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Based on 20 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 0 )
  • 50
    Peter Stack San Francisco Chronicle

    If you ask too many questions about Jacob's Ladder, you're likely to burst the bubble. For all its emotional sizzle and spit, it leaves you hanging. Yet the ride to Lyne's middle-of-nowhere is almost worth it. [2 Nov 1990, p.E1] show more

  • 63
    Mike Clark USA Today

    One sits through Ladder halfway engrossed, though always with a sense that its impending punchline will render the preceding an industrial- strength put-on. Then again, there are people out there who thought Ghost was profound. [2 Nov 1990, p.6D] show more

  • 50
    Julie Salamon Wall Street Journal

    As a metaphysical exploration of otherworldliness, Jacob's Ladder has a kind of morbid intensity, for those who like that sort of thing. The picture flounders, however, with its insistence on injecting a little politics into the paranormal brew. [1Nov 1990, p.A20] show more

  • 88
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    This movie left me reeling with turmoil and confusion, with feelings of sadness and despair. Those are the notes it strives for. show more

  • 88
    TV Guide

    Truly frightening and visually unique, this messy, challenging film is anchored by Tim Robbins' remarkable performance. show more

  • 88
    James Berardinelli ReelViews

    I wouldn't go so far as to classify Jacob's Ladder as a masterpiece, but it is smart and compelling and unquestionably worth a first or second look. show more

  • 75
    Dave Kehr Chicago Tribune

    There's little doubt that Jacob's Ladder is a failure-it's a messy, unsatisfying and often overreaching film-yet it fails in interesting, ambitious ways. It's a must-see disaster. [2 Nov 1990, p.C] show more

  • 75
    Rick Groen The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

    Jacob's Ladder is a cheat - but a talented, disturbing, beguiling cheat. We don't know we've been truly had until it's finally over, when the screen fades and the lights rise and we wake up with a start, deliciously unnerved. [2 Nov 1990, p.D3] show more

  • 50
    Jay Carr Boston Globe

    The strength of Jacob's Ladder is that we never know what the next scene will be. But that's also its weakness. We don't feel involved with the characters here. We just feel jerked around. Jacob's Ladder, finally, is bummer theater. [2 Nov 1990, p.73] show more

  • 60

    Despite all the confusion, it's a simple case of the script being too ambitious. It may emulate a man experiencing flashbacks, but it doesn't help the audience. show more

similar movies

  • Stir of Echoes (1999)

  • The Machinist (2004)

  • The Shining (1980)

  • Spider (2002)

  • Identity (2003)

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