Metascore
52

Mixed or average reviews - based on 43 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 43
  2. Negative: 7 out of 43
  1. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jun 27, 2013
    100
    There may be better examples of cinematic art in 2013, but for a good time at the movies, it's hard to imagine anything beating this action extravaganza, from director Roland Emmerich, about a very Obama-like president.
  2. Reviewed by: Randy Cordova
    Jun 27, 2013
    80
    White House Down aims to be a low-brow slab of mindless summer fun. Most of the time, it comes pretty close to hitting the bull’s eye.
  3. Reviewed by: Marsha McCreadie
    Jun 28, 2013
    75
    White House Down is still too gun-happy, and too long, but however you feel about the Oval Office, our country, or some of the movie's jingoism, young Emily is worth rescuing.
  4. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Jun 27, 2013
    75
    Only in the last half-hour do the usual Emmerich absurdities pile up: I laughed outright at the character who, past 65 and diagnosed with a massive brain tumor that will kill him within months, cannot be stopped by a ferocious beating, being stabbed in the neck with a sharp implement, then being crushed against a wall by an SUV moving at a minimum of 30 mph.
  5. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Jun 26, 2013
    75
    While White House Down isn’t going to score points for originality, seriousness, or subtlety (Emmerich likes his political messages blunt and loud), it is a lot of fun; if nothing else, Emmerich is a great widescreen showman who knows how to stage mayhem on a grand scale.
  6. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Jun 26, 2013
    75
    You couldn’t ask for a more fun summer popcorn movie than White House Down.
  7. 70
    Of all the dumb megabudget "Die Hard"–like action pictures of the last few years (including that other White House Goes Boom movie, "Olympus Has Fallen"), this is both the most entertaining and the most inviting of viewers' input.
  8. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Jun 27, 2013
    70
    What makes White House Down not just tolerable but frivolously entertaining is its slapstick soul; a scene where the presidential limousine does doughnuts on the South Lawn plays like an homage to the Keystone Kops.
  9. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Jun 26, 2013
    70
    White House Down is a hoot and a half, a shameless popcorn entertainment that is preposterous and diverting in just about equal measure.
  10. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Jun 25, 2013
    70
    An action thriller that doesn’t know when to quit. For the most part, though, it remains preposterously entertaining.
  11. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Jun 25, 2013
    70
    Itself owing much to such lone-man-of-action hallmarks as “Die Hard” and “Speed,” this welcome throwback to an earlier, more generously entertaining era of summer blockbusters delivers a wide array of close-quarters combat and large-scale destruction, all grounded in an immensely appealing star turn by Channing Tatum and ace support from imperiled POTUS Jamie Foxx.
  12. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Jun 26, 2013
    67
    White House Down is amply endowed with enough tension, humor, and calamitous action to ensure it a solid berth in the summer box-office sweepstakes. Channing Tatum comes into his own as a leading man in this picture, proving himself as a beefy yet agile action star and not just the pure beefcake of "Magic Mike."
  13. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Jun 26, 2013
    67
    Skip it, and you'll be depriving yourself of one of the summer's most satisfyingly stupid pleasures.
  14. Reviewed by: William Goss
    Jun 26, 2013
    65
    At best, White House Down is a sure-fire way to kill two hours, if not countless brain cells.
  15. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jun 27, 2013
    63
    A buddy comedy disguised as a political thriller. It’s full of malarkey, but as a campaign of shock and awe, it’s hard to resist.
  16. Reviewed by: Peter Keough
    Jun 27, 2013
    63
    Intentionally or not, Roland Emmerich’s White House Down is the comedy hit of the summer. No other film equals its comic sophistication. Each nutty scenario is surpassed by the next, ludicrous story lines coalesce with expert orchestration, and absurd details return with perfect timing to build to a crescendo of hilarity.
  17. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jun 26, 2013
    63
    While director Roland Emmerich (Independence Day) piles on outlandish scenarios, the chemistry of the lead actors mitigates the contrived setup and numbing explosions.
  18. Reviewed by: Mark Kermode
    Sep 15, 2013
    60
    This bona-fide big-budget Hollywood flop at least has the good grace to laugh at itself as it rolls out the dingbat-daft action-movie cliches.
  19. Reviewed by: Tom Huddleston
    Sep 10, 2013
    60
    The outcome may be pre-ordained, but Emmerich’s knack for a witty pop-culture reference, a pulse-pounding gun battle or a sneaky political undercurrent (the film has drawn fire in the US for being leftie propaganda) hasn’t deserted him.
  20. Reviewed by: Nick de Semlyen
    Sep 9, 2013
    60
    Lincoln meets Sudden Death: a corny but raucous throwback to when Planet Hollywood was hip. Gary Busey popping out of a rose bush wouldn’t feel out of place.
  21. Reviewed by: Neil Smith
    Sep 2, 2013
    60
    Longer than OHF and just as daft, WHD makes for a more entertaining watch before succumbing to the same bombastic overkill.
  22. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jun 28, 2013
    60
    Even as the story accrues preposterousness, the action moves along crisply, and Tatum and Foxx hit a nice buddy-movie vibe.
  23. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jun 28, 2013
    60
    This is solidly a genre picture, and one that follows all the necessary conventions -- but it's also one that does it all very well. That means lots of big, dumb and loud action -- but it also means good, popcorny, summer fun.
  24. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jun 27, 2013
    60
    This piece of midsummer madness is undeniably silly and delusional, a dire political fable told as tongue-in-cheek pastiche.
  25. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Jun 27, 2013
    60
    As demented and entertaining as promised, and a little less idiotic than feared.
  26. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Jun 25, 2013
    60
    Often, the hilarity is indisputably intentional. If you think you'll laugh and clap, try it; if you know you'll hate it, you're right.
  27. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jun 28, 2013
    58
    Tatum muscles his way through the role with panache, while Foxx never gets a chance to break loose.
  28. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jun 27, 2013
    58
    White House Down is nearly enough fun to be a bad movie that's a good time. But it always finds some way of being a drag, belching exposition and weak humor when action's all we need, then carrying the action to exhausting lengths.
  29. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Jul 11, 2013
    50
    White House Down is never more than a sliver away from gleeful self-parody. It’s pure patriotic kitsch, the cinematic equivalent of a black-velvet painting of a bald eagle clutching an American flag in its talons as it soars majestically over Mount Rushmore.
  30. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Jul 1, 2013
    50
    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. At least, Tatum keeps his shirt off.
User Score
5.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 217 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 67
  2. Negative: 17 out of 67
  1. Jun 29, 2013
    7
    17 years ago "Independence Day" put Will Smith and Roland Emmerich on the map. Will Smith became the summer blockbuster hero while Emmerich became the guy who made popcorn flicks where he got to destroy stuff (most of Washington DC, national monuments, New York City, the world and more).

