Ladder 49

Ladder 49

Jay Russell (2004)

12 Certificate


Our Score
This drama about the trials and tribulations of an American firefighter was conceived in the aftermath of 11 September as a tribute to a profession hit heavily by the terrorist attacks. Joaquin Phoenix plays the raw recruit who earns his stripes under the auspices of father figure John Travolta and goes on to become a firehouse legend. His progress through life and the department is recounted in flashback as he lies trapped in a burning building, cut off from his colleagues. This oft-told and predictable story doesn't shy away from emotion - in fact it heads straight for it as if answering an alarm. Director Jay Russell has taken a male drama and made a melodrama that, though stirring at times, fails to live up to its laudable intention.


A fireman becomes trapped in a burning building and, aware his chances of survival are slim, reflects on the events that led him to his chosen career. He recalls his rise from the station's laughing stock to a respected member of the team, and the effect his dangerous profession has had on his family. Meanwhile, his mentor is battling to get him out of the building alive. Drama, with Joaquin Phoenix, John Travolta, Jacinda Barrett and Robert Patrick.

Cast & Crew

Jack Morrison Joaquin Phoenix
Capt Mike Kennedy John Travolta
Linda Morrison Jacinda Barrett
Lenny Richter Robert Patrick
Tommy Drake Morris Chestnut
Ray Gauquin Balthazar Getty
Dennis Gauquin Billy Burke
Tony Corrigan Tim Guinee
Director Jay Russell
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Buena VistaGuidance: edited for languageAvailable on: DVD and Blu-ray