Jacob's Ladder
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A tortured man finds himself caught in a middle-ground between hallucination and reality in this supernatural thriller, scripted by Bruce Joel Rubin of Ghost (1990) and My Life (1993). Jacob Singer (Tim Robbins) is a soldier stationed in Vietnam who undergoes a traumatic experience on the battlefield - the nature of which is initially unclear. The film then moves into his post-Vietnam experience in 1970s New York, where he feels consistently traumatized, but can never quite remember exactly what happened to him in Southeast Asia or to free himself from his anxieties over the recent tragic… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"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."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"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."
‑ Peter Rainer, Los Angeles Times
"Jacob's Ladder is unique. Rarely is such an unconventional screenplay given this full-blown, $25 million studio treatment. It is a curiosity -- a mutant of a movie in an industry that specializes in clones."
‑ Gary Thompson, Philadelphia Daily News
"Just when it's on the brink of becoming one of the most disturbing, disorienting and penetrating psychological horror movies, Jacob's Ladder -- in a self-deflating few minutes -- turns itself into a shaggy-dog story."
‑ Ralph Novak, People Magazine
"Tim Robbins gives a strong performance in this first-class horror yarn, which has a surprisingly strong political edge."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"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."
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
"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."
‑ Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel
"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."
‑ Christopher Null, Austin Chronicle
"Despite its frequently maddening lapses in logic and time frame, Jacob`s Ladder transcends most script ills to become a haunting and truly chilling thriller-melodrama."
‑ Roger Hurlburt, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"Jacob's Ladder only belongs to the horror genre insofar as it understands these conventions well enough to simultaneously borrow from and transcend them. In the process, it becomes something else altogether."
‑ Michael Nordine, Not Coming to a Theater Near You
"As long as the movie refuses to commit itself, it is a truly creepy, nerve-jangling experience."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Tribune
"[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."
‑ Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune
"Every story needs some kernel of internal logic, some hold on reality. But Lyne's film is like trying to scale a mountain of Jello. There's no solid ground. Everything is constantly shifting and undulating."
‑ Dennis King, Tulsa World
"Jacob's Ladder takes a long time getting to the point, and when it does, there isn't that much to it."
‑ Lou Cedrone, Baltimore Sun
"worthwhile journey--just didn't blow me away"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
More reviews for Jacob's Ladder on Rotten Tomatoes

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