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Rails and Ties
Rails and Ties
Actors: Kevin Bacon, Marcia Gay Harden, Miles Heizer, Marin Hinkle, Eugene Byrd
Director: Alison Eastwood
Genres: Drama
PG-13     2008     1hr 41min

Kevin Bacon and Marcia Gay Harden give soaring performances in Rails & Ties, director Alison Eastwood?s moving tale of people in crisis and emotions at the brink. Bacon plays Tom Stark, a train engineer unable to face his ...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Kevin Bacon, Marcia Gay Harden, Miles Heizer, Marin Hinkle, Eugene Byrd
Director: Alison Eastwood
Creators: Tom Stern, Gary Roach, Barrett Stuart, Peer J. Oppenheimer, Robert Lorenz, Tim Moore, Micky Levy
Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Family Life
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 06/17/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2007
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 41min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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Member Movie Reviews

Kevin G. from PLYMOUTH, IN
Reviewed on 4/13/2014...
Predictable, but still a good movie with values, morals, and tragedies in life. I thought the acting was good and the movie had good messages to deliver. If your looking for a blockbuster or a top action film you won't find it here. Still if your looking for a good movie with feeling than this is a good choice. Excellent performance by Marcia Gay Harden!!
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Leah G. (Leahbelle) from NIPOMO, CA
Reviewed on 2/2/2014...
This movie starts out sad, gets sadder, but has a good ending. Excellent acting on the part of all.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Robert M. from DURAND, IL
Reviewed on 5/2/2013...
i found it to be a very sad but good movie.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
MARLENE B. (Marly)
Reviewed on 1/10/2012...
Very well acted small movie with a big message about love in the face of tragedy.

Don't let the sad circumstances keep you from viewing this movie. It is all about hope and perhaps, eventually, a happy ending.

A big plus is a great child actor MILES HEIZER (who I thought I had not seen before). I believe he is headed for a really great career!

Upon searching Wikepedia, I find that he is actually in a fantasic show that I have been watching since its premier....PARENTHOOD... in which Miles Heizer plays the role of Drew Holt, Sarah Braverman's (Lauren Graham) son. So my first instinct while watching this movie turns out to be correct...he IS very talented!

As always Kevin Bacon & Marcia Gay Harden are like chameleons who submerge themselves into their roles leaving all "acting" behind to become the characters.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Finding Redemption in Tragedy
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 06/22/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"RAILS & TIES, under the guidance of first time director Alison Eastwood, tackles an implausible subject of multiple tragedies resulting in repairing personal breaks and with the able assistance of a groups of excellent actors makes a finely tune, sensitive study of little lives struggling against major odds. It is well conceived, well written (Micky Levy), well acted and sincerely moving.

Tom Stark (Kevin Bacon) is a train engineer, married to his job as well as being married to his nurse wife Megan (Marcia Gay Harden) who is facing the ugly fact that her breast cancer is terminal. The cancer has spread beyond Megan's body into the tenuous space that keeps a marriage glued: Megan attempts to hide her desperate need for emotional support by continuing to work as a nurse and Tom takes on extra train runs to avoid the reality that face him at home. The other side of the story is equally sad: young Davey Danner (Miles Heizer) cares of his psychologically shattered mother (Bonnie Root) and unknowingly accompanies her on a jaunt to 'see the train' - a ploy well planned by the suicidal mother to drive in front of an oncoming train to end her life along with Davey's. The conductor of the train is of course Tom Stark, and when Tom first sees the car on the tracks, he keeps to company policy that recommends gradual slowing rather than the danger of an abrupt stop: the result is the death of Davey's mother but Davey escapes the crash while trying to pull his mother from the car. The tragedies mount: Davey is left homeless, being placed in a foster home run by the cruel 'mom' (Margo Martindale) only to escape to find the 'killer' of his mother; Tom is put on leave for the incident; Megan gets the final word that she has very little time left and is ready to leave the distant Tom. It is this inadvertent entrance of Davey into the lives of Tom and Megan that results in a healing of three souls who are desperate for the connection of love.

While some my find the story implausible and saccharine, others will appreciate the manner in which Eastwood holds rein on the story, playing it for quiet honesty instead of explosive situations. Both Bacon and Harden deliver the quality of sophisticated performances that have marked their careers, and the remainder of the cast gives strong support - especially Eugene Byrd, Marin Hinkle, Bonnie Root, Margo Martindale, and of course Miles Heizer. This is a tough story to tell but the film holds an indelible mark on the viewer. Grady Harp, June 08"
A Smart, Authentic, Emotional Ride
Laurel M. DiGangi | 05/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"RAILS AND TIES is a quiet, well-crafted film that captures the complicated, conflicting emotions people undergo when confronted with terminal cancer. But it's no disease-of-the-week weeper. Instead, it's a gutsy tale of a strong woman (Marcia Gay Harden) who must reassess her life after medical science has ultimately failed her. Her anguished husband (Kevin Bacon) buries himself in his job as a railroad conductor--until a suicidal woman parks her car in front of his oncoming train. Forced to take a leave of absence while the incident is being investigated, Bacon's character must now stay at home and confront his wife's illness.

The main thrust of the story concerns the couple's encounter with the suicide victim's preteen son (Miles Heizer) with whom they develop a parental bond. Although this twist creates new conflicts for the couple, it rekindles their lost relationship--as well as drives the film forward towards its life-affirming conclusion.

The film's performances are superb, and Alison Eastwood's direction is graceful and sublime. Micky Levy's screenplay creates characters that are truly believable and 3-dimensional, and brings us into their world so deeply that we don't want to leave.
Sorrowful film that stays real in the end...
Steve Kuehl | Ben Lomond, CA | 06/15/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"A roller coaster of a film that does not stray away from the difficult movie topics of suicide and cancer. This will most likely be a must see for any train people (both scale models and in passenger size). I can see the story has already been laid out in the other reviews, boring some and impressing others so I will stick with a production review.

Kevin Bacon portrays hidden emotional tangents as well as always, he looked similar to his character from Woodsman (an often skipped but worthy film). His trademark walk/swagger shows through a couple of times but his performance was believable and in the end, convincing since he had to go from being emotionally stunted to a single parent in one week. Marcia Gay Harden was outstanding and gave her best performance to date as a dying, childless woman in a defunct marriage who had always yearned for a child. The child actor (Heizer) gave his first big performance in film here, and he does not disappoint. The roles of being caregiver to his suicidal mom, to a grieving homeless kid, to the acceptance of the man who drove the train that killed her, could not have been easy. He stumbles a few times but has the early workings and innocent face of a young River Phoenix.

The deleted scenes were so relevant to back story and the kid's time being homeless, they should have been left in just to give something to the lead characters past and present dilemmas. The two actors (in these deleted parts) gave wonderful performances but appeared nowhere else in the film; I cannot even find their credits listed.

At times, customers ask for a film that will uplift them and not make them cry, this film will not be the one I hand them. If they ask for that prolific "good" film with a solid story and believable characters, Rails and Ties will be on the list. The ending has been seen as a happy one, but I disagree. Spoilers following - their ambiguous stroll into that agency could only lead to misery, legal entanglements, people being fired, and probable separation - but I suppose it was the only way it could end realistically. The Eastwoods are known for their unhappy endings though, and I hope this DVD does not get overlooked."