The Railway Man

The Railway Man Image
Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 50 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 33
  2. Negative: 2 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Apr 10, 2014
    100
    Wrenching, profound and beautifully made, The Railway Man is one of the stunning don’t-miss surprises of the still-young 2014.
  2. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Apr 23, 2014
    67
    Screenwriters Andy Paterson and Frank Cottrell Boyce (who wrote many of Michael Winterbottom’s early films) adeptly shift the action back and forth between these two timelines, and the drama – exterior and interior – is engrossing in both tracks.
  4. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Apr 17, 2014
    63
    Throughout, Firth compellingly plays a man struggling to make sense of the ordeal that his life has become. Too often, though, you can feel the movie struggling right along with him.
  5. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Apr 25, 2014
    60
    Nicole Kidman as wife Patti (shows nice, subtle touches in her limited time on-screen).
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Sep 12, 2013
    60
    There’s something decidedly old-fashioned — and also dull as ditchwater — about Jonathan Teplitzky’s retelling of events.
  7. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Apr 10, 2014
    25
    I think I’d rather have the waterboarding than the movie’s bromides about how we’re all victims and hate must end.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 18
  2. Negative: 1 out of 18
  1. 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 haveI 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
  2. 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
    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
    Expand
  3. 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. DeathWhen 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. Collapse
  4. May 20, 2016
    7
    The Railway Man can be timid and poorly paced at times, but is ultimately an emotionally charged film that really treads interesting andThe Railway Man can be timid and poorly paced at times, but is ultimately an emotionally charged film that really treads interesting and worthwhile territory when it comes to PTSD, WWII, and forgiveness. In particular, the ending of the film is expertly done and really pays off on all of the emotion built up from the rest of the film. Colin Firth, Jeremy Irvine, Hiroyuki Sanada, and Tanroh Ishida, all shine in this film directed by Jonathan Teplitzky. The film is not poorly directed at all, though the pacing does slack at times, which is problematic. The cinematography is very good and the transition between WWII Japan and 1980s England is handled very well and never winds up being confusing when things change. As an overall film, The Railway Man feels too subtle at times which does hurt the final product, but is still a very well made and incredibly well acted film about forgiveness. Expand
  5. May 25, 2015
    6
    Having watched this after "Unbroken" I could clearly appreciate the difference between a good movie about WWII in the Pacific and a terribleHaving watched this after "Unbroken" I could clearly appreciate the difference between a good movie about WWII in the Pacific and a terrible one. Colin Firth does a very good job as the troubled man who struggles to recover from the torture and pain of his days as a prisoner (PSD, if I ever saw a case). He is helped in his recovery by his new wife and a fellow veteran. Nothing particularly new, but a story well told. Pity about the uninspiring title. Expand
  6. 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
    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
  7. 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 bitThe 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. Expand

See all 18 User Reviews

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