Critic Reviews



Based on 22 critic reviews provided by
It is perfectly cast and soundly constructed, and all else flows naturally. Steve Martin and John Candy don't play characters; they embody themselves.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles is the ultimate Thanksgiving film: John Hughes understood that it's all about the buildup. No matter if your journey is filled with near-death experiences, cars going up in flames, punches to the face and other disasters – getting to enjoy Thanksgiving with family and friends make the odyssey worth it. Everything else is just turkey.
I feel like we catch a brief glimpse here of an amazing filmmaker who never quite existed.
The Hollywood Reporter
Hughes' savvy notwithstanding, the appeal of Planes is due to Martin and Candy's comically controlled, ever-ingratiating performances.
With its deft blend of hilarity and humanity, Planes, Trains and Automobiles is Hughes' most satisfying work.
A warm, mature offering from Hughes, with Martin's restraint a perfect counterpoint to Candy's enormous (and enormously amusing) fooling around. You'll find sympathy here, but just as many calamitous antics as you'd expect in any Hughes vehicle.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is one of those rare movies that manages to mingle outrageous comedy and light drama in such a way that we aren't repulsed or offended by its simplicity and occasional mawkishness. It's a fine cinematic treat that doesn't demand much from a viewer, but gives back a lot, both in terms of laughter and good feeling.
Time Out London
A couple of overgrown brats seems an appropriate focus for John The Breakfast Club Hughes first adult movie, but if his direction is slick, his script lacks wit and perception. Essentially, it's the stars' keenly observed nuances of character that make this comedy amiable enough.
Mr. Martin and Mr. Candy are an easy twosome to watch even with marginal material, though, and the film is never worse than slow.
With a concept as thin as this, Planes, Trains and Automobiles could have easily become a repetitious bore. Instead, producer-director-writer Hughes infuses his film with an appealing sense of sentiment and humanity--not to mention many hilarious scenes.

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