Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 32
  2. Negative: 6 out of 32
  1. 30
    The men in this movie are little more than beer ad cliches going through Ford tough motions as though trapped in a bad country music video. There's not a realistic moment or character or performance in the picture.
  2. The firefighting equivalent of an Army recruitment commercial.
  3. 25
    For all its noble intentions, the movie is really a work of crass exploitation -- an obvious and manipulative grab to cash in on the post-9/11 hero worship of the firefighting profession.
  4. 25
    Tedious and obnoxiously manipulative.
  5. Reviewed by: Leah McLaren
    I like firemen just as much as the next red-blooded gal (they're big, strong, real-life heroes, what's not to like?) but something about Ladder 49, for all its slow-motion shots of burly guys in T-shirts sliding down poles and running into burning buildings with gushing hoses, made me seriously want to gag.
  6. What makes this nonsense more galling than usual is that while Ladder 49 might have started out as a heartfelt attempt to honor those in the line of literal fire, it weighs in as an attempt to exploit their post-Sept. 11 symbolism.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 62 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 40
  2. Negative: 1 out of 40
  1. Oct 16, 2010
    Although hardly publicised and fairly predictable, it is a film which you really get into. I'd never heard of it when I began watching it; but thoroughly enjoyable. But sad. Full Review »
  2. PatC.
    May 3, 2006
    Shamelessly hokey Hollywood Formula 49 piece. An homage to firefighters without the annoyance of allowing the viewer to experience an original thought. The content rings true, but the presentation does not. Despite an obtuse presentation its point is made. The fact that the movie is about those who charge into what others are fleeing is not negated by the techniques and motives of the filmmaker. Full Review »
  3. DaveF
    Sep 8, 2005
    Predictable and shallow as it goes through the motions of the Hollywood tearjerker. That said, it's still a lot of fun to watch--and might even knock some sense into the college kid who likes to pull his dorm's fire alarm. Full Review »