    This summer both Smith and Emmerich had big movies "After Earth" and "White House Down." Both of these movies had really stupid titles but Roland delivered the goods while Will got sucked into the M Night Shamalayan's sinkhole (box office results notwithstanding).

    White House Down is a blatant rip off of Die Hard, but it tweaks the premise just enough to make it different enough and wildly entertaining. Channing Tatum doesn't try to be Bruce Willis (even if he eventually gets in the same bloodied tank top) but combines his witty "21 Jump Street" humor with his "GI Joe" bad-ass-ness. The addition of Jamie Foxx as the "Obama" president and, no joke, side-kick to Tatum, adds for some great comedic moments.

    Most of Emmerich's films are entertaining. Even Godzilla, his worst movie, is a mostly fun ride. But he seems to have matured to a point that all of his typical formulaic elements are made more cohesive. This formula typically goes: 1) character introduction, 2) action/destroy things, 3) quieter character development, 4) action and then an episodic cycle of 3 and 4 until the ultimate sappy happy-ending climax. The formula is there but it's better integrated and faster-moving. And he's found a way to reduce the sappiness.

    It helps to have the talents of Jamie Foxx, Channing Tatum, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Six Feet Under's Richard Jenkins who all put in great performances.

    If you wanted "24" to be a movie, this is it. They definitely borrow 24's "the terrorist in the end is not the terrorist in the beginning" twists and turns.

    Trust me. You will be entertained.
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 9, 2013
    8
    Loved the movie. A little over the top on the action, but I was not bored for a second. Wondered how much You Tube paid for the plugs. And of course Nike and the Air Jordans. Full Review »
  3. Jun 29, 2013
    2
    While it started out as a predictable yet bearable film, it quickly became a delusional mess in which there is no consistent tone. It was an overlong painful experience sitting though this poorly acted cheesy scripted film. Full Review »