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Reviews & Ratings for
White House Down More at IMDbPro »

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294 out of 515 people found the following review useful:

It's called entertainment people

Author: shane-may
7 July 2013

This is the first review I've ever written ever. I don't subscribe to movie reviews--at all. I actually enjoy movies. It seems to me that by in large reviewers just don't like movies. Not the intelligent reviewers anyway. They seem to be more concerned with how they look to their readers, pretending they know something about film. Reviewers are writers who want to be something else, filmmakers perhaps, and find it incredibly trendy and smart to disassemble and deconstruct the hard work of others; and to hate entertainment. They all seem to have this idea that they know better and I have little time for their self righteous, self important, pretentious bullshit thinly disguised as some sort of public service. Heads up: it does no one a service to be condescending or insulting.

With that said I will now step off of MY self righteous soap box and say that White House Down is a damned good time time with excellent shots of DC (making it look like an attractive, interesting place to be as opposed to the hot and smelly dumpster it actually is...seriously, the place smells like a dumpster), in your face action, fine performances-- Jamie Foxx is pretty cool as the leader of the free world--a bad guy who you just can't wait to watch die (there are several bad guys in this movie, so I'm not counting that as a spoiler), and pretty awesome hero in John Kale.

Now the movie gets a little long which is only an issue if you're a smoker like me, by the middle of the third act I was craving pretty hard, and there's some dumb lines of dialogue during one of the action sequences that didn't seem to fit the characters, but whatever.

White House Down is a fun and intense action movie that I would gladly see again. 8 out of 10!

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298 out of 546 people found the following review useful:

Loud, Dumb and Overlong

Author: trublu215 from United States
29 June 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Now, this seemed like the perfect summer blockbuster. Two huge stars, an expensive budget and a director with a knack for action. What could go wrong? By the end of it, instead of what could go wrong, you'll be asking yourself what went right. The answer....barely anything. White House Down is not only dumb, it is downright idiotic. The plot is preposterous, the action sequences sub par and the acting is atrocious. Channing Tatum does his best Bruce Willis impression while Jamie Foxx turns in the worst performance of his career. The supporting cast lead by Maggie Gyllenhaal saves the terrible leads and are the sole reason I am not giving this a 1. Overall, this film is loud, long and boring, so much so, I can't imagine any adult with a functioning brain to enjoy this. I highly recommend to stay away from this stinker. If you want a great action film featuring the destruction of the White House, tune into Olympus Has Fallen.

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248 out of 464 people found the following review useful:

White House Propaganda

Author: sycodon from United States
28 June 2013

It is inevitable that White House Down be compared to Olympus Has Fallen. Unfortunately, it compares poorly from the title on down.

The special effects lack the realism of OHF.

The action sequences are disjointed and downright goofy at times.

The bad guys are cartoonish and you get no sense of satisfaction when they are put down.

The plot is too complicated by half and really is not relevant to the action.

The movie ends with a whimper and a SNL quality perp walk of the character who is ultimately responsible for all the carnage.

But the worst thing is the crude, amateurish and transparent Left vs. Right political message in which it drapes all the other sub par elements. It is a Progressive's wet dream that really couldn't be any more wacko if you gathered 100 of Huffington Posts's top Super Users in a room festooned pictures of Dick Cheney and GWB, fed them mushrooms, and asked them to come up with the motivation for the bad guys.

But Good Guys shooting bad guys is always good and so are explosions. If you ignore the channeling of Nancy Pelosi, then you might get your money's worth at a matinée showing.

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45 out of 67 people found the following review useful:

Great, silly, cheesy action fun - this movie should have been a hit!

Author: gogoschka-1 from wherever good films play
13 December 2013

I'll never fully understand why people flock to films like "Iron Man I-III" and then completely ignore a fun action film like "White House Down". After reading so many bad reviews, I started watching Emmerich's newest noise-opera only because I wanted to get tired enough to go to bed. I had planned to watch the first 5 minutes and to then fast forward through the rest of the film and have a quick look at the expensive special effects. Never did I expect to actually enjoy myself - and yet I did. In fact, I enjoyed myself so much that I couldn't stop watching for the entire 2 hours, and I didn't even get up to go to the bathroom. Right from the start I realized that this movie doesn't take itself too seriously and that this is Emmerich having fun (destroying the White House - if you count freezing it - for the fourth time). But despite all the silliness and the tongue-in-cheek moments, this is a suspenseful ride which never lets up and kept me hooked the entire time. There are quite a few unexpected twists and turns along the way, and the wonderful supporting cast (James Woods, Richard Jenkins and Jason Clarke, to name a few) keep even the most clichéd characters fun and interesting. So my verdict: Great, silly, cheesy action film! Suspend your disbelief and you will have one hell of a good time. I rate it 7 out of 10.

