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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 11.11%
Average: 2.22%
Pretty Bad: 4.44%
Total Crap: 1.11%

3 reviews, 72 user ratings

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Jacob's Ladder (1990)
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by punkass

"Perhaps the biggest Headfuck in Cinema."
5 stars

I caught a trailer for this when I was young and it scared the shit out of me, but from that day on I was desperate to watch the film. With years of build-up, it should have been a major disappointment, but it surpassed all my expectations. This is a stone cold classic which is both terrifying and absorbing.

I really don't want to give away any of the story but suffice to say it kicks like a mule. Twisting and turning with you bearly hanging on, grasping for the truth as Singer (Robbins) does. The resolution at the end is a real Movie moment, like working out who Keyser Soze is. Suddenly the whole film comes into focus, and you realise that this is one of the most satisfying cinema experiences you can have.

Before that, it's just mind-bendingly scary. Lyne sucks you in and keeps things so intense it hurts. One of the few times that Lyne's vision has actually made it onto the screen, this shows him to be one of America's most ignored directors, his controversial films toned down for box-office appeal. The techniques Lyne pioneers in this have been stolen for so many lame horror films that you owe it to yourself to catch the original.

Yet it's not just played for frights, Rubin's script contains a lot of questions. The suspense is huge, as you fight with Singer to work out what exactly is going on.

Robbins is excellent. For me, this is his breakthrough movie, where he finally stepped up and became the actor he is today (or at least was for much of the nineties). You care for him, and can empathise with him despite his unique circumstances. As things spiral more out of control, Robbins masterfully keeps the fear and confusion from edging into melodrama. Pena gives one of her better performances, more reminiscent of Lone Star than Free Willy 2. In fact, the whole cast is pretty top notch. Even Macaulay Culkin manages to get a cameo without making you want to inflict bodily harm on him.

Oh, and if you've ever wondered where the sample on UNKLE'S Rabbit in your Headlights comes from, then check this, and your enjoyment of the track will be doubled.

Almost too intelligent to be considered a Horror, this is Psychological drama at its finest. Turn the lights off, make sure you've got a clear head, and be prepared to be taken on a ride. Shit-scary, thought-provoking and beautifully done, I can't recommend this more highly.

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originally posted: 06/11/00 12:13:25
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User Comments

