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… More 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.
Consensus: Despite the strong cast, Rails & Ties is an emotionally overwrought, not entirely believable melodrama.