Ladder 49 (2004)

Ladder 49 (2004)

Ladder 49



Critic Consensus: Instead of humanizing the firemen, the movie idolizes them, and thus renders them into cardboard characters.

Movie Info

Baltimore firefighter Jack Morrison, making the transition from inexperienced rookie to seasoned veteran, struggles to cope with a risky, demanding job that often shortchanges his wife and kids. He relies on the support of his mentor and captain, Mike Kennedy and his second family--found in the brotherly bond between the men of the firehouse. But when Jack becomes trapped in the worst blaze of his career, his life and the things he holds important--family, dignity, courage--come into focus. As … More

Rating: PG-13 (for intense fire and rescue situations, and for language)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: Lewis Colick
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 8, 2005
Box Office: $74.5M
Buena Vista - Official Site


as Jack Morrison

as Capt. Mike Kennedy

as Linda Morrison

as Lenny Richter

as Tommy Drake

as Dennis Gauquin

as Ray Gauquin

as Tony Corrigan

as Keith Perez

as Frank McKinney

as Don Miller

as Katie Morrison

as Robert Reilly

as Nicky Morrison
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Ladder 49

All Critics (171) | Top Critics (39)

Except for Jack no one else in the film is very well defined, and it often falls back onto types. The actors are good, and make the best of what they've got, but what they've got is very thin.

Full Review… | March 29, 2011

Unabashed love letter to firefighters everywhere.

Full Review… | December 25, 2010
Common Sense Media

A fairly routine firefighter drama, with burning-building sequences that more or less all look alike.

Full Review… | September 24, 2007

It's slick and it honors firefighters as obviously as the first wave of WWII films paid tribute to America's fighting men and women.

Full Review… | July 25, 2007
Movie Metropolis

A well-crafted tribute to the many dedicated firefighters who risk life and limb to make our world a little safer.

October 25, 2006
Christianity Today

...has about the same amount of depth as an article from 'Boy's Life.'

Full Review… | July 25, 2005

Audience Reviews for Ladder 49


All my life, I've always wondered what it would be like to work as a firefighter. The excitement, the comradery and the opportunity to save lives. There's so many things that makes it an appealing career-choice. This movie captures it all really well, and gives you a good sense of what life must be like for these every-day heroes. Through some top notch directing and the dynamic chemistry between its cast members (with Joaquin Phoenix and John Travolta at the peak of their talent), we are treated to a highly absorbing experience, filled with humor, action and intense dramatic moments. Quite sad in a lot of places, but a movie that I'm glad I gave the chance. Because what I had initially dismissed as a standard-type drama, actually had a lot more to give than I gave it credit for. So if you're gonna watch a movie about fire-fighting, this is definitely the one to go for.

Mike S

Super Reviewer


A very good, action drama about the life of a firefighter seen in flashbacks. It's quite entertaining, seeing him work his way from rookie to the experienced fireman and how things change over the years. A very fine cast it has to be added and the fire, action scenes are really good. Well worth checking out.

Dean King

Super Reviewer

Quite possibly the worst Joaquin Phoenix film. Ladder 49 is a crappy drama film with overused cliches and we've already seen it all before. A bad Fireman film this is just a pointless excuse for a film. I view this film as a Backdraft ripoff, it borrows from many plot elements from that film. Ladder 49 never really does anything very dramatic as it follows closely every dramatic cliche in the book, in other words; we've seen it all before.
A total waste of time and definitely not a good film. A film with bad script, bad acting and bad plot, this is a film to miss.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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