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Overall Rating

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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by Slyder

"Play with fire"
4 stars

Finding a film in which William Baldwin doesnít suck is a rarity. This is one of them, and for mostly good reasons.

William Baldwin and Kurt Russell are brothers as well as firefighters, and both assigned on the same unit. They both have differences they fight, they splitÖ oh and an arsonist is causing havoc and I mean explosive havoc, killing certain people that are connected with something so mysterious it ends up pretty high on the political level.

The story is formula, brothers butting heads and splitting only to reunite in the most dramatic moment of both their lives. Throw in Jennifer Jason Leigh as a hot secretary working for a corrupt government guy (JT Walsh) and you have a romantic liaison with Baldwin. Itís expected, since all the films that Iíve seen Willie Baldwin in always have a girl that sheís banging. On Kurtís side you have the truncated marriage, with Rebecca DeMornay playing the estranged wife. And being the hot babe that DeMornay is, Iím glad Russell got back to her (you know itís going to happen) otherwise, the guy is a complete asshole.

Does this make it a bad movie? No, actually, itís rare that a Ron Howard movie goes off as being a terribly bad movie. Far from it, itís quite a film in its own right, with an interesting story to tell, and packed with some truly impressive FX and action scenes and drama. Thereís quite a great deal of suspense and corruption and politics in the movie, as the film shifts focus from the predictable brother bickering and starts trailing down the serial arsonist down, reaching a very effective climax by the beginning of the filmís third act. All this is sustained by the dramatic talents of Robert De Niro as a fire investigator, Scott Glenn as one of the firemen that knew both the brotherís father and a memorable cameo appearance by Donald Sutherland as a convicted loony arsonist. It also gives you a great insight at the work of firefighters and the several things that drive these men to do what they do on the line.

The fiery FX is one of the big highlights of the film, and is supported with some great sound FX of the whooshing fires around. The action scenes are impressive and well-staged. All in all a respectable outing for Ron Howard.

In the end, Backdraft is a pretty solid whodunit, despite the hiccups that it contains due to some predictable bylines. But once it shifts to the dark side, make sure you have a fire suit handy. 3.5-5

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originally posted: 10/24/04 08:37:06
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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
3/07/07 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 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 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
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  24-May-1991 (R)
  DVD: 19-Sep-2006

  02-Jul-1991 (15)

  02-Jul-1991 (MA)

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