7.5/10
77,796
346 user 106 critic

Jacob's Ladder (1990)

Trailer
1:46 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $7.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Mourning his dead child, a haunted Vietnam War veteran attempts to discover his past while suffering from a severe case of dissociation. To do so, he must decipher reality and life from his own dreams, delusion, and perception of death.

Director:

Reviews
Popularity
2,342 ( 421)
2 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Angel Heart (1987)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Harry Angel is a private investigator. He is hired by a man who calls himself Louis Cyphre to track down a singer called Johnny Favorite. But the investigation takes an unexpected and somber turn.

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, Lisa Bonet
Audition (1999)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A widower takes an offer to screen girls at a special audition, arranged for him by a friend to find him a new wife. The one he fancies is not who she appears to be after all.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki
Session 9 (2001)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Tensions rise within an asbestos cleaning crew as they work in an abandoned mental hospital with a horrific past that seems to be coming back.

Director: Brad Anderson
Stars: David Caruso, Stephen Gevedon, Paul Guilfoyle
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A young couple move into an apartment, only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbors and occurrences. When the wife becomes mysteriously pregnant, paranoia over the safety of her unborn child begins to control her life.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon
The Others (2001)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A woman who lives in a darkened old house with her two photosensitive children becomes convinced that her family home is haunted.

Director: Alejandro Amenábar
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston, Fionnula Flanagan
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A police sergeant is sent to a Scottish island village in search of a missing girl whom the townsfolk claim never existed. Stranger still are the rites that take place there.

Director: Robin Hardy
Stars: Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Diane Cilento
Pi (1998)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A paranoid mathematician searches for a key number that will unlock the universal patterns found in nature.

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Stars: Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis, Ben Shenkman
Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An insurance investigator begins discovering that the impact a horror writer's books have on his fans is more than inspirational.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Sam Neill, Jürgen Prochnow, Julie Carmen
Videodrome (1983)
Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A sleazy cable-TV programmer begins to see his life and the future of media spin out of control in a very unusual fashion when he acquires a new kind of programming for his station.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: James Woods, Debbie Harry, Sonja Smits
Frailty (2001)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A man confesses to an FBI agent his family's story of how his religious fanatic father's visions lead to a series of murders to destroy supposed "demons."

Director: Bill Paxton
Stars: Bill Paxton, Matthew McConaughey, Powers Boothe
Eraserhead (1977)
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Henry Spencer tries to survive his industrial environment, his angry girlfriend, and the unbearable screams of his newly born mutant child.

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Allen Joseph
The Fly (1986)
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform into a giant man/fly hybrid after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Anthony Alessandro ...
Rod
Brent Hinkley ...
...
...
Hospital Receptionist
Doug Barron ...
Group Leader
Edit

Storyline

New York postal worker Jacob Singer is trying to keep his frayed life from unraveling. His days are increasingly being invaded by flashbacks to his first marriage, his now-dead son, and his tour of duty in Vietnam. Although his new wife tries to help Jacob keep his grip on sanity, the line between reality and delusion is steadily growing more and more uncertain. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most frightening thing about Jacob Singer's nightmare is that he isn't dreaming.

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 November 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dante's Inferno  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$26,118,851 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The confrontation between Jacob and Geary originally takes place in a courtroom corridor. Lyne moved them to the stairs in order to downplay the height difference between Tim Robbins (who is 6 5") and Jason Alexander (who is 5' 5"). See more »

Goofs

Even through Jacob doesn't finish shaving (he towels-off the remaining shaving cream off his face), he appears to be clean and evenly shaven. See more »

Quotes

Louis: Eckhart saw Hell too. He said: The only thing that burns in Hell is the part of you that won't let go of life, your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away. But they're not punishing you, he said. They're freeing your soul. So the way he sees it, if you're frightened of dying and... and you're holding on, you'll see devils tearing your life away. But if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth. It's just a matter of how you look at it, ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits roll over a grainy black and white photo of Gabe and Jacob crossing the street together. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Videoclub (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

HEARING SOLAR WINDS / Part 3: Arc Descents
Written by David Hykes (as D. Hykes)
Performed by David Hykes and the Harmonic Choir
Courtesy of Ocara/Radio France
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
original, scary, mesmerizing what more can I say?
27 September 2003 | by See all my reviews

For several years, there's a very trendy cinematographic genre. This is the "psychological fantastic". This genre is very successful as the movies: "the sixth sense" (1999), "what lies beneath" (2000) or "unbreakable" (2000) showed. All these movies must have been influenced by "Jacob's ladder". In this way, you can regard Adrian Lyne's movie as a precursory and innovative movie. Lyne achieved a masterstroke in an absolutely new genre for him. It means that you're very far from the atmosphere of "9 weeks and a half" or "fatal attraction".

"Jacob's ladder" is based on an outstanding screenplay including numerous weird details that increase the spectator's curiosity. It's precisely with the spectator that Lyne and Bruce Joel Robin, the scriptwriter play with. They take a malicious pleasure in getting the spectator lost in a real maze where seem to border dream and reality. Like Tim Robbins, you look for the clue to the mystery. This clue may be the chemist which Jacob's meeting at the refreshment bar truck. This chemist will lead the plot towards an amazing conclusion.

In Adrian Lyne's movie, there's also a part of the fantastic genre that is very well exploited: at first common and normal living conditions but that are little by little overcome by the unreal, the strange and the fear.

The movie also enjoys an outstanding performance to begin with Tim Robbins. A brilliant success and a movie that deserves to rank among the ten best fantastic movies of the nineties


60 of 74 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The US army depicted can't have been very smart Nl50148
Questions about His Doctor that was killed in a car accident hal-9010
Everything great except Robbins benettfreeman
My mother took me to see this when I was 4 sultrystarlet05
Anybody in there? ANYBODY HOME? natevines
'Behind its dark mask lies an uplifting message of hope' Madmax56
Discuss Jacob's Ladder (1990) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?