The Girl on the Train is a 2016 American mystery thriller drama film directed by Tate Taylor and written by Erin Cressida Wilson, based on the 2015 debut novel of the same name. The film stars Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux,Luke Evans, Allison Janney, Édgar Ramírez and Lisa Kudrow.
Principal photography began on November 4, 2015, in New York City. Produced by Marc Platt and DreamWorks Pictures, The Girl on the Train is distributed by Universal Pictures, as part of DreamWorks’ new distribution deal. It premiered in London on September 20, 2016, and was theatrically released in the United States on October 7, 2016. The film received mixed reviews and has grossed $41 million worldwide.
Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) is an alcoholic who divorced her husband, Tom Watson (Justin Theroux), after catching him cheating on her with their real estate agent, Anna Boyd (Rebecca Ferguson). During their marriage, Rachel was prone to alcohol-induced blackouts during which she engaged in self-destructive behavior that Tom later informed her about, and to which she attributes the end of their marriage, in addition to being sterile.
Rachel shares an apartment with her friend Cathy (Laura Prepon) and spends her days commuting on a train and often stalking Tom, Anna and their newborn daughter Evie. During her trips, Rachel grows fascinated with Tom’s neighbors, Scott (Luke Evans) and Megan Hipwell (Haley Bennett), a young couple in what Rachel believes is a perfect marriage. In reality, Scott is aggressive and controlling, while Megan is detached and unfaithful, maintaining affairs with numerous men, including her psychiatrist, Dr. Kamal Abdic (Édgar Ramírez).
While passing by the neighborhood one day, a drunk Rachel spots Megan kissing Abdic on her balcony and becomes infuriated by what she perceives as Megan “ruining” her perfect marriage. After a drinking binge, she leaves the train to confront Megan, only to black out and awaken hours later at her apartment, injured. Rachel later finds out that Megan is missing and presumed dead, and is questioned by Detective Sergeant Riley (Allison Janney), who suspects Rachel might be involved due to her recent erratic behavior.
Rachel approaches Scott pretending to be a friend of Megan’s and tells him about Megan’s affair. Scott identifies Abdic as Megan’s lover. Believing Abdic to be behind Megan’s disappearance, Rachel schedules an appointment with him, where they discuss her troubled relationship with Tom, particularly an incident in which she lashed out at an office party and aggravated Tom’s boss’ wife Martha (Lisa Kudrow), leading to Tom being fired.
At a bar, Rachel recognizes another commuter, who reveals that he followed her when she left the train the night that Megan disappeared and heard her cursing at a women before being beaten by an unseen figure in a tunnel, where the commuter later found Rachel, although she declined his help. Rachel returns to the tunnel and remembers seeing Anna with Tom and shouting at her before being ambushed. Meanwhile, Anna becomes convinced that Rachel is involved In Megan’s disappearance after noticing her in the neighborhood. When Sgt. Riley dismisses her concerns and Tom insistently denies Rachel’s involvement, Anna decides to hack into his computer, in the process finding a secret phone with several voice messages to another woman Tom is having an affair with.
Megan is found dead, and forensics determine she is pregnant, but the child was neither Scott’s nor Abdic’s. Scott becomes a suspect and confronts Rachel, believing her to be in conspiring against him and in the process revealing he assaulted Megan prior to her death. Rachel runs into Martha and apologizes for her behavior at the party, only to find out that she didn’t lash out, and that Tom was fired for having sexual relations with numerous co-workers. Rachel realizes that Tom planted false memories in her head to account for his own abusive behavior.
Anna identifies the woman Tom was exchanging phone calls with as Megan and finds out Tom and Megan were having an affair. Rachel realizes Megan was pregnant with Tom’s baby and confided with Abdic about it, and that she misinterpreted the nature of their encounter at the balcony. After leaving the train that day, Rachel caught Tom meeting with Megan and shouted at her, mistaking her for Anna. Tom then beat Rachel before returning to Megan, who announced she was keeping the baby, thereby exposing their affair, and driving Tom to murder her.
Rachel goes to Tom’s house to warn Anna, but she reveals that she already knows. Tom arrives and confronts them, and while he argues with Anna, Rachel steals a corkscrew and steps outside to call the police, but Tom catches up to her and attempts to strangle her as Anna watches from the window. Rachel stabs Tom in the neck with the corkscrew. Anna exits the house, and pushes the corkscrew deeper into Tom’s neck, killing him.
Rachel and Anna come to an understanding and separately confirm to the police that Rachel killed Tom in self-defense after he revealed himself to be Megan’s killer. One year later, Rachel has become sober and found a new job, and while still commuting on the same train, she sits on the opposite side, leaving her old neighborhood in the past.