A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
No clear messages here, except for perhaps a suggestion that war is extremely damaging to a person's psyche and that drugs aren't always the answer.
Positive Role Models
Characters here are largely victims, and mainly suffering and reacting to things, although some appear to be trying to be helpful from time to time. Diversity in casting.
Violence & Scariness
Bloody, gory surgery scene. Violent war flashbacks. Guns and shooting. Blood sprays. Large pool of blood. Strangling, choking. Bodies dragged off. Bombs and explosions. Punching, fighting. Fall from high window, with bodies crushed on pavement, blood pools. A character has a seizure, foaming at the mouth. Character pushed in front of train. Scary/horror images and noises. Jump scares.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Somewhat graphic sex scene includes thrusting but no nudity. A character kisses her husband and climbs on top of him, straddling him while clothed. Prostitute with partially naked bottom, cleavage shown. Prostitute flirts with a character.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Several uses of "f--k" and "s--t." Also "p---y."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Budweiser beers shown.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Veterans are shown to be habitual users of experimental drugs, to help ease their anguish. Shot of drug being injected. Cigarette smoking. Characters drink whiskey at a wedding and are shown staggering drunk. Spoken reference to characters with drinking problems. Casual beer-drinking.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Jacob's Ladder is a remake of the same-named 1990 psychological horror movie. It tries to do a few things differently -- including diversifying the cast -- but it still feels mechanical and lifeless. Expect plenty of blood and gore, including surgery scenes, blood sprays, and pools of blood, plus guns and shooting, fighting and punching, strangling, explosions, several scary images and sounds, and jump scares. A character has dreamlike sex with a prostitute; there's thrusting but no nudity beyond a partially naked bottom and cleavage. A character kisses her husband and climbs on top of him, straddling him. Language includes several uses of "f--k" and "s--t" and a use of "p---y." Veterans are shown to be habitual users of experimental drugs, and an injection is shown. Characters smoke cigarettes, and there's some drinking, at least once to obvious excess. Michael Ealy stars. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This remake of the 1990 psychological horror movie makes a half-hearted stab at changing up the story, but in the end it just feels listless, without the original's disturbing existential scope. That movie had a kind of interior quality that made the events feel as if they were happening to the character like a nightmare. The new Jacob's Ladder feels mainly exterior, as if all the shocks were set up as jump scares aimed at the audience, rather than the character. As a result, Ealy can only react to things, and he never manages to find an emotional center to his character; his Jacob is just constantly concerned.
Diversifying the characters was a welcome decision, and adding a brother character to the mix was, too -- if only there had been more of a connection. The two men don't seem to have ever even met before. Unexpectedly, in the role of Ike, Williams seems like the more dynamic actor; perhaps the movie would have been more effective if he and Ealy had switched roles. Jacob's Ladder also tries for a drastically different conclusion to the story this time around. But while the original's ending worked dramatically and emotionally, this one falls short. Again, it feels external, meant for shock purposes, and attempted without any concern for the characters or their inner logic.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.