Here's a look at the new movie I saw this week.
The Girl on the Train
Starring: Emily Blunt, Justin Theroux, Rebecca Ferguson, and Haley Bennett
Synopsis: Loneliness can be a powerful emotion. There’s some much going on in our world today, yet many feel lost and isolated, craving connection. Sometimes that need for connection can take you to dark places. That’s some of what I thought of when watching “The Girl on the Train,” a new film that opened on October 7. Basked on the novel from Paula Hawkins, we get a story seen through the lens of three different women — each of whom feels lonely and isolated in their own way. It’s a dark and twisty tale, one that’s meant to leave you guessing to the end of the film. All that works OK, but it’s the performance of Emily Blunt in the lead role that really helps the film have bite. Many will probably make a connection between this film and “Gone Girl,” another dark film based on a novel that offered a whodunit sort of mystery when a woman disappeared. And the comparison is somewhat apt. From a tone standpoint, the films are similar. But “The Girl on the Train” isn’t nearly as complete a film. Director Tate Taylor (“The Help,” “Get On Up”) has a feel for the material, and weaves the story in a compelling way. The scenes are well framed and the narrative moves along, offering the reveals in a compelling way as we go on a journey with Rachel to recovery her memories and unravel the mystery. But the story isn’t always compelling, and the ending feels a bit uneven and rushed. There isn’t the sense of closure or answers the audience would hope for given the nature of the story. While it all makes sense, and it’s entertaining, it left me wanting a little something more. The performances are strong. Bennett does a nice job in an interesting role as Megan, showing many layers to her character. Ferguson does a good job, too, in a somewhat thankless role. And Theroux brings the perfect essence to Tom, a smooth operator who isn’t as charming or perfect as he first appears. But Blunt is the engine that makes the film go. She has the hardest part to play, carries the biggest chunk of the narrative, and offers the richest performance. She’s long been an under rated actress, but her work in this film should get some notice come awards season. “The Girl on the Train” was one of the more anticipated films of the fall. Based on the popular book, with a strong cast, many had high expectations for the film, including myself. It’s a good movie, but not great. Blunt’s performance is excellent, but it feels like it’s in service of a movie that could have been better.
Rating: R for violence, sexual content, language and nudity. Enter with caution.
Verdict: Three stars out of four.
Friday, October 14 — "The Accountant," "Max Steel," "Kevin Hart: Now What?," "Desierto"
Friday, October 21 — "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back," "Keeping Up With the Joneses," "31," "Ouija: Origin of Evil," "Tyler Perry's Boo! A Madea Halloween"
Friday, October 28 — "Inferno," "American Pastoral"