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

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 40 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: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  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
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  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. 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 actuallyTHE 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
  5. Feb 12, 2015
    6
    It begins like a poorly executed romantic movie, too fast and a little messy. Then when we get to the thick of it, the heart of the story andIt begins like a poorly executed romantic movie, too fast and a little messy. Then when we get to the thick of it, the heart of the story and Eric Lomax's history starts to make sense a little bit, but again it's executed poorly. The photography is good, the actors gave a decent performance, so it must be the script or the director.

    Since the film is based on a true story, it's a shame that there's such a lack of emotional involvement. It's not as gruesome as it could have been for movie War movie, the torture is kept to a minimum, so they could have pull on the audience's heart strings and play on the emotion card more. I needed to care, to feel for Eric Lomax but I never really did.

    As I mentioned the cast gave a decent performance, they were good maybe not great but they were sensitive and raw. Jeremy Irvine is unrecognizable in this film but it feels like he was barely there. Kidman is graceful and reeks of devotion while Firth wears his heart on his sleeve for the audience and Sanada is just sort of impressive.

    Although the film did not work for me, I recognized that Eric Lomax's story is inspiring but the movie failed to help me connected with his amazing story. I feel this is a hit or miss situation depending on who you are.

    @wornoutspines
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  6. 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 endingIt 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. 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 16 User Reviews

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