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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Ladder 49

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Above average -- if overly sentimental -- action drama and paean to firefighters concerning a young fireman (Joaquin Phoenix) as he progresses over the years from rookie to seasoned professional, with the unusual feature of there being as much screen time devoted to his domestic life as to the "Towering Inferno"-like fire sequences, which are generally more enervating than truly exciting. Director Jay Russell's drama -- which also features John Travolta as the paternal fire chief -- boasts a solid, appealing and down-to-earth performance from Phoenix and an authentic-seeming portrait of firehouse life with middle-class workers (mostly Catholic, as it happens) that compensates for the more conventional aspects of the plot. A couple of instances of crude language, an implication of premarital sex and some intense firefighting scenes. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.



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