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Reviews & Ratings for
White House Down More at IMDbPro »

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300 out of 548 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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74 out of 98 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 latest 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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299 out of 575 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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195 out of 376 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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253 out of 493 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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234 out of 457 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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27 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

Not as bad as everybody told me !

Author: Miranda Philippen from Netherlands
9 September 2013

I wasn't that eager to watch this movie, because I had seen some clips on TV shows reviewing it, and read reviews in newspapers...and none of them were very positive.

But on a rainy Sunday night, nothing else to do...i thought to myself...why not !? Have an open mind and go and see it.

And i must say I was pleasantly surprised !!! YES every normal thinking adult must know that the things you see in this movie are outrageous and simply couldn't ever happen that way. But so is most of what happens in any Bond movie ! So just forget about that part of it all...and decide if the movie is entertaining, and i thought it was !

Channing Tatum, James Woods, Maggie Gyllenhaal and little Joey King did really good work ! The only negative for me in this movie was Jamie Foxx, and I don't even know what it was that bothered me about him in this movie, but I just didn't think he was the best choice for that part !

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51 out of 96 people found the following review useful:

Even for Hollywood this is idiotic

Author: wilemon2000 from United States
30 June 2013

This plot is a ridiculous leftwing psycho fantasy. Understand that Boeing ,Lockheed and Microsoft are completely responsible for all the violence in the world and aided by the Speaker of the House ,will start a nuclear war to (somehow) maximize profits. Throw in stereotypic rednecks as bad guys .Totally ruined a below average action flic. The acting is OK as far as the plot will let pretty decent performers utter their preposterous lines with a straight face. Spoiler alert- (if that is possible with this movie) If you can get past the blatant propaganda you are still faced with characters such as the pilots who would do things such disobey orders and for all they knew allow a nuclear strike on Iran, killing millions of children to save one child. This is simply Hollywood at its elitist fantasy world worst and the scarier part that they believe-possibly accurately - the viewer is really that dumb.

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94 out of 182 people found the following review useful:

What was I thinking

Author: wictor80 from Indianapolis
29 June 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Been working a lot of hours lately and called the Mrs. to say let's go see a movie. She brought this title up and I said sure, let's go. In the interest of full disclosure, I am not normally a guy who likes mindless action movies (Die Hard 1 was good, 2-10 not so much), but it had Foxx and Gyllenhaal in it, so it can't possibly be as bad as, say, Independence Day. But, without research, I didn't realize the movies came from the SAME GUY.

But ultimately I was right, ID was a 1 star and WHD is a 2.

Character and plot development? They didn't have time, they had 2 million rounds of various calibers to expend so it was laid out in the fastest most cliché manner possible.

I am a left leaning person but the "bad guys'" and their "motivations" were about a subtle as an anvil dropped on Wiley Coyote. And the bad guys were a grab bag of the worst nightmares of a liberal. It seemed like a Batman movie where the Joker, Riddler and Penguin all got together to fight the caped crusader Tatum. Really? The only saving grace was the $100 mil of CGI of the WH being blown up which offered momentary respite from the, gulp, dialogue.

My brain feels insulted and I feel sorry that Jamie and Maggie were so desperate for a payday, they appeared in this. It got so bad, I excused myself for the last 10 minutes to go to the bathroom because she bought large drinks. Thank God.

Next time, I pick the movie.

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109 out of 212 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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