Backdraft (1991)

The sons of a Chicago fireman who gave his life in the performance of his duties, firefighting brothers Kurt Russell and William Baldwin carry their lifelong sibling rivalry into their work. Russell is convinced that Baldwin hasn't got… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: May 24, 1991
DVD Release Date: December 9, 1997
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Critic Score: 74% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: It's not particularly deep, but Backdraft is a strong action movie with exceptional special effects.

Kenneth Turan
Chicago Tribune

Backdraft truly shows us fire the way we've never seen it before.

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Variety Staff

Visually, pic often is exhilarating, but it's shapeless and dragged down by corny, melodramatic characters and situations.

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Lou Cedrone
Baltimore Sun

The story line is not always discernible, but the special effects are spectacular throughout.

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Gene Siskel
Chicago Tribune

"Backdraft" is a spectacle worth observing; it may also generate a little more respect for firemen, everyday heroes who don`t need the movies to polish their image.

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

Visually speaking, the film does pretty well with fire-as-spectacle, less well with everything else (Howard tends to trot out fuzzy-toned Spielbergian backlighting on any pretext).

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David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews

...a top-notch thriller trapped within a poorly-paced and needlessly bloated piece of work...

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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly

Backdraft has some of the raw filmmaking excitement that has been missing from Howard's recent work.

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Time Out

The fire sequences are stunning, and the build-up to them, complete with blaring sirens and bellowed conversations, has an aggressive immediacy.

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David N. Butterworth

Ron Howard's film is one of smoke-eaters, crispers, and torches... and it bestows a renewed respect on a profession all too often taken for granted.

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More reviews for Backdraft

Flixster Audience Score: 75% Flixster User Reviews
Christian C
Good film. Good story. Almost good acting (I'm looking at you, Kurt Russell.)
Alex roy
Backdraft is a near flawless action drama film. A terrific film directed by Ron Howard, Backdraft is THE firefighter film to watch. Fuck Ladder 49, this is the… More
Melvin White
Lt. Steven McCaffrey: Look at him... That's my brother god damnit.  "Silently behind a door, it waits." Backdraft was a pretty big… More
Dan Schultz
While definitely cliched and predictable in a sense, still an undeniably entertaining thriller with some of the most exhilarating fire sequences recorded in a… More
Jens S.
This firefighter adventure about two brothers and their unit, fighting their personal struggles and what turns out to be a murder series offers some excellent… More
Chris Weber
I don't know what it is exactly, but something about this movie just makes me really love it. The cast is good, the performances are decent, the effects… More