White House Down


Mixed or average reviews - based on 43 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 43
  2. Negative: 7 out of 43
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  1. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jun 28, 2013
    This sloppy mess also pales in comparison to the better-paced, taut "Olympus Has Fallen," which represents 2013's better White House invasion story.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jun 28, 2013
    Tatum muscles his way through the role with panache, while Foxx never gets a chance to break loose.
  3. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Jun 27, 2013
    As demented and entertaining as promised, and a little less idiotic than feared.
  4. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jun 27, 2013
    This piece of midsummer madness is undeniably silly and delusional, a dire political fable told as tongue-in-cheek pastiche.
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jun 25, 2013
    Perhaps afraid that watching a symbol of liberty repeatedly go boom isn’t enough, Emmerich and screenwriter James Vanderbilt add family drama, an attack on Congress, a plane crash and the possible nuking of the Middle East. What isn’t tonally jarring ends up shatteringly inept.
  6. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Jun 27, 2013
    Formula action films don’t come much more formulaic that this.
  7. 50
    White House Down is a corker, real competition for “Fast & Furious 6″ as the dumbest fun you’ll have at the movies this summer.
  8. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jun 28, 2013
    Even as the story accrues preposterousness, the action moves along crisply, and Tatum and Foxx hit a nice buddy-movie vibe.
  9. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Jul 11, 2013
    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.
  10. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jun 28, 2013
    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.
  11. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Jun 28, 2013
    It's probably not a good idea to examine the political content of a film in which the leader of the free world proves that the pen is mightier than the sword by stabbing someone in the neck with one.
  12. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Jun 27, 2013
    This is getting old.
  13. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jun 27, 2013
    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.
  14. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Jun 25, 2013
    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.
  15. Reviewed by: Tom Huddleston
    Sep 10, 2013
    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.
  16. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Jul 1, 2013
    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.
  17. Reviewed by: Neil Smith
    Sep 2, 2013
    Longer than OHF and just as daft, WHD makes for a more entertaining watch before succumbing to the same bombastic overkill.
  18. Reviewed by: Mark Kermode
    Sep 15, 2013
    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: Nick de Semlyen
    Sep 9, 2013
    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.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 246 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 75
  2. Negative: 19 out of 75
  1. Jun 29, 2013
    17 years ago "Independence Day" put Will Smith and Roland Emmerich on the map. Will Smith became the summer blockbuster hero while Emmerich17 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. Jan 8, 2014
    'Oh my god, there are U S special forces flying over us' states an incredulous news reporter. This is just one example of how unintentionally'Oh my god, there are U S special forces flying over us' states an incredulous news reporter. This is just one example of how unintentionally funny, but risibly bad, the dialogue is in this ludicrously awful action adventure opus. It actually seems keen to copy all the worst aspects of the (far superior) 70's disaster movies. Scene after scene just lie there and die there as Channing Tatum heroically endeavours to save President Jamie Foxx from the clutches of evil inside aide, James Woods.
    The film is full of stock characters and cliched, not to mention ridiculously unbelievable, situations and it's not even exciting. Despite having set pieces involving explosion after explosion the movie ignites not one jot of palpable tension. The actress playing Tatum's daughter is just horrible and adds credence to the saying 'Never work with animals or children'. In this instance, though, it's because the actress concerned demonstrates to the adults just how inept she is. Ultimately, this cannot even be considered a good bad film. It is with indifference that I pronounce it a resounding dud.
    Full Review »
  3. Jul 9, 2013
    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 ofLoved 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 »