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191 out of 361 people found the following review useful:

I Spent How Much on This?

Author: melvisu-724-177682
28 June 2013

I will start with the pros. This movie is packed with excitement, action, and CGI effects - almost start to finish. Now the cons: a blatant ripoff of both Die Hard and Olympus Has Fallen (which was a blatant ripoff of Die Hard); the most implausible story EVER; the absolute worst acting EVER with Jamie Foxx taking the lead. This movie should be reason enough to finally burn that guy's SAG card once and for all. And Channing Tatum, whom I normally like, was a close second. In fact, the only actor to give a good performance was the little girl who played Tatum's daughter.

Believe the reviews you read here. They are not exaggerations. If you must watch this, wait for Redbox!

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228 out of 437 people found the following review useful:

a convoluted mess that's joyless and flat out dumb

Author: wang wang from United States
26 June 2013

White House Down offers very little that's new or interesting. It's a convoluted mess that's caught in no man's land. It takes itself far too seriously yet offers ridiculous action (ridiculous as in dumb, not as in wild or fun) and even more ridiculous characters. It wants to be taken seriously but functions in bizarre surroundings with a foolish plot. A calamity of underdeveloped ideas, half the film is flat out brain damaged and the other half is pure schlock. Do yourself a favor and avoid this dumb and actually boring farce.

This movie simply can't stand on its own as a film. Does often joyless, dark and dumb appeal to even the popcorn crowds? The rest of us want way more in our summer movies.

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84 out of 153 people found the following review useful:

One of the worst movies of the last 20 years

Author: Brian Reisman from Austin, TX, USA
7 July 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am struggling to find a single thing about this film that was even average. Jamie Fox handed in a performance appearing to have put in about as much preparation as one would expect for a SNL hosting gig. Channing Tatum, as another reviewer mentioned, did his best Bruce Willis imitation but nothing could save this dreadful script. **Spoilers Below** The pocket watch was almost as predictable as it was with the bubble-gum filled cigarette case in "Johnny Dangerously".

In addition to all of the above, I could have done without the ridiculously left-wing nature of the film... There were so many that it was hard to keep track but here were some: Left Wing President, who wanting nothing more than peace in the middle east, essentially declares it so. His peace policy blocked only by the right-wingers and the evil military industrial complex, the only way that the evil conservatives can stop his plans is to get the right wing speaker of the house to enlist a secret service agent (whose son died in a botched military operation), a burned off-book spy , and a "right wing" neo- nazi. Their master plan: To assassinate the President and Vice President and make the world think it was done by Islamist Terrorists..

If you are able to look past the obvious political nonsense in the film... your still left with a heaping pile of crap. A much better version of this "genre" is "Olympus has Fallen"...

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109 out of 205 people found the following review useful:

Whether or not you've seen the earlier 'Olympus Has Fallen', do yourself a favour and avoid this loud, dumb and boring poorer cousin that is best described as an utter farce

Author: moviexclusive from Singapore
25 June 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Forever etching his name on the 'blacklist' of the highest office in Washington, Roland Emmerich is back at destroying the official residence of the President of the United States. Alas, Emmerich has been beaten at his own game, his White House under siege premise coming less than six months after the similarly-themed 'Olympus Has Fallen'. Besides cast and character, both are essentially variations of the same movie - or to sum it up succinctly, 'Die Hard' on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And having lost the novelty factor to 'Olympus', what matters is only whether it is in fact a better movie than its predecessor, to which our answer is unfortunately a resounding no.

Yes, despite a bigger budget and perhaps more bankable lead stars (Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx are still surer box-office bets than Gerard Butler going by their respective track records), 'White House Down' is a disappointing letdown. To be fair, that ain't the fault of Tatum and Foxx, both of whom are the saving graces of an otherwise embarrassing exercise in hokum; instead, Emmerich and his screenwriter James Vanderbilt are squarely to blame here, the latter for throwing any semblance of logic out the window and the former for trying too hard to emulate Michael Bay.

