Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Dean Essner - Entertainment Weekly
It's very slow, though it does offer a respite from the overactive animation that kids are mostly subjected to.
Elvis Mitchell - New York Times
Witless and inert.
Mike Clark - USA Today
What a pain in the old caboose.
Rita Kempley - Washington Post
Thomas is a train worth catching.
Loren King - Boston Globe
Thomas fans should be pleased.
Nancy Churnin - Dallas Morning News
An inept assembly of ill-matched plot points.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Scenes with Peter Fonda as a melancholy grandfather -- he couldn't get a cherished engine running in time for his late wife to ride it -- periodically bring the movie screeching to a halt.
Lisa Alspector - Chicago Reader
Susan Stark - Detroit News
Compared with contempo kidpics, the whole thing also looks rather low-tech.
Derek Elley - Variety
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
Can you say, 'Minimalist animation'?
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
It's like a lost moment.
Tom Keogh - Film.com
A really unnecessary movie, whose purpose is primarily to promote the inevitable home video.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
The movie is no better than something designed for a direct-to-video release.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
For the target audience -- probably between 3 and 5 -- it is bang on target.
Mark Adams - Hollywood Reporter
Dean Essner - Sight and Sound
Will please its many fans, but plot might confuse kids.
Nell Minow - Common Sense Media
Mark Halverson - Sacramento News & Review
With clunky bluescreen, spot-a-mile-off matte work and an absolute lack of synergy between real-life and animated action, it all conspires to provide an appropriately amateur sheen.
Dean Essner - Empire Magazine
If all this sounds convoluted, well, it's a toddlers' film and anything goes.
Derek Adams - Time Out
Please, for the love of God, don't let it be a franchise. Think of the parents.
Susannah Breslin - Film Threat
There's no magic here, only incompetence.
Joe Mader - Palo Alto Weekly
...A strange, brooding story vastly different from its TV ancestor, and it will soon slip indistinctly from the public consciousness and into video stores, which is where it belongs.
John R. McEwen - Film Quips Online
An inglorious wreck of a movie.
Edward Lawrenson - Sight and Sound
Kids who loved the TV series will probably love this too. Adults will likely be less enthused.
Jean Lowerison - San Diego Metropolitan
Dean Essner - Hollywood.com
Dean Essner - Boston Phoenix
Could have been worse I suppose. At least there are no Pokemons or (shudder) grinning purple dinosaurs around.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
If I had been on drugs, I would have laughed hysterically at those silly trains, with only their googly eyes giving them expression.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
The kind of film that they should show kids who have been really bad.
Jon Popick - Planet Sick-Boy
Offers a smooth trip.
Dean Essner - E! Online
This surprisingly complex tale also includes a magic conductor (an enthusiastic Alec Baldwin) who desperately needs magic gold dust so he can do his work.
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
The reward for adults will be to watch how completely such rudimentary magic captivates their children.
Louis B. Hobson - Jam! Movies
A complete and undeniable bore.
Rob Blackwelder - SPLICEDWire
Dean Essner - Irish Times
It's sad in the extreme to see a behind-the-scenes cast of thousands, well hundreds, combining in an attempt to turn visual effects and animation into pure, innocent magic, and failing miserably.
Michael Thomson - BBC
It is also mildly troubling that the female characters are so passive.
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
As long as the kids leave the theater twirling and dancing, you've got a magical family experience.
Nina Garin - San Diego Union-Tribune
Wait for the video.
Susan Granger - rec.arts.movies.reviews
Thomas and his movie truly stay on track.
John Monaghan - Detroit Free Press
It's difficult to say which is worse--Allcroft's script or her direction.
Maria Garcia - Film Journal International
Tough going in spite of its obvious desire to please.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
You really don't want to be railroaded into seeing it.
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A cynical, poorly constructed attempt to make parents and kids pay for a lesser version of what they can get free on TV.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
This movie could have been a whole lot better.
Jim Chastain - Norman Transcript
Even Amtrak hasn't seen a derailment this godawful in some time.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
The complex story is too much to chew for the average preschooler.
Valerie Kuklenski - Los Angeles Daily News
Meanders in a slow, tiresome way.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
I just can't recommend it.
Laura Clifford - rec.arts.movies.reviews
Nonsensical, cheesy, saccharine drivel, with all the charm of the source material removed, and the low-tech special effects kept in.
Ian Waldron-Mantgani - UK Critic
How do these kids follow all this?!
Norm Schrager - Filmcritic.com
Gosh, this is a good-natured movie.
Mike DeWolfe - Apollo Guide
Simply one of the poorest entertainments ever offered up to the world's children.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
This film's ideal medium is video.
Maitland McDonagh - TV Guide's Movie Guide
It's the strangest collision of lessons I've ever seen in a kid's film: Believe in magic but respect the work ethic.
Sean Axmaker - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
I grew confused, then annoyed and finally just fatigued.
Edward Johnson-Ott - NUVO Newsweekly
Only very small children are likely to be satisfied.
John Hartl - Seattle Times
Yet its story moves along with efficiency.
Mary Kalin-Casey - Reel.com
The sloppy storytelling leaves the magic in short supply.
Dan Lybarger - Nitrate Online
This land of sweetness and light may appeal to many, but to some it is going to seem like living hell.
Bob Graham - San Francisco Chronicle
The sight of Baldwin watering a potted plant while a Christopher Cross-like song glistens around him is at once charming and cruel.
Wesley Morris - San Francisco Examiner
Thomas never gets out of the station.
Steven Mazey - Ottawa Citizen
The story here is disjointed, episodic and obviously lacks a cohesive factor needed to pull everything together into a satisfying whole.
Jim Judy - Screen It!
Thomas and the Magic [Railroad] is short on charm.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Writer, Director, and Producer Britt Allcroft should be run over by a fast-moving locomotive.
Susannah Breslin - TNT's Rough Cut
Eye-popping wardrobe makes for a tasty visual treat.
Sue Pierman - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Thomas may make you lose your own 'sparkle', so take some Valium if the children insist.
Rob Campbell - IFilm
The studio should have waited until they had a script with over an hour's worth of material in it.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
Mark A. Perigard - Boston Herald