MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 640 this week

The Railway Man (2013)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, War  |  23 May 2014 (USA)
7.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 20,825 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 100 user | 160 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

A former British Army officer, who was tormented as a prisoner of war at a Japanese labor camp during World War II, discovers that the man responsible for much of his treatment is still alive and sets out to confront him.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $7.99 on Amazon Instant Video

IMDb Picks: April

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in April.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 24 titles
created 31 Dec 2011
 
a list of 31 titles
created 23 Sep 2012
 
a list of 43 titles
created 25 Dec 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 09 Sep 2013
 
a list of 24 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Railway Man" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Railway Man (2013)

The Railway Man (2013) on IMDb 7.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Railway Man.

User Polls

5 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Devil's Knot (2013)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The savage murders of three young children sparks a controversial trial of three teenagers accused of killing the kids as part of a satanic ritual.

Director: Atom Egoyan
Stars: Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon, Alessandro Nivola
Gambit I (2012)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

An art curator decides to seek revenge on his abusive boss by conning him into buying a fake Monet, but his plan requires the help of an eccentric and unpredictable Texas rodeo queen.

Director: Michael Hoffman
Stars: Colin Firth, Cameron Diaz, Alan Rickman
Arthur Newman (2012)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A story of a man who fakes his own death and assumes a new identity in order to escape his life, who then moves in with a woman who is also trying to leave her past behind.

Director: Dante Ariola
Stars: Colin Firth, Emily Blunt, Anne Heche
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A woman wakes up every day, remembering nothing as a result of a traumatic accident in her past. One day, new terrifying truths emerge that force her to question everyone around her.

Director: Rowan Joffe
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

The story of former Hollywood star Grace Kelly's crisis of marriage and identity, during a political dispute between Monaco's Prince Rainier III and France's Charles De Gaulle, and a looming French invasion of Monaco in the early 1960s.

Director: Olivier Dahan
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Tim Roth, André Penvern
Main Street (2010)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Several residents of a small Southern city whose lives are changed by the arrival of a stranger with a controversial plan to save their decaying hometown. In the midst of today's ... See full summary »

Director: John Doyle
Stars: Colin Firth, Ellen Burstyn, Patricia Clarkson
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A romantic comedy about an Englishman brought in to help unmask a possible swindle. Personal and professional complications ensue.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Colin Firth, Emma Stone, Marcia Gay Harden
A Single Man (2009)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An English professor, one year after the sudden death of his boyfriend, is unable to cope with his typical days in 1960s Los Angeles.

Director: Tom Ford
Stars: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode
Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

King's Speech is the definitive story of the man who overcame his own failings for the sake of his nation. When his older brother, Edward VIII abdicates the throne to marry Wallis Simpson, ... See full summary »

Stars: Colin Firth, Tom Hooper, Mark Logue
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Michael MacKenzie ...
Sutton
...
Jeffrey Daunton ...
Burton
...
...
Withins
Bryan Probets ...
Major York
...
Thorlby
...
...
Jackson
Kitamoto Takato ...
Japanese Officer
Keith Fleming ...
Removal Man
...
Baliff
Edit

Storyline

Eric Lomax was one of thousands of Allied prisoners of war forced to work on the construction of the Thai/Burma railway during WW2. His experiences, after the secret radio he built to bring news and hope to his colleagues was discovered, left him traumatised and shut off from the world. Years later, he met Patti, a beautiful woman, on a train and fell in love. Patti was determined to rid Eric of his demons. Discovering that the young Japanese officer who haunted her husband was still alive, she faced a terrible decision. Should Eric be given a chance to confront his tormentor? Would she stand by him, whatever he did? Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Revenge is never a straight line.

