'Girl on the Train' steamrolls Parker's 'Birth of a Nation'

The pieces fit together obviously, which means we have to reject the obvious conclusion and hang with Rachel as she figures out what the hell happened to her and to Megan.

The big twist near the film's conclusion isn't immediately apparent, but it's not as shocking as the filmmakers might want you to believe. Tate Taylor's movie adaptation of The Girl on the Train did rather well in its debut by pulling in $24.7 million, which is above expectations.

Your hard-earned money would be better spent on watching the memorable "Gone Girl" again instead of this forgettable wanna-be.

In Tate Taylor's The Girl On The Train, Luke Evans' character, Scott, spends a whole lot of time looking seriously guilty.

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The Girl on the Train tells the story of an alcoholic divorcee who attaches herself to a web of mystery after the disappearance of a young housewife. However, Emily Blunt (Sicario, The Devil Wears Prada) managed to capture the hot mess-ness beautifully, making you equal parts uncomfortable and sympathetic for our not-quite-heroine.

That woman is Megan, who we've learned a little bit about, and who lives two doors down from Anna, the wife of Rachel's ex-husband, Tom. Maybe she ran away, as she alludes to once or twice. She watches through a misted-over window as she passes the neighborhood where she used to live. Rachel, whose alcoholism is escalating after her divorce, which was linked to her inability to get pregnant and Tom's infidelity, rides the train back and forth into the city (London in the novel, NY in the film).

Rachel soon gets angry when she sees her kissing another man on her porch one morning, which shatters her image of this perfection. Her low-point trifecta is completed when Megan goes missing. Not long after, Megan is reported missing. When the police confront her (since she's a well-known crawler in that 'hood) she's forced to reckon with her own mind and potential to seriously hurt someone, or worse. Rachel sucks down several martinis and ends up in the bar restroom, delivering a show-stopping soliloquy in which she can just feel the ecstatic thrill of smashing Megan's head on the floor, over and over again. Instead of catching the train from a fictional "1960s new town, spreading out like a tumour in the heart of Buckinghamshire" - no prizes for guessing where that might be - past Victorian semis into London Euston, as in the novel, the main character Rachel commutes through the handsome landscape of upstate NY past glamorous suburban detached houses en-route to Manhattan. But when she is spotted by Rachel in a tender moment with the psychiatrist on their porch, it shatters Rachel all the more, enraged once again to relive the loss of her own relationship through infidelity. If there's one thing she can do, it's concentrate; even in My Summer of Love, her charm felt studied.

Tom's lies are spelled out to her. There's a strong, feminist-inflected suggestion that Rachel, Megan and Anna are different sides of a singular shared experience, their dreams, memories and voices intermingling in a mosaic of female rage, a silent scream in this modern Stepford. However, it's all speculative, based only on her capacity to do so because she's angry and drunk. It's exactly the kind of solid, faithful adaptation the novel's fans will likely be grateful for, even if those of us who mostly shrugged at the book will leave mildly (and predictably) dissatisfied, and those who never read it will perhaps ask what all the literary fuss was about. And Rachel is just trying to make it through her pathetic life.

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