The Commuter


Michael MacCauley, a former police officer, is a family man with a wife and son. He goes through the same routine train commute to work and back every day, taking the Hudson Line from Tarrytown to Grand Central Terminal, only to be fired from his job as a life insurance salesman after ten years.

On the train home, Michael meets a mysterious woman named Joanna. Joanna proposes a hypothetical situation to Michael, asking him to do one little thing, the results of which would have consequences that he would know nothing about, but would affect one of the passengers on the train. Joanna’s one little thing that she wants Michael to do is locate “Prynne,” an unknown passenger, and plant a GPS tracker on him or her. Out of curiosity, Michael searches the bathroom and finds an envelope with $25,000, as alluded to by Joanna, and realizes that the situation is not hypothetical.

He attempts to leave the train but is stopped by a young woman who hands him another envelope with Michael’s wife’s wedding ring. Michael attempts to call his wife but with no response. Michael attempts to warn a fellow passenger of what is going on by writing on a newspaper, but after he gets off is pushed in front of a bus on the street.

Michael proceeds to track down Prynne by examining the destination tags for the passengers that he does not recognize, knowing that Prynne is getting off at Cold Spring, and plants the GPS tracker. Michael then calls Murphy, his former partner, and tells him what is going on. Murphy informs him that Prynne is a key witness in a supposed suicide case of a man named Enrique, leading Michael to realize that Prynne will be killed.

Sabotaging the air conditioning in the train except for the last car, Michael forces all of the remaining passengers into the last car. Prynne is revealed to be a young girl named Sofia, who is holding incriminating information on powerful people and was to go into witness protection at the final stop of the train. Michael asks Sofia why she did not go to the police. She reveals that it was the police who killed Enrique, who was Sofia’s cousin.

Joanna calls Michael and tries to convince him to kill Sofia for the sake of his family, but Michael refuses. Joanna activates the fail-safe plan and derails the train in order to kill everyone aboard. Michael manages to save all of the passengers by unhooking the final car from the rest of the train right before a curve.

Assuming Michael is holding the train hostage, Murphy is sent to talk to him, only to be revealed as the cop who killed Enrique. Michael and Murphy engage in a fight, during which Michael removes Murphy’s police tracker, which identifies him as a “friendly” to the snipers outside. The snipers, believing Murphy to be Michael, shoot and kill Murphy.

Outside of the train, Sofia is met by the FBI and proceeds to tell them what she knows. Michael is hailed as a hero and exonerated by the other passengers while his family is rescued by the FBI. His old captain admits that Murphy and a few others had been under investigation for some time and offers Michael his job back. Sometime later, Joanna is on a train back from Chicago. Michael approaches her and confronts Joanna about her actions before he shows his police detective badge, implying he is about to arrest her.