Jacob's Ladder Reviews

August 23, 2014
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
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
As long as the movie refuses to commit itself, it is a truly creepy, nerve-jangling experience.
August 23, 2014
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
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
One of Robbins' finest unheralded performances, plus a slew of supporting roles from then-unknowns Eriq LaSalle, Ving Rhames, Jason Alexander, Pruitt Taylor Vince, and an uncredited Macaulay Culkin.
August 23, 2014
[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
There's a word for a movie that dresses up the usual cheap tricks with real human suffering and a bogus patina of truth: offensive.
August 23, 2014
A friend, after seeing Jacob's Ladder, griped, "I wasn't afraid of dying -- until I saw this movie." Put that blurb in an ad and see who shows up at the multiplexes.
September 7, 2011
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.
March 27, 2009
Despite all the confusion, it's a simple case of the script being too ambitious. It may emulate a man experiencing flashbacks, but it doesn't help the audience.
March 27, 2009
A bold, powerful psychological horror film.
June 19, 2008
Dull, unimaginative and pretentious.
June 24, 2006
Lyne's giddying, unsettling direction conjures up moments of horrifying hallucinogenic power from the bad-trip hell of his protagonist.
July 16, 2004
May 20, 2003
A slick, riveting, viscerally scary film about what in other hands would be a decidedly unsalable subject, namely death.
January 1, 2000
Lyne indulges more in misdirection than in direction; he's a magician turning a sleazy trick.
January 1, 2000
[Falls] ultimately flat on its surrealistic face, the victim of too many fake-art sequences.
January 1, 2000
Admittedly it is sporadic and at times even rambling, but when it succeeds ... the results are positively haunting.
January 1, 2000
This movie was not a pleasant experience, but it was exhilarating in the sense that I was able to observe filmmakers working at the edge of their abilities and inspirations.