Jacob's Ladder 1990

Jacob's Ladder

Critics Consensus

Even with its disorienting leaps of logic and structure, Jacob's Ladder is an engrossing, nerve-shattering experience.

72%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 65

84%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 53,061

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Movie Info

After returning home from the Vietnam War, veteran Jacob Singer (Tim Robbins) struggles to maintain his sanity. Plagued by hallucinations and flashbacks, Singer rapidly falls apart as the world and people around him morph and twist into disturbing images. His girlfriend, Jezzie (Elizabeth Peña), and ex-wife, Sarah (Patricia Kalember), try to help, but to little avail. Even Singer's chiropractor friend, Louis (Danny Aiello), fails to reach him as he descends into madness.

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Critic Reviews for Jacob's Ladder

All Critics (65) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (47) | Rotten (18)

  • 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.

    August 23, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    August 23, 2014 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • As long as the movie refuses to commit itself, it is a truly creepy, nerve-jangling experience.

    August 23, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • In the best puzzle movies, the pieces fit -- eventually. But if you try to piece together Jacob's Ladder, all you get for your trouble is more pieces.

    August 23, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Without a strongly sympathetic figure at the center of the movie, Jacob's plight seems very remote. Watching this film should feel like being caught in a nightmare, but it feels more like watching someone else who is caught in a nightmare.

    August 23, 2014 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • [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.

    August 23, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Jacob's Ladder

  • Sep 17, 2015
    One of the most beautiful films ever put to print. Jacob's Ladder is American surrealism in motion, but the aesthetic is not quite supported by its story. There is so much potential here for a true masterpiece, but what we're given, though wholly entertaining, comes just shy of striking distance. The cast is very consistent as is the direction, but the plot offers so much unfulfilled brilliance that what we're left comes out as slightly underwhelming.
    Paris S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 23, 2014
    A great take on the Psychological Horror genre, Jacob's Ladder does almost everything right asides from a mild confusing second act and an unnecessary preachy drug twist at the end. Has great visual madness to spook you, touching moments, great presence by Tim Robbins and an interesting story that grabs your attention right from the start.
    Francisco G Super Reviewer
  • Oct 29, 2013
    One word: mindfuck. This movie is fantastic, though disturbing at times. There are very few movies that made need to know what happens next. I was hooked less than 10 minutes in. I couldn't stop watching. Awesome.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Oct 03, 2013
    [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]
    Directors C Super Reviewer

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