I've amended this review slightly since first writing it, see the footnote below, but I'm leaving it otherwise as was, for reasons I hope readers will understand.
I'd give 'Mystery Train' an unreserved 5 stars as a film, but I'm reducing that to 3 stars on account of the DVD release I received from Amazon (on MGM Home Ent) having no subtitles (I've read that the same is apparently also true of a release of Jarmusch's 'Night On Earth' DVD, but thankfully I found that out before shelling out for it).
I saw this fabulous film at the cinema when it came out, and the first mini-story with the Japanese couple is a wonderful and heartwarmingly deadpan bit of comedy; their dialogue is superb. My dissappointment at discovering this edition has no subtitles was therefore huge, and it more or less ruins the film for me. If you understand (or are) Japanese you'll have no problem. Why on earth have they omitted subtitles on DVD? It seems insane to me. If you love Jarmusch as I do, then write to MGM and ask them to amend this stupid oversight. I'm certainly not buying 'Night On Earth' until a subtitled edition is available.
Just to clarify something, and in response to some comments about my review: this review was written when I received a copy of Mystery train (via an Amazon order), which was a Region 1 MGM Home Ent version, and *quite emphatically* does not have the subtitles I require: English subtitles for the Japanese language section of the film. It does have French and Spanish subtitles for entire film, but this still doesn't allow me to see the Japanese section of the film as I saw it at the cinema, i.e with English subtitles. I've played the DVD on around five different players, and several computers, and on none of them can I get the required subtitles. This obviously upset me, and rather spoiled my enjoyment of a film I love. I subsequently bought another version (at my local Fopp store, and with an assurance I could return it if not satisfied, i.e. if I got home and found that it also lacked the necessary subtitles), a region 2 DVD, also on MGM Home Entertainment, that does have English subtitles. The purpose of my review was, and remains, simply to alert people to the fact there are versions of Mystery Train out there - I know, 'cause I own one - that simply do not have the appropriate English subtitles in the 'Far from Yokohama' section.