User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 29 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 29
  2. Negative: 2 out of 29

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  1. Apr 28, 2014
    7
    This is based on the biographical book by Eric Lomax, a World War II British officer (Colin Firth) who was captured and tortured by the Japanese during the construction of the Thai/Burma railway. His new wife (Nicole Kidman) discovers that his torturer is still alive, so he sets out for revenge. The mood of this film starts somber and gets more dismal from there. The story alternates between his despondent present and his awful past, while most of the intensity comes from the prison camp (naturally). Performances are all around strong and the story is compelling, but the film fails to pack an emotional wallop. Expand
  2. May 21, 2014
    10
    I LOVED this film - everything about it was done well, the cinematography, the music, the editing and it had the one thing a movie should have - a great story. The opening scenes where the lead character falls in love was worth the price of admission. The film reminded me of "The Shawshank Redemption" in many ways as it is a film about loss, suffering, revenge and redemption. In my opinion one of the best films I've seen in years and I see a lot of movies. If you prefer modern films that have no hero, where everyone is dysfunctional and tainted by evil, and that really have nothing to say, then you might find this film old fashioned - personally I miss old fashioned where films had meaning, a moral, a message and a hero - and this one has it . Not only that it is a true story of mercy triumphing over judgement. The only downside, if this bothers you, is that it has scenes of torture and violence and an inspiring message which may hit you the wrong way if you love wallowing in your own self-pity - which are the only people I can imagine not liking this film (I know what that's like because I did it for much of my life) See it and be inspired. Expand
  3. Jun 23, 2014
    8
    An autobiographical novel adapted movie that partially covers the story of two distinct eras. One, from the recent time England and another from Thailand during the second world war. About a young man who was in the British army and his sufferings when the British empire of southeast Asia was captured by the Japanese imperial army.

    An ex army officer, Eric, by chance meets a strange
    woman, Patti, on a train journey. The encounter changes their lives forever. Until one day Patti finds abnormality in Eric's behaviour during the sleep. She learns some unbearable secrets during unearthing about his past life. So the screenplay too switches back to the few decades earlier when Eric was a soldier working in Singapore. And it reveals everything he and his men went through during being in the prisoners of war.

    ‘‘Sometime the hating has to stop’’

    Colin Firth's role was limited. He appeared in the opening and the end few minutes. In his presence, he was excellent, like always. Also looked perfect for the role in that getup. The romance portion that commits in the earlier part of the movie went meaningless once the other story begins to take full control. It also includes Nicole Kidman in the unnecessary cast list to see her in a tiny role. It begins to swap the actors, the young version of Colin's role played by a young actor from 'War Horse' was another brilliant performance throw.

    The movie had a little flaw, I mean a drag during the last quarter. The scene where old enemies meet were in fact good, but should have been better. Other than that the message was good relating the words 'foe' and 'revenge'. Actually, it is hard to believe in a true story like this, but anyway it happened. It was almost historical accuracy that I came to know from the BBC's quote. It is another reason why this story deserved to be a movie. With the great star casts and crew it became a fine movie.

    7.5/10
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  4. Apr 16, 2014
    9
    When first hearing of The Railway Man, I thought this was going to be another biased depiction of a historical event-The Burma Railway. Death statistics here and references to aftermath there etc etc. In reality however, Railway Man is one man's story, yet the story of all involved. It has such a strong voice sustained throughout the movie; perfectly incapsulating the horror of war and the toll it takes on all those involved. Kidman unfortunately seems too robotic for a movie with such a sensitive topic however. Nevertheless, The Railway Man is a true experience that highlights the devastating nature of war; but also showing how man can rise from the ashes. A must see. Expand
  5. May 1, 2014
    9
    Colin Firth does an amazing job portraying the World War II British officer who was captured, then tortured, by the Japanese in Thailand, who then has the opportunity to confront one of his torturers after the war. The scenes of torture are grueling, yet necessary for the audience to truly understand what happened to the officer during the war. Nicole Kidman also does a good job in a smaller role. This movie has a lot to say about the ravages of war and the need for resolution. It also kept me on the edge of my seat. Expand
  6. Aug 5, 2014
    10
    What a fantastic film with a twist .. and then based on a real life scenario.

    It took a long time for the Japanese to officially say sorry to those who fought the forgotten war in the far east and I cant imagine what they went through or how they survived (those that did).

    Well worth a viewing
  7. Aug 22, 2014
    10
    War is hell. The worst part about it is the lies that are told to justify the war itself and the cruelty that comes as a consequence. Railway Man tells a part of the story of World War II that is rarely told through the eyes of a British officer that exemplified the suffering and humiliation endured by the British that were left to surrender to the Japanese at Singapore. It tells the story of two men who find a way to bring closure and find forgiveness and reconciliation. It also tells of a love story of a woman who wouldn't give up until her husband was healed. Expand
  8. Aug 24, 2014
    4
    The Railway Man started out incredibly boring and somewhat confusing and only to the very end did it come alive to the point I cared just a little about what was happening.
  9. Sep 3, 2014
    6
    It has all the markings of what could have been a very good film, and in the end it was just decent. The last half and especially the ending made up for most of its faults though.
  10. Aug 16, 2014
    6
    Decent film about prisoners of war and the resolutions of war.
    Colin Firth does a swell job playing a British officer dealing with PTSD decades after the war when he finds a captor still alive. The young version of the officer (playing during the war) is great, much better than Firth as an older gentleman.
    It was kind of confusing with the flashbacks happening so often, but I guess
    that's what happens when you make a movie that is all about the past.
    In summary, decent flick about war although not as good as it is hyped up in the trailers. I would rent if possible or see on Netflix. Not worth a theater trip or buying, unless you like flashback-type movies.
    Expand
  11. Aug 19, 2014
    3
    The movie shows an awful part of world war two that I didn't know much about. But the movie is too gooey for my taste. The soldiers are a bit too heroic, and the monologs a bit too pompous.
  12. Apr 23, 2014
    6
    THE RAILWAY MAN is a lovely, small film about intimacy, love, and forgiveness. The film spends too much time in the past which is actually exactly what the film is all about--resolving past nightmares. The chemistry between Firth and Kidman is truly remarkable and very touching. These are two people who clearly love and care for each other. I wish the film knew better what it really was but all in all -- lovely. I'm not British, but THE RAILWAY MAN'S modern stiff upper lip would make me proud to be a Brit. Expand
  13. Jul 24, 2014
    9
    Una pelicula muy buena que tiene gran drama y una gran historia principal . grandes actuaciones de todos lindas imagenes de lugares . y un gran dolor muy bien trasmitido.
Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 33
  2. Negative: 2 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Apr 25, 2014
    75
    Lean's classic is something of a picnic compared to The Railway Man, which contains horrific scenes of torture.
  2. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Apr 25, 2014
    60
    Nicole Kidman as wife Patti (shows nice, subtle touches in her limited time on-screen).
  3. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Apr 24, 2014
    63
    Firth gives the performance his all as a man trapped in a vortex of grief, shame and hate, but as in Scott Hicks’s "Shine," which the film occasionally resembles, there’s an overtidy relationship between trauma and catharsis.