Jacob's Ladder (2019) Poster

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4/10
Unneeded Remake
mikedegroot24 August 2019
Let's get this out of the way first; the original Jacob's Ladder is a great and unique film that by no means needs an updated version. If you want to watch a great version of it, just go watch the original.

Story: While it is a remake, it is not a shot for shot reiteration. Several key story elements have been changed up, but many of the scenes reappear in a different context. The problem with this is that some of them feel shoved in to pay fan service to the original. The changes to the story and characters are at times major, and it feels like they are trying to tell a similar story just with vastly different parameters and it doesn't quite fit right.

Acting: The three main actors do a very serviceable job in their respected roles, however Michael Ealy really wasn't able to fully capture the same insane paranoia that Tim Robbins brought.

Production: The cinematography, while not bad, was lacking creativity and polish. The sound design was solid throughout. The effects on the other hand were cheesy and repetitious. They drastically overused the sped up head and camera shaking effect, while the cgi would have looked like it was 10 years old, 10 years ago. Seriously, half-assed practical effects would have looked much better than this shoddy cgi.

Entertainment: Well, there was little. It honestly felt like one of the most generic and predictable films that I have seen in a long time. I understand that it's difficult to make a remake unique, but this iteration has no heart, enjoyment, or identity to it at all and it just falls flat.

Overall: It's not the worst movie that you could watch, but there's really no reason to watch it. It's bland, mediocre, and the only thing scary about it are the bad special effects. Like I said before, if you want to watch a great version of it, just go watch the original. A generous 4/10
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2/10
Seriously?
aldiboronti25 August 2019
Someone seriously thought it would be a good idea to take Jacob's Ladder, a classic take on life and death, and turn it into a second-rate thriller with none of the profundity and existential dread of the earlier movie? Was there nobody to say that's a dumb idea, the script is abysmal, you're fired? I approached this with an open mind, I love the original but I thought a remake might be interesting. It wasn't. It was unimaginative and uninspired garbage. Do yourself a huge favor, go watch the earlier version and avoid this one like the plague.
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1/10
Appalling.
herodotus200725 August 2019
I love the original. It is definitely a niche horror film, but so well written, directed and cast. You felt the horror the character of Jacob (Tim Robbins) was going through. Supporting cast were great as well, maing it a well-rounded uniqe experience. So, what would happen in a remake...I was excited to find out. Well, with many plot changes and character changes as well it started on the wrong foot. Without spoiling the film, it went so off course from the original premise as to actually be another film entirely. They could have named this another title and it might have been received more forgivingly (though the story was rubbish). Avoid it at all costs and stick with the oiginal. The acting was appalling, the direction confused and the writing....well, I don't know what the writer was thinking.
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2/10
Terrible from the start
cruise1617425 August 2019
Having watched the original movie of Jacobs Ladder I really didn't expect much from or even expected this movie was needed. How right I was. From the start your greeted with just confusing dialogue after confusing scenes. I just could not get into such a poor made movie that had no excitement like the original that was very well written and directed. I felt we the audience where being taken for idiots. Sometimes I would say give it a chance. But for this it wants flushing down the toilet. It gets 2 Stars only because it looks decent quality wise just not executed at all in a good manner. Big thumbs down
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2/10
Another Unnecessary Remake
mike-grotton24 August 2019
I feel sorry for the filmmakers here. The original is such a classic, and so we'll acted; it achieves very singular levels of story, atmosphere, and performance. The remake was always doomed to pale in comparison. That said, I was willing to give it a shot and judge it on its own merits. What I found was a story devoid of character enriching beats and a tired visual style that was at its best when it tried, however infrequently, to approximate the original. I never once felt drawn in to the muddied predicament of the characters and in fact became increasingly annoyed with the plots tendency to drift away from the core mystery in favor of tired paranoia driven conspiracy tropes where no one is who you thought they were and the protagonist's family, friends, and lovers are out to get them. The denounment is pure laziness. I had to rewatch the original the next day to cleanse my pallet.
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1/10
Oh dear
j-townend24 August 2019
I thought the original Jacobs ladder was an excellent film,always one of my favourites so I was excited to see this remake,although I wish I hadn't bothered,not a patch on the original,a very confusing mish mash of total rubbish,and a really bad insult to the excellent original,I don't think there was any need to make this remake,especially when it's as poor as this, just a really terrible remake,wow😢
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3/10
Don't remake it if you don't get it. Change the title and the ratings will go up.
bradaviel24 August 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I would actually have enjoyed watching this movie if it wasn't called that. I'm usually for the look-out for Jabob's Ladder/Silent HIll inspired movies, and I usually quite enjoy them. To name a few : The Dark, The Machinist, Fear X, Session 9... the list goes on and on and on. While there have indeed been movies with that theme even before 1990 (obviously Herk Harvey's Carnival of Souls in 1962 or Alain Resnais' L'année dernière à Marienbad the year before come to mind, to name only a couple), Adrian Lyne's masterpiece seemed to create a genre of its own. So why, oh why, should you remake that seminal cornerstone of a psychological horror movie and make it a horror B movie with a twist ? The cast is great (Im a big fan of Michael Ealy since Sleeper Cell, Jesse Williams makes a great believable brother, and it's always a pleasure to see Karla Souza anywhere, especially in dark gothy roles like this one), there are some interesting ideas, but have the trauma and psychological implications of afterlife reduced to a bad drug trip is insulting, to say the least. Even more if you quote Danny Aiello's monstrous quote by just dropping it without meaning, and take the subway vision by stripping it of its essence. "If you're frightened to die, and you're holding on, you see devils tearing your life away. If you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth". In no way Jacob has to die or wants to, nor is he already dead. So this quote really makes no sense -and it seems really cheap as it comes without

