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Rails & Ties (2007)

tomatometer

33

Average Rating: 4.5/10
Reviews Counted: 48
Fresh: 16 | Rotten: 32

Despite the strong cast, Rails & Ties is an emotionally overwrought, not entirely believable melodrama.

17

Average Rating: 4/10
Critic Reviews: 23
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 19

Despite the strong cast, Rails & Ties is an emotionally overwrought, not entirely believable melodrama.

audience

58

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 10,049

My Rating

Movie Info

Kevin Bacon, Marcia Gay Harden, and Miles Heizer star in director Alison Eastwood's tale of two families locked into an emotional -- and physical -- collision course. There once was a time when Tom and Megan Stark had all the time in the world to take their dream vacation and start a family, but these days the couple's marriage is suffering and their time appears to be running short. Megan has been diagnosed with a potentially terminal illness, and when the prospect of losing his wife becomes

PG-13,

Drama

Micky Levy

Jun 17, 2008

Warner Independent - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (49) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (32) | DVD (2)

It's hard to get over the implausibility of the premise in Micky Levy's script, even though the characters themselves acknowledge that they're in a ridiculous situation.

January 2, 2008 Full Review Source: Associated Press
Associated Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's just not much here to recommend at all.

November 12, 2007
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One highly unlikely circumstance after another become laughable, preventing you from being moved by the family tragedies depicted. They beg for tears, but a script this chock-full of holes is unlikely to elicit the desired effect.

November 9, 2007 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I think somehow the filmmakers lost the way, lost sight of the people inside the plot.

November 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

All the astute acting in the world can't bring such a preposterous story into the station on time and intact.

November 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While it features three strong performance and the debut of a promising filmmaker, the story line is obvious and rather melodramatic.

October 26, 2007 Full Review Source: USA Today
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In common with her famous actor/filmmaker father, Ms. Eastwood seems to have an instinctual grasp of the petty grievances and triumphs of working-class American life.

April 28, 2011 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

Feels so forced and determined to convey a certain emotion that its authenticity is lost. And when there's no sense of authenticity, there's no emotional attachment.

June 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Movie Views

Kevin Bacon turns in a solid, attention grabbing performance as a rigid, scornful man in a deep funk just trying to cling to a familiar world disintegrating all around him.

June 20, 2008 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze
NewsBlaze

DVD is the perfect place for a movie like Rails & Ties. Somehow it's easier to block out the often forced nature of the plot and just enjoy the rich performances and the humane themes.

June 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Aisle Seat
Aisle Seat

Alison Eastwood has created a film of quiet delicacy, something fragile yet resolute, and shot through with a life affirming thread that is brave enough to suggest that sometimes life does indeed blossom from tragedy.

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source: BrandonFibbs.com
BrandonFibbs.com

The metaphors flow almost as freely as the tears in this sentimental weepie.

November 27, 2007 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

Everyone involved will move on to bigger and better things and leave this series of unfortunate events behind on the tracks, waiting for a midnight train to put it out of its considerable misery.

November 9, 2007 Full Review Source: The Deadbolt
The Deadbolt

The younger Eastwood tells her story with sledgehammer blows.

November 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Either an unsuccessfully manipulative, sappy melodrama or the most deranged concept for a family sitcom anyone has ever developed.

November 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Mark Reviews Movies
Mark Reviews Movies

It's not all bad.

November 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Entertainment Insiders
Entertainment Insiders

In the right hands, this might be the stuff of compelling cinema. Instead, Rails and Ties sinks into melodrama.

November 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

While it has the appearance of a made-for-TV weepie, it's well-acted, technically proficient, a solid story with genuine, credible emotions.

October 29, 2007 Full Review Source: Compuserve
Compuserve

...ultimately redeemed by Kevin Bacon's expectedly engrossing performance.

October 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

It's closer to a small kind of affecting and simply human story we rarely get to see in mainstream movies anymore.

October 26, 2007
Maxim

Audience Reviews for Rails & Ties

Kevin Bacon is Tom and Marcia Gay Harden is Megan - a couple who are having difficulties with their marriage. Not only that, but Megan has cancer. Tom withdraws into his work - as a railroad engineer, but even that is messed up when he crashes his train into a car parked on a crossing - killing a suicidal mother.

When the 11 year-old son of that suicidal mother comes to Tom's house to accuse him of killing his mom, Megan sort-of adopts him - and perhaps all three of them can begin to heal.
May 28, 2009
Redlats

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]In "Rails and Ties," Tom(Kevin Bacon), a train engineer, is advised to take some time off to care for his wife Megan(Marcia Gay Harden) who is dying of breast cancer. He refuses, trying to bury himself in his work. But that decision is taken out of his hands when Laura(Bonnie Root) drives her car onto the tracks in front of his train. Tom goes by the book and slows down, not hitting the emergency brake which could cause a derailment. Luckily, her 11-year old son David(Miles Heizer) escapes unscathed before the car is totaled, killing his mother. After the crash, Tom is suspended, pending a hearing and investigation. When he gets home, Megan shows interest in learning how to play the piano and visiting San Francisco, one of the stops on his route(more or less). Meanwhile, David runs away from his foster mother(Margo Martindale).[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]While stretching credibility to the breaking point, "Rails and Ties" still manages to be worthwhile due to its raw intensity and honesty in exploring mortality which can make us see how precious the little things in life really are.(At least, it does not put train travel into the mortality equation.) And excellent performances from Kevin Bacon and Marcia Gay Harden certainly help. [/font]
March 14, 2009
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Alison Eastwod hits a double in her directorial debut. Alison was great in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Here, she shows that she has strong potential to be a good director, just like her dad, Clint. Her editing and directing style seems similar to her dad's style. Bacon, Harden, and Heizer's performances make the film worth watching. On the negative, I didn't like how Alison used the fade out transition throughout the film. The pacing of the film is also off and some scenes were too slow.
January 25, 2009
SC007
Sol C

Super Reviewer

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