Assault on Precinct 13 Movie Poster Image

Assault on Precinct 13

A satisfying thriller for adults only.

What parents need to know


Constant graphic violence, grisly images, many characters killed.


Sexual references.


Constant strong language.

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.

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?


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/Streaming release date:May 10, 2005
Cast:Ethan Hawke, Gabriel Byrne, Laurence Fishburne
Director:Jean-Francois Richet
Studio:Focus Features
Run time:109 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong violence and language throughout, and for some drug content

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Teen, 16 years old Written byCurbspaget April 9, 2008

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.
Teen, 14 years old Written byKhuzy December 31, 2014

Okay for children but a waste of time

This has some sex and drug references. And mildly bloody violence. But there is not point really, the 1976 movie was a cult classic but this was an insult to it. Mate just don't bother
Teen, 14 years old Written byzazmopepperz March 14, 2010
Quite violent and there is a ton of swearing but this movie is pretty epic and its fine for teens in my opinion.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing