MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 219 this week

Jacob's Ladder (I) (1990)

7.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 61,102 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 328 user | 89 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

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

Director:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 17 Oct 2010
 
a list of 48 titles
created 27 Jul 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 13 Sep 2011
 
a list of 27 titles
created 03 Jan 2012
 
a list of 23 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Search for "Jacob's Ladder" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Jacob's Ladder (1990)

Jacob's Ladder (1990) on IMDb 7.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Jacob's Ladder.

User Polls

2 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Machinist (2004)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An industrial worker who hasn't slept in a year begins to doubt his own sanity.

Director: Brad Anderson
Stars: Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón
Barton Fink (1991)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A renowned New York playwright is enticed to California to write for the movies and discovers the hellish truth of Hollywood.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Stars: John Turturro, John Goodman, Judy Davis
The Others (2001)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    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
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality.

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux
The Tenant (1976)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A bureaucrat rents a Paris apartment where he finds himself drawn into a rabbit hole of dangerous paranoia.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Roman Polanski, Isabelle Adjani, Melvyn Douglas
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A boy who communicates with spirits that don't know they're dead seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette
The Game (1997)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Wealthy San Francisco financier Nicholas Van Orton gets a strange birthday present from wayward brother Conrad: a live-action game that consumes his life.

Director: David Fincher
Stars: Michael Douglas, Deborah Kara Unger, Sean Penn
Oldboy (2003)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

After being kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in 5 days.

Director: Chan-wook Park
Stars: Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In 1954, U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels is investigating the disappearance of a murderess who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane and is presumed to be hiding nearby.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Mortimer, Mark Ruffalo
Identity (2003)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Stranded at a desolate Nevada motel during a nasty rain-storm, ten strangers become acquainted with each other when they realize that they're being killed off one by one.

Director: James Mangold
Stars: John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet
The Orphanage (2007)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A woman brings her family back to her childhood home, which used to be an orphanage for handicapped children. Before long, her son starts to communicate with an invisible new friend.

Director: J.A. Bayona
Stars: Belén Rueda, Fernando Cayo, Roger Príncep
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A paranoid, secretive surveillance expert has a crisis of conscience when he suspects that a couple he is spying on will be murdered.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Allen Garfield
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
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. Athough 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

Plot Keywords:

vietnam | new york | delusion | demon | soldier | See more »

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:

Jacob's Ladder  »

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

In Bruce Joel Rubin's original screenplay, all of the demons who appear throughout the film were typical biblical demons with horns, wings, cloven hooves etc. Director Adrian Lyne felt that this kind of imagery could very easily come across as comic, which would destroy the film. He felt that the fact that the imagery was so far from human lessened its impact, and as such, he decided he wanted the demons to be humanesque, but not quite human. During his research into this (which was when he discovered the photography of Joel-Peter Witkin), Lyne came across the Thalidomide scandal. Thalidomide was a drug made available for purchase from 1957 to 1961. Ostensibly, it was designed to treat pregnant women; primarily as an antiemetic to combat morning sickness, and secondarily as a sleeping aid. However, prior to its release, inadequate clinical tests were carried out, leading to roughly 10,000 children in Africa and Europe being born with severe physical deformities because their mothers had taken thalidomide during their pregnancy. The most common defects were phocomelia, dysmelia, amelia and polymelia; all conditions which affect the appearance of the limbs. During his research, Lyne studied the Thalidomide case, and came to feel that the birth defects caused by the drug represented the perfect starting place for his redesign of Rubin's demons. The Thalidomide scandal was also the inspiration for David Cronenberg's Scanners (1981). See more »

Goofs

Jacob opens a box containing artifacts from his past, and takes out his Doctrine Degree. He next takes out his Army Honorable Discharge, which lists him as a private 1st class. A person with a PHD (or any college degree) would by default be a commissioned officer, not a enlisted private. His conversation with his chiropractor Louis confirms that he had his PHD prior to going to Vietnam, and worked for the post office after he returned, so he could not have received his PHD after his Army Discharge. See more »

Quotes

Michael: I'd only been in jail 13 hours, I thought 'Nam couldn't be any worse.
Jacob Singer: Shows how little you knew.
Michael: Yeah, really.
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 Silent Hill (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

MY THANG
Written by James Brown (as J. Brown)
Published by Unichappell Music (BMI)
Performed by James Brown
Courtesy of PolyGram Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Anguishing, Intriguing, Original, Unique
7 October 2006 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

On 06 Oct 1971, in Mekong Delta, Vietnam, the American soldier Jacob Singer (Tim Robbins) is wounded by a bayonet during an attack to his platoon. He wakes up in New York subway while going home late night after working overtime in the post office. He is divorced from Sarah (Patricia Kalember), lives with his colleague and lover Jezebel (Elizabeth Peña) is a small apartment in Brooklyn and misses his young son Gabe (Macaulay Culkin), who died in an accident where Jacob feels responsible for. Along the next days, Jacob is chased by demons and finds conspiracy in the army, while having different visions of different moments of his life.

Yesterday I saw "The Jacket" and I decide to see once more "Jacob's Ladder", maybe for the fifth time. This anguishing and intriguing story is one of the most original and unique I have ever seen, and has been plagiarized many times mainly in the foregoing mentioned "The Jacket". Tim Robbins gives another top-notch performance in the role of a troubled man resolving his life, due to the feeling of guilty for the loss of his younger son. Bruce Joel Rubin, who also wrote and produced "Ghost", "Jacob's Ladder" and "My Life", shows that is very connected with spiritual issues, approaching this theme in his films. The Brazilian title of this movie, "Alucinações do Passado" ("Hallucinations From the Past"), wrongly induces the viewer and destroys the dubious sense of the original title: Jacob is the lead character, "Ladder" is the name of the experiment his platoon and him had been submitted in Vietnam; but the interpretation of "Jacob's Ladder" in the Bible is that this is the only means to reach the total ecstasy, the plenitude, however, we need first supersede the obstacles that we find in our ascension. Further, "Jacob experienced a vision in which he saw a ladder reaching into heaven with angels going up and down it, a vision that is commonly referred to as Jacob's Ladder" (from "Wikipedia"). Another interesting aspect is that all the characters have biblical names. For example, Jezebel is considered the most wicked woman in the entire Bible (the character of Elizabeth Peña was responsible for the separation of Jacob and Sarah and maybe he was blaming her for keeping him far from his family); and Gabriel is the angel that explained signs from God and announced the conception, birth, and mission of Jesus to Mary. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "Alucinações do Passado" ("Hallucinations From the Past")

Note: On 19 May 2009, I saw this movie again, now on DVD.


38 of 54 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I do not know what you people are talking about !! anne3624
Would have been better... axel-klevenhaus
Poorest *beep* movie for a l-o-n-g time danteshydratshirt
Everything great except Robbins benettfreeman
My mother took me to see this when I was 4 sultrystarlet05
Movies like this? apa-86
Discuss Jacob's Ladder (1990) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?