Runaway Train

Critics Consensus

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85%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 33

76%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,160
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Movie Info

Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky's second American film may well be the only existential adventure flick in Hollywood history. Two prisoners, Manny (Jon Voight) and Buck (Eric Roberts), escape from a desolate Alaskan maximum-security facility. They hop aboard a speeding train, making a clean escape. But the engineer has suffered a heart attack, and the train goes out of control. To prevent a disastrous head-on collision, the railroad heads decide to derail the runaway train, killing its occupants to save the lives of hundreds of others. Once Manny catches on to what's happening, he tries to jump off the train, only to be talked out of such a foolhardy act by railroad employee Sara (Rebecca DeMornay). As doom approaches, Manny apparently goes mad, viciously preventing any attempts to stop the train or rescue its passengers: if he's to die, and if the others are to be saved, it will be on his terms, or no terms. Runaway Train was slated as a project for Akira Kurosawa in 1970, but for various creative and scheduling reasons, it remained on the back burner for 15 years. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast

Jon Voight
as Oscar 'Manny' Manheim
Eric Roberts
as Buck McGeehy
Kyle T. Heffner
as Frank Barstow
T.K. Carter
as Dave Prince
Kenneth McMillan
as Eddie MacDonald
John Otrin
as Cat Con
Hank Worden
as Old Con
Wally Rose
as Announcer
Big Yank
as Trainer
Dana Belgarde
as Prison Guard
Diane Erickson
as Sue Majors
Don McLaughlin
as Foreman Cassidy
Vladimir Bibic
as Fireman Wright
Loren Jones
as Engineer Eastbound 12
Obie Weeks
as Head Brakeman
John-Clay Scott
as Conductor Eastbound 12
Carmen Filpi
as Signal Maintainer
Phillip Earl
as 1st Crewman
Tom Keenan
as 2nd Crewman
Tony Epper
as Hitman
Jerry Brainum
as Bodybuilder
Duey Thomasick
as Emergency Worker
View All

News & Interviews for Runaway Train

Critic Reviews for Runaway Train

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (28) | Rotten (5)

  • "Runaway Train" isn't just bad -- it's bodaciously bad, grotesquely overblown, lurid in its emotion, big ideas on its brain.

    Jan 3, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Wrenchingly intense and brutally powerful, Andrei Konchalovsky's film rates as a most exciting action epic and is fundamentally serious enough to work strongly on numerous levels.

    Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Somehow one leaves aside the blatant implausibilities, the coincidences, even Eric Roberts, and takes great pleasure in a breakneck ride to the end of the line.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The nihilism and the vicious intensity of Mr. Voight's performance here are entirely different from anything else he has done on screen; it's a shame those qualities emerge in such a vigorous but disjointed film.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 2/4
  • Runaway Train belongs to a rare genre: the intelligent thriller.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Runaway Train is a reminder that the great adventures are great because they happen to people we care about.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Runaway Train

  • Sep 28, 2019
    Jon Voight as a tough-as-nails blue collar convict up against one hell of a spiteful warden (John P.Ryan). Somehow he gets saddled with new-con-on-the-cellblock Eric Roberts (in what has to be the movie gold standard 'annoying character') and together they endeavor to escape. Watch it simply for the pleasure of watching Voight growl at Roberts continually.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Mar 05, 2014
    Konchalovsky gets more credit than he likely deserves for the existential nature of this relatively straight up action adventure. It's not a bad film, just not as great as it has often been portrayed.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 19, 2012
    A solid but conventional action thriller like many others made in the 1980s, oscillating unevenly between efficient moments and scenes that simply do not work - and even if relying on a lot of coincidences and with a ridiculous villain, it offers great performances from Voight and Roberts.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 29, 2010
    This was exciting. Roberts' character got on my nerves after awhile, and De Mornay was pretty irritating, but Voight was very convincing in his role. I didn't really like the ending, but otherwise, it was a pretty good movie.
    Erin C Super Reviewer

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