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Overall Rating
3.87

Awesome: 14.29%
Worth A Look65.71%
Average: 14.29%
Pretty Bad: 4.29%
Total Crap: 1.43%

5 reviews, 40 user ratings


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Backdraft
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by Chris Parry

"More than just an excuse for girls to watch firemen."
4 stars

Okay, so being a Ron Howard film and a Kurt Russell film and having a Baldwin in it put me on the wrong foot. I'll admit I gave this flick a bad rap for a long time without even seeing it.

Well I have to take that back now, because this is a decent flick on many levels. It's a thriller, it's got action, a little bit of sex and giggles, but mostly it's a solid whodunnit. You wouldn't know it just from the hype and the trailer, which seem to wave a big ol' "Look girls! Firemen!" flag over it all.

But damn it all to hell, Russell doesn't suck here. And even though the lesser Baldwin is present and requisitely "duh" faced throughout, he kinda gets over too.

How can this be so?

Ron Howard. The man could direct two maggots racing across a floor and make it seem like the Grand National. He doesn't just make this a whodunnit. He makes it a howdunnit and a whydunnit and a wherewillitbedunnnext, with a little Silence Of the Lambs exploring of the criminal mind thrown in.

Donald Sutherland's "Ronald the arsonist" character is compelling yet disgusting, but it's a great twist on what could have been a bland action chase gig.

Okay, so I'm giving huge raps to this flick and making it sound like Hitchcock. It's not. The ending was a major disappointment. Big for big's sake. But it's a lot better than this pessimistic bastard thought it would be. A lot better.

link directly to this review at https://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=866&reviewer=1
originally posted: 01/31/99 15:29:36
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell lame script good acting & effects 4 stars
12/15/13 mr.mike Not bad despite a dopey climax and overlong running time. 4 stars
9/22/13 Jeff Wilder Cliched script. But performances and FX save it. 3 stars
3/01/10 PAUL SHORTT ENTERTAINING MELODRAMA WITH GOOD SPECIAL EFFECTS 3 stars
3/07/07 David Pollastrini Not great not terrible 3 stars
5/07/06 chienne Yeah, it was alright, impressive uniforms, great soundtrack 4 stars
4/27/06 scott robinson what's it rated? on this entire site i cannot find a 'rated r, pg, what' 4 stars
4/24/05 Quigley great action movie, but it easily could have been titled "the F word" 3 stars
1/27/05 Jeff Anderson A big disappointment. The fire effects are amazing, but a weak script & acting suffer. 2 stars
10/25/04 Chris Average 2 stars
10/23/04 UMER deniro was great and desrved more screen time 3 stars
8/08/04 Norman Hollingsworth Great effects, short on plot 4 stars
5/05/04 J.Peckerfoot The script isn't great but the cast and the effects are.I really enjoyed it. 4 stars
2/18/04 john good fire effects but the movie is a bit on the nose and overblown 3 stars
1/18/04 steve andrews This near perfect action drama excels, despite the miscast Billy Baldwin. 5 stars
10/21/03 sam brown it was really exciting 5 stars
8/31/03 R. D. Miller Pretty cool for a hollywood flick about fire 4 stars
3/22/03 Jack Sommersby Simply awful. Script is all over the place, and the characters are all cliches. 1 stars
11/11/02 mark andrew kenniston this movie is the best movie ever rent it 5 stars
10/14/02 Charles Tatum I smell smoke...it must be Jennifer Jason Leigh 4 stars
9/17/02 Murray H To be honest, I bought the film, but it doesn't take 2 minutes to get on the truck! 4 stars
7/12/02 KMG Doesn't stand the test of time well, but is still pretty good. 4 stars
5/28/02 R.W. Welch Some flaming good cinematography here but could have used a rewrite. 3 stars
12/09/01 toh Cockamammy plot, about an hour too long, and melodramatic as hell. Fire effects ok though. 2 stars
11/30/01 Shams Huque Entertaining. Superb fire sequences. Fine musical score. 5 stars
8/01/01 TLsmooth On a short list of good Kurt Russell flicks. He is a shithead. 5 stars
6/19/01 Joe Russo Damn Fucking Awesome 4 stars
2/28/01 Dmitriy I like this movie because I dream to become a firefighter 5 stars
2/25/01 Ian Camwell realy radical spectacular special effects 5 stars
2/16/01 Jake mediocre with lots of cheese 3 stars
12/04/00 Cristopher Revilla Great FX , good film 4 stars
12/02/00 Angela Murtagh Great film...kept you going...one of my favorites! 5 stars
11/13/00 The EVIL Penguin Astounding special effects with a bit of humor; a must-see 4 stars
4/12/00 Elvisfan at turns melodramatic, stupid, spectacular; VERY sad in part, too-best acting is by Kurt 4 stars
3/18/99 Madcap the fire was alive...that was the cool part...the actors weren't, that part sucked 3 stars
2/19/99 nun uf yur businness crted through the whole movie! mostly because it really hit home! 5 stars
10/05/98 Negative Creep FIRE!! FIRE!! But why was Hannibal Lecter in this though? 3 stars
9/26/98 Armageddon Top notch film. Production and directing, along with acting, is top notch. 5 stars
9/15/98 Badass One of those movie you have to see in full screen, cuz the LTBX crops Jennifer Leigh's tits 4 stars
9/15/98 tessSpork great entertainment-defenetly not boring 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  24-May-1991 (R)
  DVD: 19-Sep-2006

UK
  02-Jul-1991 (15)

Australia
  02-Jul-1991 (MA)




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