Ladder 49 Image
Metascore
47

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 64 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: When a firefighter (Phoenix) is trapped in the worst blaze of his career, his life and the things he holds important -- family, dignity, courage -- come into focus. As his fellow firemen of Ladder 49 do all they can to rescue him, Jack's life hangs in the balance. (TouchstoneWhen a firefighter (Phoenix) is trapped in the worst blaze of his career, his life and the things he holds important -- family, dignity, courage -- come into focus. As his fellow firemen of Ladder 49 do all they can to rescue him, Jack's life hangs in the balance. (Touchstone Pictures/Beacon Pictures) Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 32
  2. Negative: 6 out of 32
  1. 88
    Because it is attentive to these human elements, Ladder 49 draws from the action scenes instead of depending on them. Phoenix, Travolta, Barrett and the others are given characters with dimension, so that what happens depends on their decisions, not on the plot.
  2. Celebrates heroes without turning them into saints.
  3. 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.
  4. Plays like a war movie made in a time of war: too careful, too programmatic.
  5. Reviewed by: Carina Chocano
    50
    As a loving tribute to the courage and sacrifice of firefighters, it's first-class. As a movie, it's a TV show.
  6. 40
    This drama about Baltimore firefighters makes a serious effort to honor the sacrifices of professional rescue workers, but blasts of hokum keep threatening to collapse the building.
  7. 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.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 40
  2. Negative: 1 out of 40
  1. Oct 16, 2010
    10
    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; butAlthough 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. Expand
  2. DaveF
    Sep 8, 2005
    6
    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 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. Expand
  3. PatC.
    May 3, 2006
    6
    Shamelessly hokey Hollywood Formula 49 piece. An homage to firefighters without the annoyance of allowing the viewer to experience an 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. Expand

See all 40 User Reviews