Assault on Precinct 13

Common Sense Media says

A satisfying thriller for adults only.

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Violence

Constant graphic violence, grisly images, many characters killed.

Sex

Sexual references.

Language

Constant strong language.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking, smoking, pills, drug dealer.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film has non-stop action violence with some very graphic injuries and many characters are killed. Characters use very strong language. There are some sexual references. Criminal characters include a drug dealer and killers. Characters drink and smoke and one abuses prescription drugs.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In PRECINCT 13, Ethan Hawke plays Jake Roenick, a cop now working a desk job after an undercover operation he was directing went wrong. Jake is uncooperative with mandatory therapy, though drawn to pretty therapist Alex (Maria Bello). It's New Year's Eve and the last night for in the old Precinct 13 building. All of the equipment and computers and staff have been moved to the new location. Jake, along with a secretary with a weakness for "bad boys" and a veteran cop just short of retirement (Brian Dennehy) are shutting everything down. Deadly crime kingpin Marion Bishop (Laurence Fishburne) and a group of bad guys are being transported by bus to a holding facility, but the bus gets trapped in the snow outside the old police station. So they decide to keep the prisoners there until the next morning. And then they get attacked. The attackers want Bishop. Everyone in the station is at risk. Before the night is over, loyalties and alliances will shift a dozen times as cops and prisoners and bystanders have to constantly realign their forces to try to stay alive.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

A juicy premise, a powerhouse cast, and energetic direction combine for a satisfying thriller about a police station under siege. It's a big-budget remake of John Carpenter's 1976 film of the same title. Carpenter wrote, produced, edited, and scored the film with a cast of unknowns for $100,000. This version does not have the original's raw power, but it substitutes a tough, sharp script and glossy production values, and gets the job done just fine.

It is that fluidity of relationships that gives this story extra energy and sizzle that takes it beyond the usual shoot-out and explosion-movie standard. Star power helps a lot, too, with Fishburne, Hawke, and Gabriel Byrne giving depth and wit to their roles and strong support from Bello and John Leguizamo.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how Jake's earlier experiences affected his judgment -- for better or worse -- when the precinct was attacked.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 19, 2005
DVD release date:May 10, 2005
Cast:Ethan Hawke, Gabriel Byrne, Laurence Fishburne
Director:Jean-Francios Richet
Studio:Focus Features
Genre:Action/Adventure
Run time:109 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong violence and language throughout, and for some drug content

This review of Assault on Precinct 13 was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 11 year old Written byjsharpe October 17, 2009
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

no kids

pretty raw

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 16 years old Written byCurbspaget April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Needed more explosions

Very good overall, excellent acting and pretty good action scenes. Nothing bad other than an icicle shoved in a guys eye (Die Hard 2 anyone?) and repeated stabbings to a body fairly close-up.

Adult Written byjennbeau April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Top Kids' Movies: An Essential Guide for Families