Whereas 'Olympus' had the real-life threat of the North Koreans to lend some authenticity, Vanderbilt engenders none with his far-fetched premise of the President's Head of Secret Service, Walker (James Woods), recruiting a hodgepodge bunch of right-wing ex-military fundamentalists to kidnap the President and exploit his nuclear arsenal so as to wipe out America's enemies in the Middle East (here's looking at you, Teheran) off the map. The trigger for that? A G8 speech where current President, James Sawyer (Foxx), essentially tells the world that the U.S. will be pursuing peace diplomacy by taking the first step to lay down its weapons.

Despite a backstory that tries to explain Walker's motivations, there is little coherence to just how the Head of the President's Secret Service detail would be so compelled to attempt such an act of treason, let alone assemble a ragtag team of militarists with past criminal records and sneak them into the White House to aid his 'noble' cause. Ditto for the likelihood that a hacker, however brilliant he might be, could simply run a programme to crack the NSA's firewalls without even so much as alerting anyone else in the process - and may we add thereby precipitating a thoroughly laughable chain of swearing-ins that goes from the Vice-President to the Speaker of Parliament Raphelson (Richard Jenkins). If you thought 'Olympus' was just implausible, then 'White House Down' pretty much operates on its own system of reasoning.

Further turning the proceedings to farce is the buddy team of aspiring Secret Service agent John Cale (Tatum) and President Sawyer. A classic case of the right guy in the wrong place at the wrong time, Cale finds himself rising to the call of duty when the terrorists launch their attack just as he and his daughter Emily (Joey King) are on tour in the White House. But instead of repeating the formula of one man saving the day (or the President for that matter), Vanderbilt introduces a twist to the dynamics between Cale and Sawyer by turning them into partners - though how much it really does veer from the earlier cliché is questionable.

Nonetheless, Tatum and Foxx make a pleasantly amusing pair and are - truth be told - the best things that the movie has going for it. But the immediate trade-off of injecting comedy into a premise that intuitively demands a certain degree of solemnity is that you cannot quite take anything else that happens in it seriously afterwards. Nowhere is this more evident than in an utterly ludicrous sequence where Cale and Sawyer are in the President's limousine driving round and round the fountain in the middle of the White House lawn while being chased by the bad guys, the sheer stupidity of it matched by the fact that Sawyer is in the meantime figuring out how to assemble a mini rocket launcher in the back seat.

Whereas 'Olympus' kept its pacing taut by emphasising the gravity of the threat facing the nation, there is nary a frisson of tension even as Walker comes dangerously close to acquiring the President's nuclear commandership. Simply put, the self-aware humour that is the only reason why the movie remains watchable sits at odds with the self-serious tone in the last third of the film, and no number of fighter planes nor surface-to-air missiles can regain the credibility of its premise.

It doesn't help that the action, which consists largely of close combat fights, is surprisingly lacklustre, choreographed with neither finesse nor technique to distinguish one from the other. Wherever Emmerich gets the opportunity in the screenplay to stage the action against a wider canvas, he squanders that chance to make it count, the surfeit of CGI and excess making for a toxic combination that renders what is shown little more than an afterthought. Indeed, a similar sequence as that in 'Olympus' where the Special Forces attempt to land on the roof of the White House from helicopters unfolds with so little excitement that it might as well have been cut out altogether.

Therein lies perhaps the biggest problem with 'White House Down' - even as a summer popcorn flick, it just isn't thrilling enough. Emmerich tries to keep every frame busy - hence the countless number of times Tatum leaps over couches or slides over tables - but the action is just loud, dumb and plain boring. Only the humour between Tatum and Foxx manages to be entertaining, though it's hard not to regard the movie as farce afterwards. Call us biased, but we like our White House under siege thrillers to be hard-hitting, intense and gripping, none of which can be used to describe 'White House Down'.


