Backdraft

1991, Mystery & thriller/Drama, 2h 17m

56 Reviews 100,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

It's not particularly deep, but Backdraft is a strong action movie with exceptional special effects. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Chicago firefighting brothers Stephen (Kurt Russell) and Brian (William Baldwin) have been rivals since childhood. Brian, struggling to prove himself, transfers to the arson unit. There he aids Don (Robert De Niro) in his investigation into a spate of fires involving oxygen-induced infernos called backdrafts. But when a conspiracy implicating a crooked politician and an arsonist leads Brian back to Stephen, he is forced to overcome his brotherly competitiveness in order to crack the case.

Cast & Crew

Kurt Russell
Stephen "Bull" McCaffrey, Dennis McCaffrey
William Baldwin
Brian McCaffrey
Robert De Niro
Donald 'Shadow' Rimgale
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Jennifer Vaitkus
Scott Glenn
John "Axe" Adcox
Rebecca De Mornay
Helen McCaffrey
Jason Gedrick
Tim Krizminski
J.T. Walsh
Alderman Marty Swayzak
Anthony Mockus Sr.
Chief John Fitzgerald
Mark Wheeler
Pengelly
Clint Howard
Ricco, Pathologist
Ryan Todd
Brian, Age 7
John Duda
Stephen, Age 12
Raffaella De Laurentiis
Executive Producer
Larry DeWaay
Co-Producer
Brian Grazer
Executive Producer
Todd Hallowell
Associate Producer
John Watson
Producer
Hans Zimmer
Original Music
Mikael Salomon
Cinematographer
Dan Hanley
Film Editor
Mike Hill
Film Editor
Albert Brenner
Production Design
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News & Interviews for Backdraft

Critic Reviews for Backdraft

All Critics (56) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (42) | Rotten (14)

Audience Reviews for Backdraft

  • Sep 27, 2015
    I have enjoyed this film for a long time and I am one of the biggest fans of this film, especially since I have admired firefighters since I was very young and I appreciate what those brave heroes do for us every day and night. My admiration for firefighters increased even further after the September 11th attacks. Now, this film is good for the most part. But, there are some goofs in this film, like firefighters not donning their breathing apparatus in certain parts. All in all, just well done and I had little to no complaints! Just LOTS of fun to watch! :-) Good job, Ron Howard, the cast and crew! Nothing else to say . Just a good popcorn muncher of a film!
    David T Super Reviewer
  • Feb 16, 2015
    The crime-thriller, family-drama and action hero elements of the film rub up against each other rather than meshing, but the skill that went in to the filmmaking behind Backdraft is irrefutable.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 08, 2014
    The fire effects have held up remarkably well, but that's about the only thing of note. This notion that fire is a "living breathing thing" and is essentially the the film's main villain ( I'd argue Scott Glenn was just a henchman) is entirely too stupid to forgive.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 27, 2013
    Pretty solid, classic style of the 90s action movie. This film has too much "showboating;" it takes so long to get around to the actual firefighting sometimes, instead focusing on the family drama (which is needed and interesting, but still doesn't really hit an effective crescendo) and the brothers' relationships with their girlfriends/families (which is important in the case of Russell's character, but clearly extraneous in Baldwin's case). So these outside story arcs are necessary to some extent but they're focused on in too much detail considering that most of them are barely relevant to the story. The actual firefighting is really cool, and serves as a testament to firefighters' bravery. The backdraft aspect is really cool, plus I like how De Niro's character analyzes how the fires are started. Now if they had focused more on the firefighting itself rather than all the other shit, and maybe cut a few minutes off this film, it could've been more entertaining and had a better flow. As is, it's still a pretty interesting film, and worth checking out once at least.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer

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