Ron Howard did a wonderful job of bringing some of the real-life problems that firefighters face everyday in Backdraft. I'm kind of tired of hearing the Monday morning quarterbacks on this site trying to talk about how bad it was and that it wasn't realistic, etc. Take it from a REAL firefighter who has lost brothers in REAL fires and has lived through a REAL backdraft, it's NOT all fun and games, and it's far from glamourous. This movie did an excellent job capturing some of the emotions that flow through every firehouse in America today, particularly after 9/11, we are a brotherhood in which the "I go---we go" mentality is a very REAL concept that most of us live by everyday. And the corruption part of the story, well that's Hollywood for ya, if it doesn't have death, destruction, and corruption...then it doesn't sell very well. Yes there are corrupt politicians and it wouldn't surprise me if things like that did happen, but it's far from commonplace and was just to enhance the film and give you a person to "hate" in the film (JT Walsh, God rest his soul).
So I give it 4 out of 4 stars, very realistic, well directed, EXCELLENT acting on Kurt Russell and Robert DiNiro's parts, and can't wait til I find it on DVD to buy it.