The Great Train Robbery

Critics Consensus

Laboriously paced and overly talky, The Great Train Robbery nevertheless pulls off a thrillingly staged finale anchored by winning performances from Donald Sutherland and Sean Connery.

73%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 26

68%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,996

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Movie Info

Edward Pierce (Sean Connery) is a master thief of the Victorian Era who's never found a heist he couldn't pull off. For his next criminal operation, he plans something that has never been done before: to rob a moving train. Working with a master safecracker (Donald Sutherland) and a seductive woman (Lesley-Anne Down), Pierce devises an incredibly complex plan to break into the train's safe and steal the thousands of dollars' worth of gold that are contained within.

Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for The Great Train Robbery

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (7)

  • Crichton's films drag in dialog bouts, but triumph when action takes over.

    July 30, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • The characters stay largely undeveloped, while -- despite superficially peculiar features -- the robbery is stripped of the ingenious exposition of the novel.

    January 26, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • he climactic heist of the gold, with Mr. Connery climbing atop the moving railroad cars, ducking under bridges just before a possible decapitation, is marvelous action footage that manages to be very funny as it takes your breath away.

    May 9, 2005 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Connery is one of the best light comedians in the movies, and has been ever since those long-ago days when he was James Bond.

    October 23, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The Great Train Robbery is not a good adventure film and it's a shame because it could have been. [Full Review in Spanish]

    August 6, 2019 | Full Review…
  • The Great Train Robbery is elegant and stately. But it is a slow-moving story, when what we really want from a period thriller is a feeling for the excitement generated during the actual events.

    February 7, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Great Train Robbery

  • Jul 25, 2015
    Sean Connery and Donald Sutherland star in this adventure/heist bit, spiced with witty dialogue and lively action scenes. Michael Crichton, of Jurassic Park fame, helms this, one of his earlier forays, and does quite well. Worthy of your time.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Sep 06, 2010
    Oh, so boring... Sure there's a good cast, but they're not even doing anything exciting anyway.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Aug 10, 2010
    A great film with brilliant period detail and fun performances from Connery, Sutherland and Lesley-Anne Down (god, she's hot!). It's almost like a period version of Ocean's 11. P{erhaps it's not as good as the source novel but most of the best bits from there are still included and it's one helluva fun ride. Shame the dvd transfer is so rubbish. Hope they bring out a better version on blu-ray.
    David S Super Reviewer
  • Jun 15, 2010
    Writer and director Michael Crichton's highly enjoyable tongue-in-cheek crime caper period drama, is based on his script for his own bestselling novel "The Great Train Robbery," which in turn was based on a real historical event. It was deemed impossible to rob a moving railway train back in 1855, so a dapper and cunning master thief named Edward Pierce, played sensationally by Sir Sean Connery, who is so devilishly charming, in a polished, stylish performance has quite the challenge ahead of him if he wants to steal a shipment of gold bullion from an English train outfitted with armed security guards and all manner of locks. Enlisting the aid of his clever beautifully girlfriend Miriam, played wonderfully by the ravishing Lesley-Anne Down and the jovial professional safecracker and pickpocket Agar, played brilliantly by Donald Sutherland, he sets his ingenious and wildly intricate plan in motion with his lovable troupe of rogues. Astute direction by the late Crichton, who has mounted a very handsome well-crafted production filled with attentive period detail. During the exciting climactic heist Connery did his own dangerous and impressive stunt work, in which he races on the top of a moving train, which is edge of your seat fun. This was legendary Academy Award winning cinematographer Geoffrey Unsworth last film, he passed away shortly before the film's release, and his stupendous lensing for this motion picture is typically noteworthy, as is the rousing score by the late great Jerry Goldsmith. A hell of good time, and a must-see! Highly Recommended.
    Danny R Super Reviewer

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