4/02/13 David Hollingsworth frightening, eerie exercise in non-horror filmmaking 5 stars
7/09/09 joey jo poss:end is really him letting memories of nam die, he lives on and is free of the horror. 5 stars
1/25/09 Allen genius a tremendously affecting experience 5 stars
11/20/08 remey Seen it when it first came out. I was only 12. Scared the holy shit out of me. 5 stars
5/31/08 Mike great insight into the mind of a man who is slowly leaving this life and entering the next. 5 stars
5/30/08 Candy War Hole Don't listen to him, Silent hill is but a pale immitation of how horrifying this movie is. 5 stars
3/26/08 shirley the best novie ever done Ambrose Bierce 100 years in the future 5 stars
2/02/08 Alex Hole hell. This is the scariest film I've ever seen, period. 5 stars
11/26/07 melonblast357 Phenomenal film; scares the living shit outta me still!!! 5 stars
8/01/07 fools♫gold Burnin my memories away... 5 stars
7/22/07 Sergio Original, intelligent. Atmospheric . 5 stars
6/27/07 Steve Scariest movies ever! Very Underrated 5 stars
6/20/07 karmajaxx very good film that engages the mind and stays with you long after the movie is over. 4 stars
5/20/07 action movie fan obscure plot-not scary or very interesting 2 stars
4/10/07 ES-designr Great movie. Critics seem to ignore some dimensions and meaning of the story. 5 stars
8/26/06 james burke "It won't just scare you-it will fuck you up for life" 4 stars
7/21/06 BC As a big Silent Hill fan I've always wanted to see it. I just did. It's great! 5 stars
3/12/06 Joshua Webb Excellent, a film that really defines horror. Not frightening, but disturbing, in my view. 4 stars
1/16/06 Tim My Favorite movie. Basta 5 stars
12/12/05 daniel incredibly smart script, perfectly directed 5 stars
11/24/05 Indrid Cold Far above average for sure, but not quite the scariest thing I've ever seen. 5 stars
9/30/05 ShabbaRanks Overrated-as-all-hell, BUT...still interesting. Definite creepiness abounds. Crap ending. 4 stars
8/26/05 JamesBorges good review, good movie 4 stars
8/19/05 ES Not the great movie they make it out to be, confusing and gross at times 2 stars
3/24/05 matjaž it lacks of good cinamatography 4 stars
3/12/05 craig varney never saw what was coming 4 stars
2/27/05 mike excellant 5 stars
2/11/05 Jeff Anderson AN INTENSE MIND TRIP DONE RIGHT! Scary, thought-provoking, smartly written & acting's GREAT 5 stars
1/13/05 Dondi Ligon An excellent psychological thriller!!! 5 stars
12/16/04 jake a truly frightening experience. even avid horror fans will get scared...arrgh 5 stars
11/15/04 Billy Pitts Based on Ambrose Bierce's short story: Incident at Owl Creek Bridge. Enjoyed it very much. 5 stars
10/22/04 Vince Very good script and acting. Highly Recommended. 5 stars
9/22/04 Al Guy A smart movie that is chilling. Rare these days. 5 stars
6/30/04 Anita Wow. This movie relies solely on good acting, good script and symbolism and it delivers! 5 stars
4/08/04 baker what horror should be like 5 stars
4/04/04 Matthew Great film, one that will stay with you for years to come. 5 stars
4/03/04 john a truly original thriller - great concept and brilliantly shot 5 stars
3/20/04 true review a must see, not just a movie, a journey into mind and soul, triumphant walk thru purgatory 5 stars
2/26/04 Shieldknight Frightening. Captivating. A monumental film in which tension builds until the final frame. 5 stars
12/07/03 Gary Exceptionally Outstanding, A Real Mind Job! Whew...It left a permanent impression upon me. 5 stars
11/25/03 Artist Freak Scary as hell, and intelligent enough to keep you guessing. 5 stars
9/18/03 Harry Mason Scariest movie ever. 5 stars
8/31/03 Jacob It makes me wonder - does any of this really exist? 5 stars
7/18/03 R.W. Welch Jumbled but nicely acted conspiracy theory flick. Imaginative in spots. 3 stars
6/24/03 The Man Dream on 5 stars
5/10/03 Hans Geurts Deeply disturbing, but an excellent film 5 stars
2/13/03 Matthew C. Jones Too scary and intense for a real schizophrenic to handle, but remark 5 stars
10/23/02 Kain Lacroix A movie for the soul forged, not the weak of mind. Of you don't like it, go watch mtv. 5 stars
6/22/02 Kever One great movie. Watch the longer cut, it kicks even more ass. 5 stars
6/01/02 Johnny-oh what he said. Outstanding, creepy, and cerebral. 5 stars
5/30/02 Charles Tatum Adrian Lyne's best film 5 stars
4/22/02 dave tiring and tedious self indulgent clap-trap 1 stars
4/10/02 Cheese-Grater jesus, what a warped ass film..shakey weird effect like house on haunted hill...shit scary 5 stars
4/01/02 Katie G I thought the movie used good camera techniques such as the special effects. 3 stars
3/29/02 Monster W. Kung One of the best movies of the early 90s. 5 stars
2/08/02 derwyn wright the film was tha bomb, best of its time and still holds strong in the 2002 year 5 stars
12/31/01 daniboy what? 5 stars
11/15/01 ddthefly one of the most complex script and physical sensations 5 stars
9/12/01 Jessica Selwood Keeps you guessing till the very end. Holds you in suspence the whole time. 4 stars
7/20/01 MiS^DeMeAnOr all I can say is...."whoa..." 5 stars
7/15/01 Basil One of the most scary movies of all time. 5 stars
3/03/01 Neco I was literally petrified after seeing this film. Huge. 5 stars
3/02/01 josh campbell good show 4 stars
2/13/01 Jake I was amazed by the harrowing nature of this film. Costanza was even in it! 5 stars
2/07/01 Tim Gee Mind blowing. Flush your LSD, you can quit!! 5 stars
2/05/01 Your mom is on me trys to be to scary 2 stars
1/28/01 Soggy Bottom Boy One of the best films of the 90s, a classic mind-fuck movie... 5 stars
7/23/00 aitch no reviewer has yet plumbed the full biblical depths 5 stars
6/13/00 Chen Kenichi Excellent film. I *hate* horror/slasher flicks, too. 5 stars
6/12/00 happyhappyjoyjoy Just make sure you stop the film before the paragrpah at end. 5 stars
5/18/00 Creeper This is one of the freakiest damn movies I ever did see 4 stars
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  02-Nov-1990 (R)
  DVD: 14-Sep-2010



Directed by
  Adrian Lyne

Written by
  Bruce Joel Rubin

  Tim Robbins
  Elizabeth Peņa
  Danny Aiello
  Matt Craven
  Jason Alexander
  Ving Rhames

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