The Commuter

Rated 3.0

A middle-aged insurance agent (Liam Neeson) is accosted on his train home by a mysterious woman (Vera Farmiga) who coerces him into finding someone on the train, threatening his family if he doesn’t set the stranger up to be murdered. The script by Byron Willinger, Philip de Blasi and Ryan Engle is preposterous, far-fetched and insanely complicated, and it leaps madly over the top in the last act—but what the hell, it’s just suspenseful enough to keep us wondering how it’ll all turn out. Jaume Collet-Serra’s direction is unsubtle but effective, and Neeson (having evidently given up on ever winning an Oscar) provides the conviction the movie needs (and doesn’t deserve). Patrick Wilson as his best friend has a couple of good scenes, while Sam Neill and Elizabeth McGovern are wasted in thankless cameos.