Picks and Pans Review: Rails & Ties

updated 11/05/2007 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/05/2007 AT 01:00 AM EST

Kevin Bacon, Marcia Gay Harden | PG-13 |

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If there's such a thing as a quality tearjerker, Rails qualifies. It's a bittersweet look at a husband (Bacon) and wife (Harden)—she's fatally ill—who find happiness in her final days caring for an orphaned boy with whom they have a sorrowful connection. The plot is contrived, but first-time director Alison Eastwood wisely plays it straight, aided by moving, unshowy performances from her two talented stars.

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