MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 1hr 52min
A vast improvement over Paula Hawkins’ plodding novel, The Girl on the Trainfollows Emily Blunt’s Rachel Watson as she becomes convinced that something terrible has happened to a beautiful neighbor (Haley Bennett’s Megan) – with the film also exploring the apparent crime from the perspective of such periphery character’s as Rachel’s ex-husband (Justin Theroux’s Tom, Megan’s boyfriend (Luke Evans’ Scott), and Tom’s new wife (Rebecca Ferguson’s Anna). The film, much like the book, boasts a time-shifting narrative that’s admittedly handled quite well by scripter Erin Cressida Wilson, and there’s little doubt that the momentum issues that plagued Hawkins’ work have mostly been eliminated here – although it’s hard to deny that certain sections of the movie’s midsection drag to a fairly palpable extent. (It’s ultimately clear that The Girl on the Train‘s 112 minute running time, which is rife with flashbacks and subplots, should’ve been pared down to a more streamlined hour-and-a-half.) Blunt’s effective turn as the tortured central character is matched by an unusually strong supporting cast, to be sure, with, especially, Allison Janney’s engrossing performance as a skeptical yet dogged detective standing as a consistent highlight within the proceedings. The problems contained within The Girl on the Train‘s second act are ultimately rendered moot by a tremendously entertaining and suspenseful final portion, with the impact of this stretch heightened by filmmaker Tate Taylor’s refreshingly R-rated approach to the material – which, in turn, confirms the movie’s place as an adult-oriented thriller that works far more often than it doesn’t.