Rails & Ties (2007)



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

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 … More

Rating: PG-13 (for mature thematic elements, an accident scene, brief nudity and momentary strong language)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Micky Levy
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 17, 2008
Warner Independent - Official Site


as Tom Stark

as Megan Stark

as Davey Danner

as Otis Higgs

as Laura Danner

as N.B. Garcia

as Susan Garcia

as Judy Neasy

as Mrs. Brown

as Howie Pugh

as Vince the Engineer

as Rosanna

as Administrator #1

as Administrator #2

as Official #1

as Official #2

as Detective Christian ...

as Dr. Offenberger

as Piano Teacher

as News Reporter

as Workman #1

as Nurse #1

as Detective Ann Crane
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Rails & Ties

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Critic Reviews for Rails & Ties

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (23)

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.

Full Review… | January 2, 2008
Associated Press
Top Critic

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

November 12, 2007
Ebert & Roeper
Top 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.

Full Review… | November 9, 2007
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | November 9, 2007
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | November 8, 2007
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | October 26, 2007
USA Today
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Rails & Ties


Leigh Ryan

Super Reviewer


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.

Red Lats

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]

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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