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Movie Review: The Girl on the Train

Updated on October 10, 2016
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Rating: C-

*NO SPOILERS*

The Pros

  • Acting - This really shouldn't be a surprise due to the incredible talent that makes up the cast of this film. Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Luke Evans, Rebecca Ferguson, and Justin Theroux brought their best for this movie. This movie has its problems, but the acting was not one of them. Through the lulls in the story, the acting kept me engaged.
  • Tension - Another Pro for this movie is that it is TENSE. The characters (played by the actors listed above) go through some pretty dark and difficult plot points. Mixed with the great acting from all players, this creates a some heavy moments that I couldn't keep my eyes off of.

The Cons

  • Unlikable characters - I am a strong believer in character flaws, but every main character in this movie has done something that simply makes them unlikable. To the point where every bad thing that happens to them, feels like a heavy dose of karma. An unfortunate side effect of this, was me not caring whether or not the protagonists "win" or get a "happy ending".
  • Book Format - This was probably my biggest problem with this movie. It was formatted like a book! Now I'm all for staying true to the source material where you can but this was NOT the way it should have been done. There are three main female protagonists in this movie: Rachel, Megan, and Anna. Each time we meet one of these three for the first time, the movie cuts to a black screen and displays their name. Now, this is a perfect formatting strategy for a book because it tells the reader that we are shifting to the perspective of a new character. For a movie, this not only is unnecessar, but it shows that the filmmakers think little of their audience's abillity to follow the story. While this only happens three times, the rest of the movie is riddled with timeline changes: 6 months ago, today, 4 months ago, last Friday, etc. Again this is fine in a book when you are given more time to adjust to timeline changes but in a roughly 2 hour movie, so many timeline changes are distracting and irritating.
  • "Keeps you guessing" - This is another movie that promised to "keep you guessing", but it was just another lazy attempt. Sure, I didn't know what was going on until the very end, but that was not due to a complicated storyline. My unknowning was a result of being given fragments of the story, then all of a sudden in the last 15-20min there was a flood of all the things that were left out thus far.


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Recommendation

If you are looking for the next Gone Girl type thriller with twists, I do not think this won will meet your expectations. It could quench your thirst until the next great, but I wouldn't go out of your way for this movie.

What did you think of The Girl on the Train?

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