Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 12
  2. Negative: 4 out of 12
  1. Director Howard is so mesmerized by the flames, he squirts formulaic lighter fluid over everything. A conflagration of hyped-up movie cliches, courtesy of George Lucas's Industrial Light & Magic special effects shop, scalds your face.
  2. Reviewed by: Michael Sragow
    Gregory Widen's script is like a Mad parody played straight, full of "Scenes We Wouldn't Like to See."
  3. The flames sure look real, but everything else in Backdraft, director Ron Howard's inflatable ode to firefighters, seems about as genuine as a plastic log in an electric hearth. Howard's particular type of schmaltz works well enough in small dabs on comic canvases (Splash, Cocoon, even Parenthood), but pumped up to heroic proportions, the sentimentality is just plain silly - in this case, cheap melodrama on a two-hour jag.
  4. 10
    A noisy, impenetrable and totally nonsensical cogitation on the nature of firefighters and the sizzling "animal" they love...We just wish somebody would call 911 for boredom.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 27 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Jan 1, 2013
    Thanks to a refreshingly straightforward story, stellar directorial skills from Ron Howard, and an absolutely mind-blowing set of special effects, "Backdraft" makes for a worthy blockbuster of the greatly intelligent kind. Full Review »
  2. Dec 18, 2012
    It's definitely a good story, a poor performance on Baldwin but Russell does a good job, excellent special effects, and for those critics that say that there were too many fire in the movie I say HELLO!!!!! it's a firefighter's story, it's absolutely expected to see some flames in the movie don't you think? Well, it has a good plot and a great ending. Full Review »
  3. Aug 29, 2012
    I love Backdraft it's my alltime favorite firefighter movie this movie is claer cut of how a ood cast,great direction and story plus jaw dropping fire scenes filled with special effects can amke a movie so good.Backdraft's storyline starts out in familar territory then begins to tread on unexplored areas of storytelling.The cast in this film is as much of a presence as the fire.Ron Howard who reallys surprised me with this movie tis wasn't something he usually did bt he pulled it off wonderfully.That is why I gave this film a perfect score. Full Review »