People want to make movies about the VA ? Fine, by all means, make a contribution. Pay tribute to all the people who give their lives to protect the innocent, their family and their country. Their courage and sacrifice deserve it. Go along the likes of American Sniper. Want to add psychological trauma by injecting horror themed visions ? My pleasure. But going the B movie way with a drug twist, already seems a bit disrespectful.

So please don't call it Jacob's Ladder. Jacob's Ladder is a path that leads from earthly demons to heavenly peace. It's a real cheap shot to reduce all the mystical implications of this to just a rogue scientist in a dirty lab. No religious meaningful figures, no talk of the soul, not even cabalistic tricks that would explain how a drug would make a path to demonic vision that would explain what's happening here. Especially with a subject so deep and visceral as a soldier dying on the battlefield and seeing his soul ripped appart as he can't understand what's happening to him, with guts dropping and relationship shred to dust. Don't remove all this pain and heartbreaking shedding of the flesh by substituting it with a "oh, I'm sorry, it's all the drug's side effect" crap. Or if you do (and why not), please change the title. Pay homage if you want, but don't fall under the "removing all the deep meaning of classic movies with -for the show- licence to make a quick buck" folder. This could have been so much better by just changing the last 10/15 minutes.
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1/10
Horribly uneccesary remake, watch the original instead
bn3635423 August 2019
Ugh. Just why? Why? Terrible acting, like how did anyone think they were going to top Tim Robbins portrayal? With a C list actor? Made me want to cry. This was just insulting. I'd rather have watched a preschool remake of Gone with the wind. yuck. bad, pathetic, waste of money. Avoid.
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2/10
Just didn't work
elijah-alcantara27 August 2019
It's going to be hard to top the horror classic and I'm not surprised. Was hoping to be at least mediocre the way many copy-paste-randomize movies are being coughed up these days but went far below expectations. The very things that made the original so scary, dream-like and shocking is simply not there.
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2/10
Slick-looking but terrible.
Slasher_Guy25 August 2019
Compared to the excellent psychological mind-bender that is the 1990 original, this is an incredibly lousy update. But as a standalone film it is also terrible. Yes, it visually looks good, but I'd take the almost 30 year "oldie version" over this one any day of the week.

