The Best Movies About Firefighters (Including Angelina Jolie’s ‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’)
When it comes to first responders, cops tend to suck all the air out of the room. Whether it’s on the news or in Hollywood, for better or worse, police officers steal all the screentime while firefighters are relegated to second-class status. But as anyone who’s been unfortunate enough to witness an out-of-control inferno, there’s no first responder braver than firefighters. They literally walk into the most dangerous situations and risk their lives to save people and their beloved property.
HBO Max is bringing a new film, Those Who Wish Me Dead, to its streaming service on May 14. It stars Angelina Jolie as a smokejumper who’s battling more than just a blaze. In honor of this highly anticipated thriller, we’ve rounded up similar movies that take viewers inside the harrowing lives and work of firefighters.
Cover Photo: New Line Cinema
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'Those Who Wish Me Dead'
Based on Michael Koryta’s novel of the same name, this thriller follows a 12-year-old boy who witnessed a murder and is being hunted by hitmen. Angelina Jolie stars as the fire jumper responsible for protecting him as a fire rages in the Montana wilderness.
Photo: New Line Cinema
Though their father died fighting fires, two brothers (William Baldwin and Kurt Russel) end up becoming firefighters in Chicago. Despite their contentious relationship, they must join forces to stop a serial arsonist using fires to target and murder specific people.
John Travolta and Joaquin Phoenix star in this film about a young firefighter (Phoenix) caught in the worst blaze of his career in a 20-story building. Deputy Chief Kennedy (Travolta) is tasked with coordinating the heroic rescue efforts.
Photo: Touchstone Pictures
'Only the Brave'
Based on the true story of an elite firefighting group known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots, this heartfelt action film finds 19 firefighters battling the Yarnell Hill Fire of 2013 in Arizona.
Based on the 1953 dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury, this film focuses on Guy Montag (Michael B. Jordan), a fireman in a future, anti-reading society tasked with burning books. While at first Montag excels at his job, he soon finds himself rebelling – and metaphorically setting fire to everything he’s been taught to believe.
Photo: HBO Max
This ‘90s thriller stars Howie Long and Scott Glen as smoke jumpers who must chase down a group of convicts disguised as firefighters after they escape from prison and take a female birdwatcher hostage.
Photo: Twentieth Century Fox
'The Towering Inferno'
This Academy Award-nominated film features Steve McQueen as a San Francisco Fire Department Chief called to battle a blaze in the world’s largest skyscraper designed by architect Dough Roberts (Paul Newman) on the day of its launch party.
Photo: Twentieth Century Fox
This subtitled South Korean action thriller follows a fire that breaks out on Christmas Eve in a luxury skyscraper.
Photo: CJ Entertainment
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