User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 64 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 64
  2. Negative: 3 out of 64
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  1. CarlosR.
    Oct 3, 2004
    4
    Wow do you think that they had Metacritic in mind when they named it Ladder 49? That's about the score the movie should receive. Nothing great, just mediocre at best. A nice way to pass the time on a rainy day but that is about it.
  2. burtonm.
    Jan 12, 2005
    1
    Complete turd. Slow, sappy, boring.
  3. Leonard
    May 4, 2005
    4
    From start to finish the quality of the theater and the comfort of the seats seemed to dominate my movie experiance. Being a firefighter I can only hope that our youth was equally impressed with only the seats and the theater.
  4. MichaelM.
    Oct 21, 2004
    4
    I didn't care for this film. Some good special effects, couldn't redeem the film for me. The acting was mostly terrible: John Travolta gave one of the worst performances of his career, and the woman who played Joaquin Phoenix's wife was painful to watch act. The film has a corny and over-the-top screenplay, and the characters are unlikable hicks who put alcohol away like I didn't care for this film. Some good special effects, couldn't redeem the film for me. The acting was mostly terrible: John Travolta gave one of the worst performances of his career, and the woman who played Joaquin Phoenix's wife was painful to watch act. The film has a corny and over-the-top screenplay, and the characters are unlikable hicks who put alcohol away like the entire population of Ireland (sorry for the offensive joke.) I guess it's kind of just an unlikable film, with a sappy and shameful ending. The only good element about this film was Joaquin Phoenix's performance. I agree with one critic when he said the only thing that would get movie-goers out of the theater faster would be an actual fire. HA! I like that joke. Expand
Metascore
47

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 32
  2. Negative: 6 out of 32
  1. 40
    In a shrill attempt to overcompensate for the film's shortcomings, William Ross' hyperbolic score does the audience's work for it, cheering heroism, guffawing during lighthearted moments, and getting all misty-eyed during the tender and tragic scenes.
  2. The film is less of a drama than a tribute -- an ode, even -- to the spirit and tenacity of firefighters. Its makers hardly bother to explore the lives or motives behind their actions.
  3. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    60
    It plays, rather, like an old-fashioned, by-the-numbers drama that solidly connects with most of its well-worn cliches.