Box art for Backdraft


action & adventure, drama

Spectacular pyrotechnics highlight this story of two quarreling brothers (played by KURT RUSSEL and WILLIAM BALDWIN)in the Chicago Fire Department.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 14
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5

Ron Howard popcorn-muncher is sappy, not smokin'.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that there's a lot of CSI-type imagery here: charred, dead bodies and body parts pickled in jars. A burned body is imbedded in the windshield of a car, legs sticking straight out over the hood. Brian, Stephen, and the other firefighters face tremendous danger in burning buildings. A character dies in a fire. A fireman goes through a floor and nearly falls to his death. Another firefighter catches on fire and is severely burnt but survives. The film also depicts a couple's impending divorce. They sleep together one last time, confusing and hurting their son. There is some rear nudity (mostly male) and some sexual situations.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how Brian and Stephen's sibling rivalry affects their working relationship. Does it help or hurt their dangerous work? This may be a good time to talk to kids about how sibling rivalry affects them at school and with friends. It's also a good opportunity for divorced parents to talk to their children about how the split affected them.

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

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    reviews counted: 0
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  • Audience


Audience Reviews

4 stars

Backdraft is a near flawless action drama film. A terrific film directed by Ron Howard, Backdraft is THE firefighter film to watch. Fuck Ladder 49, this is the film to watch. The film boast equal amounts of drama and action to create a memorable film, and with a terrific cast to support this film, it truly makes Backdraft a remarkable film from Ron Howard. The special effects are amazing and The fire in this film is the real deal, it's no CGI. and it adds an atmosphere of reality to the film. The fire itself can be considered a character. Backdraft is a brilliantly directed and told film, and for me it's one of Ron Howards best films. Kurt Russell and William Baldwin play the rival McCaffrey brothers. They constantly butt heads in the film. Backdraft comprises a terrific cast including Donald Sutherland in a brief but a very memorable role as Pyromaniac Ronald Bartel. Sutherland's performance is chilling, and for the brief minutes he's on screen, he truly steals the show from bigger actors such as Robert DeNiro. The film steadily builds it's suspense as a deadly arsonist targets city officials. Ron Howard never gives into the mystery, and he effectively builds the story to an explosive action packed climax. Of all the films that Ron Howard has made, this is one of my favorite films and like I've said, this is also one of his best. The cast deliver something powerful on screen and the story is action packed with lots of drama, which adds a lot more to the initial storyline. The film doesn't suffer from overbearing cliches such as Ladder 49 tried to do. Instead Backdraft shows you exactly what it must be like to step into the shoes of a fireman. Firemen themselves have said that this is a pretty good portrait at what they do, despite of course for the fact that the film is fictional. Backdraft doesn't dwell on sentimental cliches to try to coax an audience in spilling buckets of tears when someone dies on screen. Backdraft does have drama, but it doesn't overdue it, and with a good mix of action, Backdraft is more than just a film that you should watch. This is a monumental film that delivers something great on screen. No bad cliches, just terrific action and drama mixed with great acting make this a definite must see film.

- TheDudeLebowski65, Wednesday, September 22, 2010

4 stars

I don't know what it is exactly, but something about this movie just makes me really love it. The cast is good, the performances are decent, the effects are awesome, and the story is pretty good. Maybe I'm just fascinated by the portrayal of fireman and the firefighting culture.

- cosmo313, Sunday, August 22, 2010

3 stars

Update: My previous review of this socketed balls, watch out for xxxtreme flames and check dat door for heat. Good cast, Robert De Niro fighting fires is a funny site. Kurt Russell is great in these type of roles.

- Chiefilms, Saturday, May 15, 2010