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Girl on the Train

  • Mar 19, 2017
    The book had moments and the film does a serviceable job of adapting the film, that probably is the issue. The film skips over some of the better parts of the book when they needed to stay on track with Rachel. The character is flawed and Blunt is much too pretty for the role but is still strong. Bennett is really good in her role and the showcase in the film. Other actors are wasted in the roles and it's a shame to see them try in underwritten roles. The film needed to be closer to the book with the twisting narrative because that's why the book worked so well, like Gone Girl. This book rushes too much and next minute the finale is here and we are meant to care. Could've been a great film with a better team of writers and director, another 30 mins was required and a director like Scott or Fichner would've known this.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Feb 22, 2017
    Meh. Pretty boring really.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 18, 2017
    I hated the book, and I can't believe the movie is worse, but amazingly it is, despite a half decent cast. It's kind of confusing and all over the place.
    Nicki M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 16, 2017
    Look, first things first, Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson and Hayley Bennett are all great in their roles. Hell, Emily Blunt's performance would be worth the price of admission alone. There's a bit of a caveat on that, though. Emily's performance would be worth the price of admission if, and only IF, the movie ended up being good. Which, realistically speaking, I can't say about this. I've always argued that you should review films as they are, not as you want them to be, but there's something way too self-serious about this movie. I don't wanna say that it's to the point that it becomes a joke, at least for me, since I never thought the movie was bad. Though I can see how the film's self-serious tone will cause it to have the opposite effect on certain people who may have chosen to watch this. I will say this, at the very least, I was somewhat intrigued to find out what exactly happened and how all three of these woman (Rachel, Megan and Anna) all relate to one another in the mystery surrounding Megan's disappearance. The film employs all the tactics one would expect, Rachel, a known alcoholic, blacks out while she is drunk. Someone has to tell her what she did after she wakes up. Therefore she cannot remember exactly what she was doing the night of Megan's disappearance, as she was seen in the vicinity where Megan was seen last. All of that is fine and it makes figuring the story out slightly more interesting. There's also some backstory involved here, as Anna had an affair with Rachel's then-husband. They obviously get a divorce and Anna marries Tom, the ex, and has a daughter with him. Rachel, absolutely devastated, starts constantly texting and going around to her former house. During one drunken bit, she 'breaks' into Tom and Anna's house and takes their daughter. Doesn't kidnap her, just holds her for a bit before laying her down and running away. So, clearly, Rachel has been struggling after her divorce. So the movie plays with that concept, in that Rachel cannot be seen as a reliable narrator and her involvement in the efforts to find Megan, including going to visit Megan's husbands, feel, at first, more like attempts to scheme a Machiavellian plot. The film isn't as simple as that, of course, and there are several elements at play here, where you're never quite sure who's guilty of what and what their motivations were. All of that is fine, but I never quite thought any of it was good. I mean, it's certainly serviceable as far as thrillers are concerned, but I was never really that invested in the characters or the story. And I don't know why that was. A lot of it is the fact that the film's tone just did nothing for me and the fact that the characters are constantly crying. And it's not that I have a problem with that, per se, but it has to feel justified. And there's only a few instances here where the characters constantly crying felt like it was earned. You'll know the scene, it involves Megan and something in her past. That's the only scene where the crying feels earned. Every other scene, eh, I could do without. And that's part of the reason why I complained about the film's tone. Like I understand the need to be dramatic, but at least liven that up with some light moments. I don't even necessarily mean comedy, because it would have felt completely out of place, but the entirety of this narrative is centered so much on people doing horrible things to each other, that I felt it needed a bit of levity to counteract that. And the fact that the movie had none of that is a disservice to its characters. Felt more exploitative as opposed to actual, real storytelling. But, again, I never thought the movie was bad. The acting was good enough to, at the very least, make this an average experience. The narrative lets down the efforts put forth by the cast, but it is what it is. I wouldn't give this a recommendation, unless it hits Netflix and you have nothing else too watch. Not a bad movie, but an unsatisfying narrative keeps it from reaching higher levels of quality.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer

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