A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Lots of betrayal and doubt. Rachel sometimes can't recall what happened the night before; when people tell her what she did, it's sometimes hard for her to believe them. But she learns to trust her own judgment, even when all the evidence seems against it.
Positive Role Models
Rachel is an alcoholic who can't get over her divorce, even though her ex-husband is remarried with a new baby. She's bitter that he seems to have the perfect life, while she definitely doesn't. She eventually realizes that everything isn't as perfect as it looks. Other characters aren't what they seem; lots of flaws on display. Characters, both male and female, don't have a lot of depth; women are often portrayed as icy.
Violence & Scariness
Several scenes of people getting drunk and violent, throwing bottles and other objects against the wall or knocking things off tables. Also several fight scenes; people literally fight for their lives with whatever objects are nearby. They're pretty brutal and realistic and can be tough to stomach for some viewers. Some blood shown. A murder is at the center of the story; a sense of danger/menace hangs over the movie. References to domestic abuse.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Couples kiss, cuddle, and have sex -- in bed, outdoors, and in the shower. Pretty graphic thrusting and grinding, but little sensitive nudity -- except for one key moment (which isn't a love scene) that shows a nude woman from behind.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Frequent but not constant swearing mostly includes variations of "f--k" and "s--t," with the occasional "bitch," "ass," and "damn" thrown in.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
The main characters frequently use iPhones; one scene also features an iPad.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The main character is a hardcore alcoholic who consistently gets blackout drunk, waking up with little or no recollection of what happened the night before. She drinks in bars with strangers and acquaintances and also at home by herself. She's often nursing a water bottle filled with vodka and frequently gets sloppy-drunk and belligerent.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Girl on the Train is a psychological thriller based on Paula Hawkins' best-selling novel. It's about Rachel (Emily Blunt), a bitter ex-wife and blackout alcoholic who fixates on a seemingly happy couple she watches from the train. Then the woman (Haley Bennett) goes missing, and Rachel wakes up covered in blood, unable to remember the night before. Expect tense, violent confrontations, as well as graphic scenes of people fighting for their lives. Drinking is constant but not glamorized: Rachel is often shown sloppily, belligerently drunk and horribly hung over. Characters have sex in bed, outdoors, and the shower, though sensitive nudity is limited to a non-sexual shot of a naked woman shown from behind. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," and more. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This thriller is atmospheric and suspenseful, like the best-selling Paula Hawkins novel it's based on. And it has a strong star in Blunt, who carries the weight of Rachel's alcohol dependency, an awful cocktail mixed with grief and self-hatred. But the film lacks heft. It captures the escape that voyeurism provides -- who among us hasn't looked into apartments, cars, or, yes, trains as they pass by, wondering about the lives of the people in them? But its heroes and villains are painted with a one-dimensional brush, either evil and angry, icy (usually the female characters), or simply a big hot mess. (This might explain the unintended audience laughs at inopportune moments.)
It almost feels like a lot of The Girl on the Train's potential was left on the cutting room floor, taken out for brevity or simplicity. But characters like these deserve complex treatment. And audiences need more than just the (expected) twist in the end if you want to leave them puzzling over a movie after the credits roll. What we get instead is an interesting enough, creepy enough experience, but with a healthy dash of "seen this before."
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.