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Rails & Ties

  PG-13 HD Closed Captioning

Alison Eastwood

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Plot Summary

Kevin Bacon, Marcia Gay Harden, and Miles Heizer star in director Alison Eastwood's tale of two families locked into an emotional — and physical — collision course. There once was a time when Tom and Megan Stark had all the time in the world to take their dream vacation and start a family, but these days the couple's marriage is suffering and their time appears to be running short. Megan has been diagnosed with a potentially terminal illness, and when the prospect of losing his wife becomes too much to bear, railroad engineer Tom seeks escape in his work. On the tracks Tom is in control; all the routes are predetermined and he knows he'll eventually arrive at his destination. But sometimes even the most predictable events can go suddenly awry, and when Tom's train hits a car that was parked on the tracks by a suicidal mother, his life is plunged into ruin. While there was no way that Tom could have possibly stopped the train on time, the grieving conductor's woes are suddenly compounded upon realizing that he may lose his job because of the accident. Not only that, but the deceased woman's son, Davey, is consumed by the guilt that he could do nothing to prevent the accident, and he now places the blame for his mother's death squarely on Tom. But not all sad stories have to end in tragedy, and perhaps in the aftermath of this fateful accident Megan could receive a second chance at fulfilling her dreams, Tom could learn to open his heart before he is consumed by bitterness, and Davey could finally learn the true meaning of family.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 47
  • Fresh: 16
  • Rotten: 31
  • Average Rating: 4.6/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: Rails & Ties is so self-consciously unadorned that it feels as if its director didn't want us to think that she was trying to make a cinematic statement. She hasn't. – Manohla Dargis, New York Times, Jun 24, 2010

Rotten: It's becoming a bit tiresome watching Kevin Bacon suffer, and he isn't done any favors by this thudding weeper. – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly, Jul 7, 2010

Rotten: While it features three strong performance and the debut of a promising filmmaker, the story line is obvious and rather melodramatic. – Claudia Puig, USA Today, Oct 27, 2007

Rotten: As lovely as some of the footage looks and as committed as are the three lead performances, they serve only to make Rails & Ties play like an exceptionally well-acted and well-made Lifetime movie. – Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times, Oct 27, 2007

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Rails and Ties

This moving is moving and i felt as if i was in the atmosphere while their story was being told. I would tell anyone to see this movie. The plot is unthinkable to imagine and the actors and actresses were chosen thoughtfully. I wasn't able to stop watching and feel it is a good movie for most to enjoy and be entranced with it. If you are thinking about renting or buying this movie then think no more and click the mouse on "buy it" or "rent it".

Wonderful Story & Beautiful Performances

This is a wonderful story about family, sacrifice, suffering, and death. A story that really opens your eyes to the complications in life and the decitions that come with it. Everything happens for a reason weather we see it right there in that moment, or not. A very good movie! Beautiful performances accross the board!

A slow motion train wreck

I was really disappointed in this film. Two selfish adults in a failing marriage use the catastrophe of a young boy whose mother just died to rebuild their marriage while setting up the boy for another traumatic event that they know will come. Hollywood films rarely deal with accountability for actions, and this one is no exception. At the end, just before the symbolic train was about to run off the tracks, the credits roll.

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Rails & Ties
View In iTunes
  • $17.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 2008

Customer Ratings