Backdraft Reviews

Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
February 5, 2008
Backdraft has some of the raw filmmaking excitement that has been missing from Howard's recent work.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Variety Staff
Variety
February 5, 2008
Visually, pic often is exhilarating, but it's shapeless and dragged down by corny, melodramatic characters and situations.
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
February 5, 2008
Visually speaking, the film does pretty well with fire-as-spectacle, less well with everything else (Howard tends to trot out fuzzy-toned Spielbergian backlighting on any pretext).
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Time Out
January 26, 2006
The fire sequences are stunning, and the build-up to them, complete with blaring sirens and bellowed conversations, has an aggressive immediacy.
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Janet Maslin
New York Times
May 20, 2003
The spectacular fire sequences, which must have been hellish to film, are powerfully enveloping on screen, thanks especially to the eerie effect of the title.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Rita Kempley
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
Backdraft is sure to do for fire what The Poseidon Adventure did for water.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
[The scenes involving fire] are so good they make me recommend the movie anyway, despite its brain-damaged screenplay.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
Director Howard is so mesmerized by the flames, he squirts formulaic lighter fluid over everything.