Michael Ealy is 100% wrong for the lead role. He's terrible and sleepwalks through a lousy script. Nothing against the actor - I've enjoyed him in other roles - but here he shows virtually no range throughout the entire film and looks more like someone who has had a bad day at the office rather than someone suffering intense psychological trauma. Jesse Williams, on the other hand, is quite good and would have faired better as Jacob.

Worse of all it's boring and a film that barely scrapes the 85 minute mark shouldn't really be taking that kind of liberty. I'd suggest checking out the Tim Robbins original and other excellent films with similar themes (The Machinist, Stay, The Jacket etc.)
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1/10
Note to self : Avoid any film with Jesse Williams
contactmaz27 August 2019
This guy can't act for toffee. God knows why he thinks he can act but he has no emotion and one boring and gawpy 'big-jawed' look, all the time.

An intensely slow film and a disgrace to directing, screenplay, filming, photography, script, story et al.

Avoid like the plague!

BTW, same robotic style in The Intruder. Anyway, learnt my lesson and now I know.
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1/10
Hillarious!
busaman24 August 2019
Who funds this crap?

Quit remaking classic films with D rated actors with a darker skin tone just out of spite. You are making a fool out of yourselves.
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1/10
The words 'Abysmal Failure' spring to mind
Emerald197226 August 2019
Warning: Spoilers
A pale, hollow mockery of the original and a criminal waste of actors' talent. The original was designed to be a modern day interpretation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead with influences from a 19th century short story (An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge), the artwork and photography of Francis Bacon & Joel Peter Witkin, along with philosophical and biblical references and imagery. The remake, on the other hand, is a dumpster fire abortion of a bad PSA masquerading as a movie. The only credit I can give is to the main cast members who do their utmost to at least lift the film experience out of the realms of the unwatchable with some solid performances.
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1/10
A clear and present joke.
replica0425 August 2019
Tragic cinema. What next? Godfather part 8? Fast and furious fast food outlets? Marvel vs lionsgate. Honestly the fact the lead actor isn't white is a disgrace in itself as for directing, camera work or a clue about the original film and-cult status it aroused being kept yuck. Flush this one down a miami drain.
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1/10
Hollywood has gone too far
justinedorn25 August 2019
When I saw that there was a Jacob's Ladder remake I thought it wasn't serious at first, maybe a fan made short or a trailer for a fake film. Shockingly it's real. Someone thought it was a 'good' idea to remake one of the best horror movies of all time. A film that didn't need to be remade at all. For the last decade an endless amount of remakes and sequels have been coming out as if Hollywood is trying to DESTROY what made the film industry so great. Raise your hands if you want to see yet another unoriginal, milked dry and predictable remake. Looking past the fact that this remake might as well have been built on top of an Indian burial ground since it was cursed to begin with, it's really cringy how the director tried to give it a new 'spin' by throwing in a main character who looks totally different from the original. It comes off as forced and all of us see right through it. Go destroy more films will ya ? Or maybe produce an actual original idea this time.
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1/10
If You Don't Understand the Original Why Remake it?
sbulgacs25 August 2019
The original was about soldiers in Vietnam taking drugs (acid mainly) and unknowingly having drugs tested on them. The movie itself was structured like a bad acid trip including flashbacks. For the movie to work you had to be able to empathise with the lead character. That's why they made him a likeable everyman struggling through life working as a postman. Making the lead a happily married well paid surgeon with an idyllic life does not endear the audience to the character. Also why would a surgeon be suffering from PTSD and be a heroin addict? As far as I know surgeons don't fight on the frontline and certainly wouldn't squirm at some blood and guts. Some could say that was all misdirection, but I would argue the original didn't rely on such cheap tricks, and was much more effective for it.
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6/10
Decent lower budget re-imagining
theendisopened24 August 2019
If you can avoid having an extreme overreaction to the fact that this is a "remake," then you may be able to see it for what it is. It is far from a 2 star movie. I mean, people realize this is a 10 point scale, right? Anyway, we all understand that Jacob's Ladder didn't need a remake. However, I felt this wasn't as much of a cash grabby hack job as it was an attempt to use the theme's of the original to tell a new story about PTSD. Nonetheless, the plot and characters were underdeveloped, the acting was weak, and all of this was further damaged by the lower budget.

