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3,982 Ratings

Mystery Train

Directed by Jim Jarmusch
United States, 1989
Comedy, Crime, Drama


A collection of international tourists from Japan, Italy, and the U.K. find themselves in a seedy hotel in the American city of Memphis, in three loosely-related tales surrounding the town’s musical legacy.

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Mystery Train Directed by Jim Jarmusch

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

1989 | Winner: Best Artistic Contribution

Independent Spirit Awards

1990 | 7 nominations including: Best Feature

Critics reviews

The images of the hotel (like those of the diners and run-down houses the characters visit) recall the work of such noted photographers as Walker Evans, Robert Frank, and William Eggleston. It’s a beautiful-looking film, shot lovingly by Robby Müller and designed inventively by Dan Bishop; this was Jarmusch’s second feature in color, and its palette is perhaps the most varied and vibrant in his entire filmography.
January 26, 2018
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While Memphis might be a little less dilapidated than it used to be, the film remains a beautiful tribute—if not to one of the less-than-glamorous American cities, then to the puzzling and serendipitous ways we all fit together within them.
October 11, 2016
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…Some of the characters are beautifully imagined and realized, while others seem drawn from a more familiar stockpile, designed for reuse rather than discovery… As long as we’re seeing Memphis from the viewpoint of foreign tourists — the Japanese couple in “Far From Yokohama,” Luisa in “A Ghost” — we can at least momentarily accept the fact that things look and sound a little cockeyed. But whenever we’re asked to move beyond these viewpoints the balance gets thrown out of kilter…
February 09, 1990
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