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85 out of 158 people found the following review useful:

Major action scenes are inaccurate, among other distortions

Author: Milton Schick (imp-728-677233) from Arizona
2 July 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The screen writers for this movie could not have bothered to use any advice from the U.S. Military. In one scene, an Abrams main battle tank is being used to breach the guard fence around the Whitehouse to allow our heroes to escape. The bad guys fire a RPG-7 anti-tank round at the front of the Abrams, where the thickest armor is located. The RPG-7 round blows up the Abrams. Really! During the invasion and taking down of Iraq in 2003 by U.S. forces led by General Tommy Franks, one Abrams got involved in a protracted firefight inside an Iraqi city with Iraqi soldiers. The Abrams took 33 hits from RPG-7s. All external weapons and equipment were blown off the hull. But the hull was never penetrated and the main gun was never damaged. The Abrams and her crew kept fighting until relieved. One hit from a RPG-7 will not hurt an Abrams in any way, shape, or form.

The bad guys decide to kill Air Force One while it is in flight somewhere over the U.S. The bad guys over-ride ICBM launch command and fire an ICBM at Air Force One. Of course, the ICBM connects with Air Force One and destroys it. There's just one catch. There is no way in this universe that an ICBM can be used to shoot down an aircraft. It cannot be done, period.

Then we have Jamie Fox's President character with a political agenda that mirrors the political agenda of Barrack Obama. We all know that Jamie Fox is a 110% supporter of Barrack Obama. But that support does not belong in an entertainment movie. It is nothing but pure political campaigning.

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46 out of 82 people found the following review useful:

The Top Twenty-Five Ways Olympus Has Fallen Even Harder

Author: thesar-2 from United States
16 August 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

1. The only thing this White House and the real one had in common was the color. Sorry...colors.

2. Suspending one's suspension of disbelief must be a talent I don't have, but apparently, Director Roland Emmerich's very familiar with the 2012 concept.

3. It's been almost 20 years since I've walked out on a movie. One hour into White House Down, I almost broke that streak.

4. But, thank goodness I didn't. The climax was a triple-threat of absolute, albeit unintentional, hilarity.

5. And, gee, I knew the boring, flag twirling subplot would come in handy.

6. The President might be captured, used for ransom or assassinated…so why not worry about the absolute improbability of the stock market crashing in less than 30-minutes following a DC attack?

7. Terrorist take note: Janitors never get screened when working high profile government jobs.

8. It's gotta be a tad bit racist for an African-American to shout "Code Black! Code Black!" when the White House is under attack. Especially for someone imitating Forest Whitaker.

9. Do all White House guides resemble Alan Ruck from Speed or Jason Schwartzman from any Wes Anderson film?

10. Screaming to a terrorist: "You're gonna go to jail for that!" after he shoots a hostage might seem like an empty threat. Because it is.

11. Ripping off the other White House-attacked 2013 release? Forget Olympus Has Fallen. Focus on who'll sue you for copyright infringement when White House Down names its tank-topped hero "John" and blatantly rips off even the worst Die Hard sequel.

12. Oh, and A Good Day to Die Hard…not so bad any more.

13. An entire scene of an action movie spend on: Squirrel vs. Bird Feeder feels more like a Rocky & Bullwinkle short. 30-seconds of that is certainly more entertaining than any of the 131 minutes of this.

14. Characters like John Cale shouldn't have to tell the audience "This is so stupid!" but, he did anyways.

15. First day visiting the White House? Fear not, every character in this movie is also serving their initial day. Including the President who clearly has no idea how or where to secure himself.

16. Making 1993's Dave seem realistic must be an accomplishment. But, creating a less secure White House than the Dulles International Airport of Die Hard 2 should win some awards.

17. Beepers should never be a key plot twist. Ever. Well, okay, at least, not in the last 20 years.

18. When Sharknado appears to be more realistic and the WORLD-WIDE box-office receipts back me up, it's time to think twice before releasing a B-Movie in the theatres.

19. Poor White House Down. They made a movie centering around White House tours that were outdated months before release. At least the original Spider-Man had the common Spidey-sense to delete the Twin Towers scene.

20. But…if they ever reinstate the White House tours, and you happen to see a door ajar that you can peer into and see the bad guys getting ready for an assault…please say something. Anything. To anyone.

21. Calling the White House "the safest house in the world" and then immediately following that with another character hoping his inexperienced daughter got out is really wishing too much.

22. White House windows are easy to open with knives and the rooms are even easier to set on fire to thwart terrorists.

23. Spitting on President Abraham Lincoln's grave should be considered treason.

24. Try not saying: "What…the…hell?" and following that up with extreme laughter every few moments in White House Down. I dare you.

25. Jack Bauer would literally take a few seconds to analyze this situation and take less time to solve it…if he wasn't already bored one second into this day.

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