Review: ‘Girl on the Train’ a captivating whodunnit

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

“The Girl on the Train” is a juicy cinematic page-turner, a captivating yarn that unfolds as a torrid, can’t-put-it-down whodunnit.

The resolution of the film’s central mystery is a slight letdown and comes after the story has written itself into a corner. But the journey is so good it doesn’t matter that the destination comes as a disappointment.

And many, many people already know where the story is headed, since Paula Hawkins’ 2015 novel sold like an Adele album. Upon its release it was looked at as the new “Gone Girl,” and the movie is pegged to the same weekend when “Gone Girl” opened two years ago.

Emily Blunt is dour and unglued as Rachel, an alcoholic whose life has unraveled since her split with her ex-husband Tom (Justin Theroux). Every day she rides the train past her old home in Ardsley, New York, and gets caught up in the life of Megan (Haley Bennett), a mysterious girl who lives a few doors down from her former residence.

When Megan goes missing, Rachel becomes a suspect in her disappearance, and she throws herself into the investigation and gets caught in a tangled web of intrigue.

Director Tate Taylor (“The Help”) lays out the story like bread crumbs along a trail, introducing twists and turns in the plot through glimpses that are later resolved, like future flashbacks. The film’s sepia tones give it the feel of a well-worn paperback.

The cast, especially Blunt and Bennett, turn in fine, layered performances, and keep the “Train” on its tracks. Even if you know the story already, it’s well worth the ride.

agraham@detroitnews.com

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Twitter: @grahamorama

‘The Girl on the Train’

GRADE: B

Rated R for violence, sexual content, language and nudity

Running time: 112 minutes