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Backdraft

Backdraft

1991
Drama
Suspense/Thriller
2h 17m
Stephen McCaffrey (Russell) and his younger brother Brian (Baldwin) are two feuding siblings carrying on an heroic family tradition in the Chicago fire department. Stephen is so relentless that he drives Brian out of firefighting and into arson investigation. Brian becomes involved in a puzzling series of arson attacks, each ignited by explosive phenomena known as backdrafts. Before the smoke clears, love affairs are rekindled and lives are shattered as the McCaffrey brothers fight to resolve their differences and solve the mystery. (Universal)
Your probable score
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Backdraft

1991
Drama
Suspense/Thriller
2h 17m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 41.66% from 2327 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(2327)
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Rated 21 Feb 2012
50
21st
The schmaltz, it buuuurrrrns
Rated 24 Sep 2010
66
51st
Had this been played straight as opposed to so far over the top melodrama and sensationalism it would have been much better. The fire effects are stunning, but the whole thing feels like a music video at times.
Rated 18 Jun 2011
19
7th
The noble profession of firefighting deserves WAY better than this shlock. Even worse than the writing and directing is the bathetic score--whoever is responsible for it ought to be shot. Its "uplifting" droning rendered a run-of-the-mill, heartstring-tugging funeral scene utterly nauseating, and made the last 15 minutes of the flick totally unwatchable.
Rated 18 Jul 2011
43
37th
There are some nice fire effects, but the whole thing is just too over-the-top, too Hollywood for my liking. From the beginning of the film it is entirely predictable who will live and who will die, who is crooked and who is honest. The film tries to be an arson mystery -- which could be a really interesting idea -- but the script is so watered down and Hollywood-predictable that any original elements lose most of their intended effects. Decently entertaining, but not much more than that.
Rated 23 Dec 2014
70
31st
These guys fight overly aggressive fires just like the movie fights an overly melodramatic plot.
Rated 11 Sep 2019
39
6th
Overblown (sorry) melodrama could have been interesting if developed as a more lean and low-key B-movie about two brothers on opposing sides of an arson investigation. Fundamental problem is Howard's typically workmanlike direction, which pads out an overstuffed script featuring every hokey cliché in the book (with the funeral sequence epilogue a howler of bad melodrama). A fine cast is left to founder, with only peak De Niro, and a nice batshit appearance from Sutherland, bringing any heat.
Rated 13 Jun 2007
38
25th
unless you're a firefighter, this is a terrible film
Rated 18 Mar 2007
50
2nd
I saw it, sat through it all, then couldn't remember a single thing that had just happened. Utterly forgettable.
Rated 20 Jan 2008
81
81st
A great mystery-thriller mixed with impressive firefighting scenes.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
89
73rd
Good drama and special effects. Well made.
Rated 27 Mar 2007
90
76th
Very good
Rated 21 Aug 2007
75
75th
good
Rated 15 Jan 2010
25
13th
This is a classic Ron Howard film...Hollywood bollocks. And how does an actor of DeNiro's calibre end up in a heap of crap like this? Last time I searched for "horseshit" on imdb this was at the top of the list. Honest, try it for yourself.
Rated 26 Mar 2007
64
36th
It's just boring and seems to drag on, and then they ramp the drama up to 11 and throw in some family bullshit. Yawn. It's not terrible by any means, but you'll watch it, roll your eyes, decide to get up to raid the pantry and consider pausing it so you don't miss anything, but then decide... naw. It'll be a quick trip. You might sometimes check your phone. Scott Glenn... how do I know him? Oh, that's where. It's that sort of movie.
Rated 17 Mar 2010
15
17th
Eh. It's not bad. I just didn't give a damn for it.
Rated 29 May 2018
39
7th
Cheesier & drippier than a fondue! Includes a laugh outloud unintentionally funny montage (shot like a Diet Coke commercial) & VERY invasive ("Feel this now!") score. Conspiracy/Thriller Plot & ideas fine. Scott Glenn, DeNiro & Kurt R all OK to Good. The Lesser Baldwin lead & De Mornay are at times totally cringe-worthy. Sutherland is wonderfully creepy. This movie is NOT subtle & could be edited by 20m+ easy to make a far superior film than this version.
Rated 21 Feb 2012
71
70th
You had your chance and you blew it!
Rated 10 Jan 2011
48
16th
Insanely over dramatic. All the quality actors you would expect good performances from (they aren't many, but they're there) live up to it, and all the bad ones are just as bad as you'd expect as well. The firefighting scenes are pretty cool, and it is occasionally pretty tense. Unfortunately most of the other scenes (the stuff with Rebecca De Mornay specifically) are just really hollow. It's an ok movie to watch if you have a little over 2 hours to kill, but nothing special at all.
Rated 07 Apr 2009
92
87th
Excellent work by Howard with an awesome cast. up ahead robert de niro. A great action flick with some very nice fire and special effects, in a time cgi crap wasn't the only solution for movie makers. thank's god for this.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
53
28th
null
Rated 08 Jun 2013
