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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 29 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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    Nicole Kidman as wife Patti (shows nice, subtle touches in her limited time on-screen).
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Sep 12, 2013
    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
    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: 11 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. May 21, 2014
    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
  2. Aug 5, 2014
    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
  3. Aug 22, 2014
    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
  4. Jun 23, 2014
    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.

  5. Apr 28, 2014
    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
  6. Sep 3, 2014
    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. Expand
  7. Aug 19, 2014
    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. Expand

See all 13 User Reviews