With that said, the story at least kept me interested. It had a handful of intense moments. I was mildly entertained by the twist ending. I also appreciated the subject matter (vets and mental health). It's worth a watch if you're like me and enjoy an occasional, mediocre, straight to DVD thriller, in between being a pretentious film snob.
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3/10
Another bad remake.
dar041726 August 2019
This film is all over the place as its original one. Feels like every 20 seconds he wakes up or someone pops out of nowhere.
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1/10
Pure garbage
matiasarce-6098227 August 2019
Doesn't even deserve a review, avoid at all costs.
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1/10
Why why
yankeedoo25 August 2019
Make another first one was bad and this was worse shame as main actor is ok in other things. But this movie must have been a tax write off. Stay away watch blank wall instead
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1/10
What the Hell Did I Just Watch?
chunkiefroth23 August 2019
This abominable lump of crap barely qualifies as a movie, let alone Jacob's Ladder. Everything great about the original has been stripped away and replaced with feces. Instead of a tale depicting the fleeting consciousness of a dying man . . . they turned it into a cheap jump scare riddled mess about a junkie. There are not words strong enough to convey the disappointment. I truly hope the writers and director contract Ebola, and spend their remaining agonizing days puking their guts in each other's faces. I've given this one star because IMDb does not allow for negative scores. If you get an opportunity to see this film I strongly suggest doing something more constructive. . . like heroin.
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1/10
A step by step guide of how not make a remake
kaksak28 August 2019
If you can't direct/write a decent movie on your own, definitely don't try and remake an iconic movie such as Jacob's Ladder. You're setting the benchmark pretty high.

Probably why you don't see anyone trying to remake Shawshank Redemption...or why the new Ghost Busters failed miserably.

In any case, I was uninterested when I saw the title the first time (the remake), as more often than not, when you try and remake a brilliant film, it usually turns out garbage, as did this one.

Leave titles with a cult following alone - please. They have a cult following for a reason.
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1/10
Another worst horror film! Focus too much on boring hallucination scene! Avoid at all cost!
kwenchow28 August 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This film start with a man hallucinate himself strangle by an unknown people on a stair! As turnout, this film is about solving the mystery of the death of Jacob's brother "Isaac"! Entire film full of boring and confusing hallucination scene of Jacob! Quite bored to be honest! First action scene, when two guys break in Jacob house, he take down one guy and another run away! Later he drive the body away but found out his trunk is empty! Second action scene, a bunch of random person shooting at the two brothers car and they runaway with the car! The most intense scene is the flashback war scene of Jacob at the end of the film! Quite bloody! Big spoiler ahead! The title name "Ladder" actually is the drug Jacob and his friend "Hoffman" invented to test on army veteran! Isaac actually still alive, Jacob just hallucinate himself as Isaac! At the end, Jacob found out the truth of the drug and confront with Hoffman at the lab! Jacob and Hoffman broke a window and fell down on the road! The falling kill Hoffman and Jacob sent to hospital! That's it! Another disappointed film! Not recommended!
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4/10
Remake Lacking Heart Despite Subject Matter
david_rudy_lee27 August 2019
Now I'm not going to lie, when I heard there was going to be a remake to Jacob's Ladder, I was both intrigued and a bit nervous. The basis of that story made sense for the time period. There are the some rumors of the government testing on soldiers that were in Vietnam. Going from that, I was curious if they were going to update it or just do a straight remake. To get into the review of this film, after his brother returned home from war, Jacob Singer (Michael Ealy) struggles to maintain his sanity. Plagued by hallucinations and flashbacks, Jacob rapidly falls apart as he can no longer tell what is real.

We start this film off with a guy who freaks out. He goes down an alley and we see him drink something from a small container. We then see someone choking him, but we aren't sure what is really happening. There are some hallucinations we are seeing. He is then drug down the alley by two guys.

