Backdraft - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Backdraft Reviews

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Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
January 7, 2003
| Original Score: 2/5
Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy
July 26, 2014
Absolutely fantastic setpieces strung along an absolutely dimwitted script.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
Top Critic
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).
Top Critic
Variety Staff
February 5, 2008
Visually, pic often is exhilarating, but it's shapeless and dragged down by corny, melodramatic characters and situations.
Christopher Null
September 27, 2006
simultaneously overblown and threadbare
| Original Score: 3/5
Jeffrey Westhoff
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
October 17, 2002
| Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
Director Howard is so mesmerized by the flames, he squirts formulaic lighter fluid over everything.
Jake Euker
F5 (Wichita, KS)
March 18, 2004
| Original Score: 1/5
Jon Niccum
Lawrence Journal-World
January 20, 2006
| Original Score: 2/5
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
November 5, 2002
Typical over-produced, lowest-common-denominator Ron Howard film
| Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Rita Kempley
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
Backdraft is sure to do for fire what The Poseidon Adventure did for water.
Kathleen Maher
Austin Chronicle
February 5, 2008
The film exploits Chicago's terrain of ethnic neighborhoods, political turf, and glorious modern architecture, but it has trouble when it comes in close to the personal level.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
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
Nell Minow
Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
August 31, 2004
| Original Score: 4/5
James Rocchi
November 7, 2002
The three separate elements don't quite gel, but the overall experience is still a fine bit of moviemaking.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Scott Weinberg
July 25, 2002
A patchwork concoction of other (better) movies, but the gung-ho ensemble keeps it all afloat.
| Original Score: 3/5
Clint Morris
April 27, 2003
Blazingly good cinema...the performances first rate, the action, never lets up
| Original Score: 4/5
Brian Orndorf
May 24, 2011
Manipulative? Yes. But damn, citywide funerals, a cranked score, and some Baldwin blue steel redemption poses clears away any irksome storytelling dissatisfaction.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Heather Boerner
Common Sense Media
September 23, 2010
Ron Howard popcorn-muncher is sappy, not smokin'.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Frank Ochieng
June 7, 2003
Howard's burning ode to firefighters and the professional and personal lives they hope to conquer with devotion and defiance. A drama that convincingly spreads itself like a roaring blaze.
| Original Score: 4/5
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