Beautifully acted, The Railway Man is profoundly moving, and yet, somehow, its sentimental ending manages to be both unearned and predictable.
David Hiltbrand, Philadelphia Inquirer, 2014-04-25
The truth of what happened to him is devastating; the truth of how he found forgiveness in his soul is astonishing.
Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times, 2014-04-24
A consistently fine actor, Firth does marvelous work here, as Lomax must balance the demons of his past with the specter of forgiveness.
Randy Cordova, Arizona Republic, 2014-04-24
Firth and Kidman are both up for the challenge, complementing the compelling story with measured and memorable performances.
Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle, 2014-04-18
A prestige film that sometimes feels more like a history assignment than entertainment.
Richard Roeper, Richard Roeper.com, 2014-04-17
Makes its targets clear: redemption, love, healing, handkerchiefs.
Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News, 2014-04-17
It's a good, slick and well-intentioned film that wants so hard to be an important one that the slight feeling of letdown it leaves is magnified.
Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post, 2014-04-17
The cast is excellent and the screenplay, by Frank Cottrell Boyce and Andy Paterson, is delicately attuned to the emotional cost of war and the terrible struggle to be healed.
J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader, 2014-04-17
[It] has many problems but also has Colin Firth ...
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, 2014-04-17
Firth is very good at playing racked men of high principle.
Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor, 2014-04-11
Throughout his career, Firth repeatedly has proven himself to be a master at steadily revealing his characters, and the way his Lomax eventually reclaims his identity before enjoying some redemption is gently stirring.
Christy Lemire, RogerEbert.com, 2014-04-11
The filmmakers don't have the nerve for a serious consideration of trauma, vengeance, and forgiveness.
Wesley Morris, Grantland, 2014-05-08
The critical problems are an overbusy time-jumping script and reliance on the conventions of the trauma drama - flashbacks, fragmentation, distorted time and space - that prove more a barrier than a window into the character's inner lives.
Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail, 2014-04-25
Why does the movie leave one cold?
John Anderson, Newsday, 2014-04-24
The quality of mercy isn't just strained in The Railway Man, it's measured out by the teaspoonful.
Peter Howell, Toronto Star, 2014-04-24
"The Railway Man" is a polished locomotive that never builds up steam or deviates from its timetable.
Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2014-04-24
The story, based on Lomax's memoir, is compelling. Jonathan Teplitzky's insipid screen version doesn't do the rich material justice.
Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 2014-04-17
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.
Ty Burr, Boston Globe, 2014-04-17
A morally admirable but dramatically inert case of high-minded reconciliation ...
David Denby, New Yorker, 2014-04-14
In the end, for a movie about such a grim and grotesque chapter in history "The Railway Man" commits the most improbable sin of all. It's dull.
Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger, 2014-04-11