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing prisoner of war violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

23 May 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un pasado imborrable  »

Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$61,845 (USA) (11 April 2014)

Gross:

$4,435,083 (USA) (11 July 2014)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film uses compressed time to speed up the story. Eric Lomax and Patti Wallace did meet in 1980, but in reality they didn't marry until 1983. Eric didn't learn that Takashi Nagase was still alive until 1993, and they finally met in 1995. See more »

Goofs

The young Lomax shows the map to the soldiers and explains they've been on the POW train for four days before heading west, yet young Lomax is still clearly clean shaven and has no sign of stubble or growth. See more »

Quotes

Patti: [Kisses Eric] I've never kissed a man with a moustache before.
[pauses]
Patti: And I don't think I'm going to kiss a man with a moustache again.
Eric: And if the man removed the moustache?
Patti: Yes, that would do nicely.
See more »

Connections

References Brief Encounter (1945) See more »

Soundtracks

Introduction (Prelude) from Gadfly Suite
Performed by Ukraine National Symphony Orchestra, Theodore Kuchar (Conductor)
Composed by D. Shostakovich
Published by Native Tongue Publishing
Licensed Courtesy of Select Audio Visual Distribution on behalf of Naxos
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
powerful and emotive WWII autobiographical tale of PTSD and triumph in adversity
13 December 2013 | by (London, UK) – See all my reviews

Saw this as a test screening some time ago but wasn't allowed to post until it was released, consequently I've not seen the finished film but the test version affected me quite a bit. Based on a true story - Eric Lomax (Firth) - was building the Thai/Burma railway WWII as a POW. The conditions were horrific, treatment atrocious and Lomax clearly suffered PTSD, although it wasn't diagnosed yet - the film was set in the 70s. In an attempt to lay ghosts of his past to rest he travels back to revisit the sites of his incarceration and comes face to face with a Japanese officer from that time who was central to his torture.

It's a grey, period-style, sombre film, there's little in the way of humour and the only colour at the beginning is Nicole Kidman's (more or less extraneous) role as the "love interest." Her role was apparently meant to be played by Rachel Weisz and I think that would have been a better choice, and it bugs me that Kidman is first listing on the credits when Lomax' role is the titular role, and it's HIS book that the film is based on. However, the synopsis puts emphasis on her standing by her man and seeing him through his adversity and she does, and is good in the role she is given, and in that she was well chosen played down in her looks to given some small-town glamour.

It's a slow pace and if you like bells and whistles and CGI rather than real life and emotions then don't bother with this... it's a gripping, sad, heartbreaking and heartwarming tale or triumph over adversity, courage and strength of spirit with an ending that if you don't have a tear in your eye then you are dead inside.

Colin Firth, I think, is well cast and plays stayed, rather eccentric and dull due to his brokenness extremely well. He is fascinated by railways and trains (which is surprising) since his experiences and we meet his love interest on a train. His emotions turn erratically and he suffered terrifying nightmares, working through the pain/suffering of his character with a quiet studied grace. The star turn in my opinion... and all at the test screening agreed... is Hiroyuki Sanada who played Lomax' nemesis as an adult. He had a very challenging role and was superb. He played his role with so much calm that you could believe his conversion experience and he made the tale come alive and be very believable. Nothing he did was superfluous and even the tiniest nuances of his actions were obviously deliberate and perfect, his facial expressions were... oh enough to make me weep in places. I'd like to see him get applauded for it - and will look out for him in other films (eg 47 Ronin). Stellan Skarsgard (always excellent) was good in the role he played but at the test screening we all questioned why someone without a heavy English accent was cast for the role of an English soldier in his middle age when in his young scenes the actor who played Finlay was quintessentially British with no explanation as to why he is suddenly Swedish, "After the war he went to Sweden and has lived there" would have done - maybe they've done that now. His character too was a tragedy, also not coping at all with life after war.

The young actors playing the tough scenes in Japan building the railway had the hardest roles and Jeremy Irvine and Sam Reid did their older selves proud in some quite harrowing scenes, and oftentimes they really did look emaciated, thin and on their last legs. The film pulls no punches but does leave the terrible experience that Lomax suffered as a cliff-hanger to the last.

A powerful film, not for the feint or lighthearted, I fear, but certainly if you are interested in history, and enjoy good performance led character pieces you will find this an excellent cinema-going experience. I do recommend taking something to dry your eyes with and stay to the end to learn about Lomax and Nagase - the real people. The truth in the story adds so much more to the film.


44 of 55 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Waterboarding Scene is Bogus AuAgFinder
No, doesn't work for me. bpollen
Why Diden't He Pay His Bills ? hakan_lovdahl2
The Railway Man: History vs. Hollywood matrix25
Why no US release date for this? mimacdon4
Anyone else confused by the chronology in this film? evcorco
Discuss The Railway Man (2013) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?