This delightful piece relates of an unscheduled jaunt aboard a locomotive "borrowed" by veteran trainmen Will Henry (Wilford Brimley) and Leo Pickett (Levon Helm) after their employer, Southland Railroad, shifts its manner of freight transport to the airlanes, resulting in the closure of a railyard in Clifford, Arkansas, with a subsequent loss to many in the small town of their livelihood. Freshman director Jay Russell, invited while attending a similarly fledgling Sundance Institute's workshop to develop his script, does so very effectively, with most of the filming taking place near his hometown of Little Rock, enabling Russell's strongly regional feeling for the South to aid him in composing a very personal, well-executed work. The locomotive is being taken by Will and Leo to Chicago, wherein the pair hope to present their grievances to the parent corporation's board chairman, and Russell formulates a recipe for some delicious humour, some satirical, during the adventure, with blessedly minimal slapstick, focussing not only upon the two railroaders but their waiting families, as well. A well-selected cast is aptly directed, with particularly strong performances from Kevin Bacon, Mary Steenburgen and Holly Hunter, the last two of whom gift the scenario with delicious comedic timing. With talented supporting players helping to make possible a successful blend of whimsy and the didactic, END OF THE LINE belies its rather low budget, assisted to a large extent by cinematographer George Tirl, who here intensifies the standard colour scale while utilizing a wide range of facial lighting to help in representing performers' thoughts.