75
62nd
The plot gets ridiculously schmaltzy and farfetched, discarding all realism in the pursuit of a tearjerker ending. But I'll admit it: it worked on me.
Rated 30 May 2007
40
29th
Typical hollywood schlock..
Rated 01 Jul 2008
94
95th
maybe the best fire fighter movie ever made.
Rated 14 Jun 2022
57
27th
There's a whole thing with a movie trying to be a bit too epic. Backdraft drags on way too long and despite a few awesome performances (Sutherland + Russell), it falls short with capturing your attention for the duration of the entire running time. There's a romance there, but like with the deaths, nothing really makes you feel anything here. It's a decent way to pass one's time, but I was left feeling nothing but neutral about it. It's not bad, but it's not really good, either.
Rated 08 Nov 2022
65
38th
Corny? Yes. Well acted? Also Yes. Fun and memorable with excellent fire effects? Absolutely.
Rated 20 Feb 2008
20
15th
Good explotion in the beginning. Was there anything else?
Rated 08 Aug 2017
80
58th
Loved this film growing up. It's aged fairly well and if you're looking for a good old action packed 90's yarn then look no further. Plus Kurt Russell's in it and he's cool.
Rated 31 May 2019
82
47th
Pretty lit.
Rated 19 Aug 2009
85
58th
Good protrayal of firefighting.
Rated 18 May 2008
84
86th
firefighters and kurt russell...i'm in. really though it has some great firefighter action.
Rated 20 Jun 2008
67
34th
A more Hollywood film you will not find. This movie was made for TNT.
Rated 11 Jan 2008
87
81st
Fast paced and suspensful nicely balanced with a light romance story. Some stunning fire effects and a very good storyline with strong acting.
Rated 10 Jan 2012
50
32nd
Pretty good for a ginger
Rated 31 Oct 2008
99
34th
I LOVE THIS FILM FROM MY CHILDHOOD
Rated 21 Aug 2012
65
33rd
Still watch it about once a year.
Rated 19 Aug 2007
75
51st
Ron Howard is one of my favorite directors (I liked him as Opie, too). This isn't one of my favorite movies, but the pyrotechnics are superb. Interesting story.
Rated 02 Jun 2007
60
47th
Great opening sequence, then it goes straight downhill. Script problems sink this one
Rated 24 May 2007
70
31st
It's big, loud, full of explosions, and pretty predictable. I wouldn't throw it away if someone gave it to me as a gift, but I might not go out of my way to watch it again.
Rated 15 Nov 2008
25
25th
I believe this film first introduced me to what would later become pyromania.
Rated 19 Oct 2013
70
39th
69.500
Rated 07 Dec 2006
39
30th
Meh.
Rated 13 Jun 2007
81
32nd
It was an amazing experience.
Rated 17 Nov 2007
75
81st
it's got firemen! of course i love it.
Rated 09 May 2021
51
30th
During the opening minute, it immediately has Hans Zimmer going for it! I get the appeal the movie has on little boys. Big men dashing through sea of flames with little else but their bravado. But I was too distracted by unrealistic technical issues (man literally running into a room of fire with no gear, another one who has not been taught in the academy how to suit up or connect a fire hose to a fire hydrant.. yeah, realism and/or professionalism 100%) Ok dick flick where fire go boom.
Rated 26 Sep 2008
30
17th
hmmm, Ron Howard directing. I do like Jay sherman's promotional boxers for the film (BIG UP points if you know where that's from)
Rated 01 Aug 2009
40
29th
Bland and uneventful.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
43
5th
Ron Howard continues his career of forgettable mediocrities.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
60
58th
Watch for incredible fire effects.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
20
0th
Great waste of talent and resources.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
82
76th
a pretty damn good flick if only for the special effects. But the story actually makes you care about these people. A great popcorn flick.
Rated 29 Jul 2009
70
51st
Not an amazing film, by any standards, but one of Ron Howard's most enjoyable.
Rated 01 Mar 2007
40
19th
Poor.
Rated 20 Feb 2010
75
35th
Standard action packed yarn that kept my interest but ultimately forgetable
Rated 09 Feb 2016
90
56th
Actually not a very good movie ... but the entertainment value is high ... and I'm a firefighter by profession so I'm obligated to rate this higher than it deserves.
Rated 23 Jun 2012
40
7th
2 of 4 -- Entertainment. 1 of 2 -- Food For Thought. 1 of 2 -- Opens The Heart. 0 of 2 -- Sustainability Values.
Rated 10 Oct 2021
44
6th
I remember I saw the TV version of this as a child, because of the Universal Studios show. I didn't remember much of it, but I'm guessing ten-year-old me was bored any time there wasn't a fire. I'm saying this, because twenty-seven-year-old me was bored anytime there wasn't a fire in this overlong, melodramatic cheese-fest.
Rated 26 Oct 2011
71
46th
71.250
Rated 19 Mar 2007
45
35th
A tearjerker for men.
Rated 24 Sep 2023
20
12th
"I can show you who sets the fires Clarisse..."
Rated 15 Jan 2009
60
18th
Meh
Rated 25 Aug 2023
76
19th
Backdraft is the best firefighter movie. It's a classic in many ways, but I don't feel that it holds up beyond average in terms of film.
Rated 17 Sep 2007
70
63rd
strong story
Rated 13 Jul 2023
38
16th
The opening sequence sets the tone for a mediocre, sappy, unsubtle drama. Fiery action, bad dialogue, burn all of the music with fire tornadoes, Donald Sutherland summoning Hannibal Lecter, thin romantic subplot, axe fight tease.

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