Jacob's Ladder Reviews

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Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
August 23, 2014
It's weird and surreal, but it ends with most of the holes plugged and all but a few of the loose ends tied into a tidy package. Some argue this is a cheat and the film should have been more open ended. That's a personal choice; I like it the way it is.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
John Hartl
Seattle Times
August 23, 2014
For hours and days after you've seen it, you'll still be putting it together in your head. While all of it is gripping, it doesn't come together until the final scene, which is jolting, transcendent, unexpected yet inevitable.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Dave Kehr
Chicago Tribune
August 23, 2014
As long as the movie refuses to commit itself, it is a truly creepy, nerve-jangling experience.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Gary Thompson
Philadelphia Daily News
August 23, 2014
Jacob's Ladder is unique. Rarely is such an unconventional screenplay given this full-blown, $25 million studio treatment. It is a curiosity -- a mutant of a movie in an industry that specializes in clones.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Christopher Null
Austin Chronicle
August 23, 2014
One of Robbins' finest unheralded performances, plus a slew of supporting roles from then-unknowns Eriq LaSalle, Ving Rhames, Jason Alexander, Pruitt Taylor Vince, and an uncredited Macaulay Culkin.
Top Critic
Gene Siskel
Chicago Tribune
August 23, 2014
[Robbins' and Pena's] scenes together are the highlight of the film, so natural, so bright. That's why we're willing to invest a lot of time in what turns out to be a terribly overwrought plot.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
August 23, 2014
A friend, after seeing Jacob's Ladder, griped, "I wasn't afraid of dying -- until I saw this movie." Put that blurb in an ad and see who shows up at the multiplexes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Roger Hurlburt
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
August 23, 2014
Despite its frequently maddening lapses in logic and time frame, Jacob`s Ladder transcends most script ills to become a haunting and truly chilling thriller-melodrama.
David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor
August 23, 2014
Tim Robbins gives a strong performance in this first-class horror yarn, which has a surprisingly strong political edge.
Michael Nordine
Not Coming to a Theater Near You
October 14, 2011
Jacob's Ladder only belongs to the horror genre insofar as it understands these conventions well enough to simultaneously borrow from and transcend them. In the process, it becomes something else altogether.
John A. Nesbit
Old School Reviews
January 22, 2011
worthwhile journey--just didn't blow me away
Full Review | Original Score: C+

Film4
March 27, 2009
Unfairly dismissed on its original release, this really deserves to be better known: the ultimate example of bad-trip mainstream cinema.

TV Guide's Movie Guide
March 27, 2009
Truly frightening and visually unique, this messy, challenging film is anchored by Tim Robbins' remarkable performance.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
March 27, 2009
A bold, powerful psychological horror film.
Top Critic
Steve Grant
Time Out
June 24, 2006
Lyne's giddying, unsettling direction conjures up moments of horrifying hallucinogenic power from the bad-trip hell of his protagonist.
Cole Smithey
ColeSmithey.com
March 13, 2006
This movie is a one-of-a-kind political satire.
| Original Score: 5/5
Kevin Carr
7M Pictures
September 30, 2005
A unique, surreal thriller.
| Original Score: 4/5
Andy Klein
Los Angeles CityBeat
July 30, 2005
| Original Score: 4/5
Rob Thomas
Capital Times (Madison, WI)
May 12, 2005
Terrific, original and truly unsettling.
| Original Score: 4/5
Clint Morris
Film Threat
May 6, 2005
Will scare the bejesus out of you.....one of the cleverest films of the 90's
| Original Score: 3/5
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