7.5/10
96,410
402 user 134 critic

Jacob's Ladder (1990)

Trailer
1:46 | Trailer
Mourning his dead child, a haunted Vietnam War veteran attempts to uncover his past while suffering from a severe case of dissociation. To do so, he must decipher reality and life from his own dreams, delusions, and perceptions of death.

Director:

Adrian Lyne
Reviews
Popularity
3,343 ( 16)
3 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tim Robbins ... Jacob
Elizabeth Peña ... Jezzie
Danny Aiello ... Louis
Matt Craven ... Michael
Pruitt Taylor Vince ... Paul
Jason Alexander ... Geary
Patricia Kalember ... Sarah
Eriq La Salle ... Frank
Ving Rhames ... George
Brian Tarantina ... Doug
Anthony Alessandro Anthony Alessandro ... Rod
Brent Hinkley ... Jerry
S. Epatha Merkerson ... Elsa
Suzanne Shepherd ... Hospital Receptionist
Doug Barron Doug Barron ... Group Leader
Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.5/10 X  

After his brother returns home from war, Jacob Singer struggles to maintain his sanity. Plagued by hallucinations and flashbacks, Singer rapidly falls apart as the world and people around him morph and twist into disturbing images.

Director: David M. Rosenthal
Stars: Michael Ealy, Jesse Williams, Nicole Beharie
Angel Heart (1987)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, Lisa Bonet
Pi (1998)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 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
Videodrome (1983)
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When he acquires a different kind of show for his station, a sleazy cable-TV programmer begins to see his life and the future of media spin out of control in a terrifying new reality.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: James Woods, Debbie Harry, Sonja Smits
The Fly (1986)
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 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
Misery (1990)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

After a famous author is rescued from a car crash by a fan of his novels, he comes to realize that the care he is receiving is only the beginning of a nightmare of captivity and abuse.

Director: Rob Reiner
Stars: James Caan, Kathy Bates, Richard Farnsworth
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A young couple trying for a baby move into a fancy apartment surrounded by peculiar neighbors.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon
Halloween (1978)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois to kill again.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran
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 Exorcist (1973)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

When a 12 year-old girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair
The Others (2001)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

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

Director: Alejandro Amenábar
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston, Fionnula Flanagan
Drama | 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
Edit

Storyline

Jacob Singer is trying to make sense of his fractured life and memories. Plagued by hallucinations, flashbacks, and conspiracies, he struggles down a path to enlightenment from these manic strains. With nothing but support from friends and loved ones will he be able to push through the haze of his PTSD.

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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Adrian Lyne turned down directorial duties on The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990) so he could direct Jacob's Ladder. His first choice for the role of Jacob Singer was Tom Hanks, but, by coincidence, Hanks turned down the film so he could make The Bonfire of the Vanities. See more »

Goofs

To match the direction of movement, a shot of the Ford LTD racing around a corner has been flopped, but the license plate, which is now in reverse, is visible. See more »

Quotes

Jacob: You know you look like an angel, Louie? Like an overgrown cherub. Anyone ever tell you that?
Louis: [smiling] Yeah, you. Every time you see me.
Jacob: You're a lifesaver, Louie.
Louis: [smiling] Yeah, I know.
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

WHAT'S GOING ON
Written by Renaldo Benson (as R. Benson) / Al Cleveland (as A. Cleveland) / Marvin Gaye (as M. Gaye)
Published by Jobete Music Co., Inc. (ASCAP) / Stone Agate Music (BMI)
Performed by Marvin Gaye
Courtesy of Motown Records
See more »

User Reviews

 
When movies have something to say
7 September 2014 | by Flamboyant_Little_DevilSee all my reviews

When movies have something to say they (can) become great movies. Jacob's Ladder is one such movie.

A Thriller/Film-Noir that sets a standard for the genre, it deals with metaphysical enquiries of the most profound there can be: Life, Death, War, Peace, the World outside and inside one's self, Heaven and Hell, Torment and Redemption.

Above all things, it's a voyage through a man's perspectives upon the Past and his Present, through his life and his personal fears and sorrow.

The acting is superb; the general mood is dark and sad with a lot of eeriness and yet strangely peaceful at times.

The viewer will feel the main character's (Jacob Singer) confusion and sympathise with his personal cause.

The Sound Track is beautiful and fits quite well with the general imagery and feeling throughout.

The dialogues are meaningful (specially between Jacob and Louis, his chiropractor), which (sad to say) has become a rarity in movies nowadays.

Get the movie, get the Extras and enjoy this Gem.


19 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 402 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 November 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jacob's Ladder See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,500,760, 4 November 1990

Gross USA:

$26,118,851

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$26,118,851
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Carolco Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Your Next Binge Watch Awaits

Looking for something to watch? Check out IMDb's "What to Watch" series to find out what's really worth watching.



Recently Viewed