The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Every story needs some kernel of internal logic, some hold on reality. But Lyne's film is like trying to scale a mountain of Jello. There's no solid ground. Everything is constantly shifting and undulating.
Just when it's on the brink of becoming one of the most disturbing, disorienting and penetrating psychological horror movies, Jacob's Ladder -- in a self-deflating few minutes -- turns itself into a shaggy-dog story.
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.
Jacob's Ladder is the nightmare as Rube Goldberg machine. Lyne bombards us with omens and portents, but they aren't rooted in anything, and so the audience remains in a state of arbitrary, floating anxiety.