Ladder 49

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Touchstone Pictures Released 2004

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7.8
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Movie Summary

Director:
Jay Russell
Released:
2004
Rating:
PG-13
Ladder 49 is a 2004 thriller about firefighters in the Baltimore Fire Department. The film, directed by Jay Russell, follows the story of Jack Morrison (Joaquin Phoenix) through a series of flashbacks as he is fighting for his very life in a burning grain factory. The film flashes forwards and backwards between the story of how Jack became a firefighter and the current perilous situation. His rescue is led by long time friend and mentor Chief Mike Kennedy (John Travolta) who leads his team of firemen into the grain factory to save Jack. We then flash back into Jack's past and get to see how Jack joined the department, met his wife, and how he bonded with his own children as well as the firefighters around him. The film is somewhat of a recounting of the heroics that firefighters go through on a day-today basis. The film also stars Robert Patrick, Jacinda Barrett, Morris Chestnut, Balthazar Getty, Billy Burke, Tim Guinee, Kevin Chapman, Hay Hernandez, and Kevin Daniels.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 60

    Variety

    It plays, rather, like an old-fashioned, by-the-numbers drama that solidly connects with most of its well-worn cliches.

  • 50

    Los Angeles Times

    As a loving tribute to the courage and sacrifice of firefighters, it's first-class. As a movie, it's a TV show.

  • 20

    The New York Times Manohla Dargis

    What makes this nonsense more galling than usual is that while Ladder 49 might have started out as a heartfelt attempt to honor those in the line of literal fire, it weighs in as a...

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Themes

coping with death, Thrillers, fight for survival, high stake situations, inspiring stories