It then shifts to a desert. It doesn't specify if this is Afghanistan or Iraq, but we are seeing Jacob as he tries to cool down. There's an emergency and he's a military doctor. He has to leave when it turns out the person on the operating table is his brother, Isaac 'Ike' Singer (Jesse Williams). This turns out to be him having a flashback while he's in the operating room. He is married to Nicole Beharie and they have a child together.

Jacob is dealing with PTSD for what he went through while serving. He visits Louis (Ritchie Coster) who is a psychiatrist. There are a lot of unresolved issues with Ike, who was seeing Jacob's now wife and his death is also affecting him. Things take a turn though another veteran, Paul Rutiger (Joseph Sikora), tells him that his brother is still alive. This leads on a dark journey to subway tunnels where other homeless vets are living. There's a drug they're using to help with their PTSD. The problem becomes there, they hallucinate and not completely sure what is real or not.

Now I wanted to go a little bit vague here as there's not a lot of depth to the story if I'm honest. I've already expressed my issues with this film being made, but I will admit, there are some things that I like here. I like the idea of them updating it. An issue that I have though is with attempting to update this film; we are losing the element that the government could be involved. There also wasn't rampant drug use by soldiers either. I do like the idea of this experimental drug though that is being used to help their PTSD, as this is definitely a real problem.

Going from that though, I almost wish this film would have been marketed with a department name. For me I can separate what happened in the original from this one and it really isn't necessarily a true remake. This one is actually much easier to follow if I'm completely honest. There are subtle hints that if you are paying attention, point to the truth of what is happening here. That is actually some pretty solid writing there. It also does have a more definite ending than the original, but that becomes an issue is that it didn't stick with me to think after it ended.

The other thing I really like this film looks at is how some soldiers, like Jacob, are dealing with things that they can't handle on their own. We hear about it all the time with veterans coming back and not being able to express the issues their having. PTSD is real issue and I could actually see some of the things happening here. I just don't feel this film carries the emotional impact that it really needs.

I think part of that comes from the acting. It is interesting as I normally really like Ealy. There's something that is just missing from his performance for me. The same can be said for Williams as well. I haven't seen him in as much, but everyone across the board was just flat. I wanted to feel sorry for them, but it just wasn't there. I think part of it could be the stretch for these two at the reveal of what is really happening in the movie. The rest of the cast just is kind of there as well, which is surprising, because I've seen Coster and Rutiger in other things where they're good too.

Another aspect that didn't help was the pacing. This film runs about 90 minutes, but it never grabbed my interest. It could be that the drug that is causing all of this issue isn't explored enough. I'm almost thinking this should have been focused on more, as this film doesn't explore if the supernatural things we are seeing are real or not and without connecting with the characters on a level, we would need to have something that keeps driving the story. It just seems to meander. The reveal isn't bad and I actually though it works, but it just goes back to me not connecting to care.

That moves me to the effects of the film, which even though they are pretty heavy on the CGI actually aren't that bad. I thought the look of the demon like people were good. There are still some odd things where people are moving fast that I can forgive. I do know a lot of people have issues there. There are some practical effects, but the film didn't really use a lot. The film is shot well outside of that.

Now with that said, this film I came in with some low expectations and the film actually lived up to them. I tried to look at this film on its own and I think it does enough to separate itself. I like the updating of the story and the changes made to Jacob. The problem is that I didn't connect with characters, the film kind of meanders and just never really did anything to hook me. It is really a shame, because the social commentary is very relevant to both the original time period and our current world. I just think they focused on the wrong thing here, as it becomes the major problem in the end, but we don't spend enough time on it. The effects were fine. The soundtrack didn't really stand out to me, but it never took me out of the film. Despite its running time, the film is just boring. The positive things that I got out of it are few, so I will say that this film is below average.
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1/10
Stick with the 1990s version
ivannano23 August 2019
The original version will keep you guessing/intrigued by what's really happening.

This new version is just not worth your time.

This cast deserves much better quality material.
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