The Man on the Train (L'homme du train) (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Man on the Train (L'homme du train) (2003)



Critic Consensus: A lovely, contemplative character study with two wonderful performances at its center.

The Man on the Train (L'homme du train) Photos

Movie Info

Two men from two different walks of life develop an unexpected friendship in French director Patrice Leconte's 2002 comedy-drama The Man on the Train. Weary from his trip and in anticipation of the heist he's about to perform, Milan (French rock star Johnny Hallyday) steps off the train after arriving in the small town where he's to meet his co-conspirators and heads straight to the town pharmacy. After accidentally buying the wrong product, Milan makes the acquaintance of retired teacher Manesquier (Jean Rochefort), who offers to help the traveler and then promptly begins talking ad nauseum. Milan, after paying partial attention to the old man's ramblings, excuses himself to find accommodations -- only to run into Manesquier once more after learning that the hotel has closed for the night. As the two men talk, they develop a respect for one another, as well as a secret longing to live the type of lifestyle the other man lives based on the desire to escape their own. The Man on the Train gained positive notice after being selected for competition in the 2002 Venice Film Festival, as well as for the 2002 Toronto Film Festival.

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Jean Rochefort
as Manesquier
Edith Scob
as Manesquier's sister
Maurice Chevit
as Hairdresser
Riton Liebman
as Burly Guy
Olivier Fauron
as Schoolboy
Elsa Duclot
as Waitress
Armand Chagot
as Gardener
Michel Laforest
as Pharmacist
Helene Chambon
as Radiologist Nurse
Sophie Durand
as Operating Room Nurse
Sébastien Bonnet
as Tough Guy's Friend
Véronique Kapoian
as Bakery Salesgirl
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Critic Reviews for The Man on the Train (L'homme du train)

All Critics (115) | Top Critics (42)

Each actor comes to perfectly embody his character.

July 11, 2003 | Rating: 5/5

Patrice Leconte's fanciful odd-couple drama oozes flavorful, provincial atmosphere.

June 27, 2003 | Rating: 3/4
Top Critic

Under Leconte's artful direction, a believable bond develops between the men, each envious of the direction the other's life has taken.

June 6, 2003 | Rating: 3/4

It is a perfected fable flashing across a screen.

June 6, 2003 | Rating: 4/4

The actors couldn't be more perfect.

June 6, 2003 | Rating: B+

The movie has the kind of texture and depth that will make true movie-lovers sigh with the pure cinematic, human grace of it all.

June 5, 2003 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Man on the Train (L'homme du train)

Nice very nice. A very interesting switcheroo with some genuinely good comedic elements.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


A very delicate film, but it works.

Bob Stinson
Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

[center][font=Arial][color=darkred][img][/img][/color][/font][/center] [font=Arial][color=darkred][/color][/font] [font=Arial][color=darkred]A dark stranger gets off a train in France. He has piercing blue eyes and a weathered face with a machine-like expression. This man is Milan (Johnny Hallyday) and he’s stopping by this small French town for a new job. Oh, Milan’s business is robbing banks. In this small village he befriends a garrulous retired poetry teacher, Monsieur Manesquie (Jean Rochefort). The two men spend their time wishing they had the life of the other. Milan openly seeks a comfortable life surrounded by books. Monsieur Manesquie is a huge fan of Clint Eastwood movies and longs for some action in his life. He secretly dreams of one day robbing a bank just for the fun of it.[/color][/font] [font=Arial][color=darkred]So, an interesting start for a film, right? Sure. But this IS the movie. ‘The Man on the Train’ is a middling character experiment. The two men rub off each other, with Milan teaching a young boy the wonders of poetry, and Monsieur Manesquie learning how to properly fire a gun. The scenes are nice and both actors are splendid (especially French rocker Hallyday) but the film is one long muddled and meandering trip until our inevitable climax. The ending feels needlessly open-ended and a tad clumsy. There’s also a subplot featuring a young mistress for Monsieur Manesquie that sticks out like a sore thumb.[/color][/font] [font=Arial][color=darkred]‘The Man on the Train’ is a well shot and well acted film but it only feels like the first half of a movie. I’m sure plenty of people out there will appreciate the character nuances and small moments, but this is a film completely driven by small moments that never add up to anything larger. Maybe ‘The Man on the Train’ just isn’t for me. Or maybe I need to just wait for the second half, if it ever gets made.[/color][/font] [font=Arial][color=darkred]Nate's Grade: C+[/color][/font]

Nate Zoebl
Nate Zoebl

Super Reviewer

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