The Man on the Train (L'homme du train)

Critics Consensus

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

92%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 114

79%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,774
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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.

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Critic Reviews for The Man on the Train (L'homme du train)

All Critics (114) | Top Critics (37)

  • Each actor comes to perfectly embody his character.

    Jul 11, 2003 | Rating: 5/5
  • Patrice Leconte's fanciful odd-couple drama oozes flavorful, provincial atmosphere.

    Jun 27, 2003 | Rating: 3/4

    Jan Stuart

    Newsday
    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.

    Jun 6, 2003 | Rating: 3/4
  • It is a perfected fable flashing across a screen.

    Jun 6, 2003 | Rating: 4/4
  • The actors couldn't be more perfect.

    Jun 6, 2003 | Rating: B+
  • 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.

    Jun 5, 2003 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Man on the Train (L'homme du train)

  • Jan 13, 2012
    Nice very nice. A very interesting switcheroo with some genuinely good comedic elements.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • May 12, 2007
    A very delicate film, but it works.
    Bob S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 25, 2006
    [center][font=Arial][color=darkred][img]http://img126.imageshack.us/img126/4116/photo016pn.jpg[/img][/color][/font][/center] [font=Arial][color=darkred][/color][/font] [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]
    Super Reviewer

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