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"Jacob's Ladder" has to be one of the best WTF is going on movies I've seen. It is about the life of a man named Jacob who is a soldier in the Vietnam War... or is he a family man with a wife and three kids... or is he a man suffering from PTSD living with his girlfriend? If that isn't confusing enough let's throw in some random demonic creatures, and maybe the odd angel, to top it off.
This is a dark and disturbing tale that will have you questioning what is happening until the very end. It is a great but depressing film. I would recommend having something fun to watch or do right afterwards to get out of the funk this will leave you in.
Slow paced, bad acting
Really good drama, don't go in expecting it to be a full horror movie but it still can be terryfying at times.
I still think of this movie after so many years. Amazing work that connects with you on a deeper level.
A truly mind-bending movie that'll leave you questioning your own sanity, Jacob's Ladder was underappreciated in its days, but is now a cult classic in the psychological thriller genre. It's always great to see Tim Robbins on screen, especially in his pre-Shawshank days, and he throws himself into the part of a Vietnam Vet whose life seems to be spiralling out of control. The film is dark and gritty and makes you follow it's every step and decipher it's every clue. Its not a film to watch casually; it's one in which you play an active role. It's really up to the viewer what to make of the ending, but the best theory I've heard is that it's about the lead's soul and its journey through purgatory, and his fight against the system symbolises his fight for peace and salvation. That's the impression I got from it at least. It will be too much for some, and struggled to make back its budget upon release, but it's a great example of a movie that makes you think without being too overbearing or too complicated, and its uses of flashbacks are illuminating rather than distracting. If psychological thrillers are your thing, then Jacob's Ladder is definitely for you.
The best thrilling movie ever made!
Pretty okay movie. Pretty original. But tried too hard to be deep, so it was very confusing. But the acting was pretty good and the special effects were as well.
Jacob's Ladder has attained cult status and rightly so- this is a haunting psychological horror film with some surreal imagery and scenes which will make you distinctly squirm. Tim Robbins plays Vietnam vet who is suffering from perhaps post traumatic disorder or something else. He realizes that almost the entirety of his battalion is also going through something similar. He decides to make sense of this and get answers. As mentioned earlier the images are surreal and terrifying as is the slow descent into madness that we as audiences feel. The tone is suitably dreary with low lights, dripping rain and shadows. Go watch Jacob's Ladder to be creeped out.
Jacob's Ladder belongs to a genre of movies glibly referred to as "mind fucks." That movie enjoys toying with the viewer's perceptions and expectations. Anyone approaching this film without preconceived notions of what they're in for is likely to take a wild trip that offers dozens of possible explanations for what's transpiring - a journey into the Twilight Zone. 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. The inspiration for Jacob's Ladder is a 1891 short story by Ambrose Bierce called "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." It takes literally the idea that a man's entire life might flash before him in the instant before death. Bierce's work has been used as a frequent inspiration for television and movies. An episode of The Twilight Zone was based on it, and it formed the basis for Jacob's Ladder, Marc Forster's Stay and other films. Tim Robbins is a good choice as the main lead and every player plays its part. Jacob's Ladder is a rare film- one that'll make you see it again just to be sure.
Knowing the ending here really does spoil the experience of the movie, unlike with other mysteries, where long sought knowledge at last adds life to all that has just transpire-think of the likewise well-known revelations in CITIZEN KANE or PSYCHO, where the twist retroactively transforms what came before. Here, what knowledge the viewer (and central character) come to in the end adds no life to the events, but rather releases Jacob Singer from life itself, frees him to finally die, and reveals the insubstantiality of the previous two hours, taking away what depth they seemed to have in all the confusion. The problem is one of irony-the filmmakers may have learned a lot from Dante's Commedia, but they missed the crucial lesson about structure that Dante himself learned from the great tragedians-and because the film is so gloomy, so self-serious, so overwrought, it lacks any sense of irony, even in the dramatic sense, that would give closure despite ambiguity, and not just the finality of certainty.