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White House Down

HD   PG-13 Closed Captioning AD

Roland Emmerich

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About the Movie

Capitol Policeman John Cale (Channing Tatum) has just been denied his dream job with the Secret Service of protecting President James Sawyer (Jamie Foxx). Not wanting to let down his little girl with the news, he takes her on a tour of the White House, when the complex is overtaken by a heavily armed paramilitary group. Now, with the nation's government falling into chaos and time running out, it's up to Cale to save the president, his daughter, and the country.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 191
  • Fresh: 96
  • Rotten: 95
  • Average Rating: 5.4/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: It follows the Emmerich template: a spectacle-tinged, compelling setup; a dumb, disappointing midsection; and a cheese-topped denouement that veers so close to self-parody that one is tempted to call it funny. – James Berardinelli, ReelViews, Jun 28, 2013

Rotten: The main flaw of White House Down is that it overstays its welcome, thanks in large part to a silly climax that seems to unfold in three laborious acts. – David Hiltbrand, Philadelphia Inquirer, Jul 1, 2013

Fresh: While the film is exactly as silly as Olympus Has admittedly has a lot more fun with the cheeseball, post-9/11 patriotism that underlies the lark. That's the real saving grace for a film that is essentially a carbon of a carbon of a carbon. – Jim Schembri, 3AW, Sep 29, 2013

Fresh: Whether or not you enjoy this film depends entirely on whether you judge it to be po-faced or parody. If you believe it's the former, you'll probably hate it. If you believe it's the latter, you'll have an absolute blast. – Rebecca Davies, Film4, Sep 13, 2013

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


Of all the big-name filmmakers in Hollywood who specialize in mindless blockbuster action, Roland Emmerich is probably the "go-to director" you'd rely on if your idea of a good time includes watching a huge cast of high-profile actors strand themselves in a goofy high-stakes action-thriller full of ridiculous characters, bloated destruction scenes, and seemingly endless amounts of shameless studio product placement. And that's exactly what "White House Down" (his latest big-budget extravaganza) is, and it never once tries to be anything more than that. Sure, the release date may have been a bit of bad timing (it came out only three months after the year's other coincidental White House invasion thriller, "Olympus Has Fallen"), but I can easily say that this unabashedly silly adventure is the most enjoyable of the two, although that's really not saying much when you think about it. Even so, Emmerich (who also directed "Independence Day," "The Day After Tomorrow," and "2012") does know how to put on quite a show, even if it is one we've seen several times before. But that doesn't make it any less entertaining. In Hollywood's latest excuse to blow up 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, we follow Channing Tatum as John Cale, a divorced Capitol police officer simply itching to be a Secret Service agent to impress his tween daughter (Joey King). While his job interview in the West Wing is going south, a heavily armed paramilitary group swiftly take over the White House demanding $400 million. Meanwhile, Cale's daughter gets taken hostage and the President of the United States (Jamie Foxx) is left unguarded. So guess who inevitably steps in to save everyone in the end. Yes, the plot is just as incredibly predictable and wildly convoluted as it sounds (and the fact that it's set up in a similar formulaic fashion as "Olympus" doesn't help matters either), but what makes the movie, at least in terms of disposable entertainment, work is its surprisingly solid lead pairing of Tatum and Foxx. Their rapid-fire comic interplay not only saves this film from succumbing to its own blandness, but it also gives them something truly enjoyable to do when they're not simply running from and/or causing tons of destruction in almost every scene. Foxx, in particular, is pretty fun to watch as a president who'd rather slip on his Air Jordans before fighting alongside Tatum's character in saving the country, and his presidency. As for Tatum himself, he easily fits the role of the seemingly unstoppable action hero wearing a muscle-baring tank top, but other than a few funny, snappy one-liners, there's nothing that really makes him stand out on his own. At the same time, the rest of the film's cast, which includes Maggie Gyllenhaal and Jason Clarke, is simply pushed to the sidelines for a number of weak subplots that mostly go nowhere, with King getting the majority of attention as Cale's tech-knowledgable daughter (although James Woods' hammy performance as a villain is slightly memorable in its own hysterical way). Ridiculous acting aside, this movie basically prides itself with a long, repetitive series of choppily edited action sequences that somehow seem to grow creatively lazier yet more feverishly outrageous as our story moves along. Add in an unbelievably preposterous climax (not just visually, but narratively as well), and you've got yourself one overlong, adrenaline-fueled adventure that fully knows how silly it is and embraces the fact that it's essentially a clichéd action flick parodying itself. Sure, it's also a blatant rip-off of "Die Hard," but that's beside the point. If you're a fan of Emmerich's purely brainless popcorn blockbusters, "White House Down" will truly keep you entertained. However, if you're looking for genuine quality filmmaking, you may wanna look elsewhere. Either way, it's at least worth seeing once.



Pure action, pure awesome!

A great action movie, mindlessly entertaining! If you like action, you'll love this!

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White House Down
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  • $12.99
  • Genre: Action & Adventure
  • Released: 2013

Customer Ratings