Firewall

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
Firewall Movie Poster Image
Harrison Ford as action hero again. Teens and up.
  • PG-13
  • 2006
  • 104 minutes
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 13 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Villains are greedy and aggressive; hero must use deadly violence to save his family.

Violence

Guns wielded, sudden shootings, bloody fisticuffs, smashed cars, bodies thrown through windows; a child suffers a severe allgeric reaction.

Sex

Villains threaten family, including wife and 14-year-old girl, forcing wife to pretend to have an affair with her husband's friend.

Language

Language includes "screw you," "s--t," "a single "f--k," and "hell."

Consumerism

Equifax (online service), Flintstones on television.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this film considers fears of surveillance, with characters showing both anxiety and ingenuity trying to avoid it. It includes multiple tense scenes, as well as violent scenes, both abrupt (as when the villains burst into the family's home and again when the chief villain whomps Jack across the face) and sustained (a prolonged, bruising, bloody fight scene at the end). References are made to online gambling and identity theft. The family's escape attempt appears in fast cuts and jarring images; a child who is allergic to nuts suffers an alarming, nearly fatal reaction. Villains brandish guns, and three men are shot on screen, upsetting other characters who observe. Characters use mild language and a villain's dumping of the family dog leads to the mom's and kids' tears.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bybethlthomson April 9, 2008

thiller movie

This movie was great but its not for small childern.
Adult Written byTaraBrown April 9, 2008

Suspense!

I thought the movie was great, although the bad guy does say the F-word one time, and it was not stated in the review... in case people out there are wondering... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bypurplecatroo April 9, 2008

It gets an A

great movie. A little violent but I say good for kids 11 and up
Teen, 13 years old Written bystan101 April 29, 2012

Okay

It was Okay.

What's the story?

In FIREWALL, computer genius and bank security expert Jack (Harrison Ford) works for a Seattle bank, lives with his family in a gorgeous house designed by his architect wife Beth (Virginia Madsen), and worries a bit about new guy Gary's (Robert Patrick) idea that the bank shouldn't assume costs of fraud and hacking -- he wants to pass on costs to customers. Jack's own info is hacked by a crew of crooks, led by Bill Cox (Paul Bettany), who use it to break into his home, take his wife and kids hostage, and force him to transfer millions to their account. Bill has installed surveillance devices in Jack's home, car, and office. Though Jack tries initially to outsmart Bill, but when the bad guy harms his son, the concerned father moves the funds. Eventually Jack must retaliate, committing his own deceptions and acts of deadly violence. Though he doesn't get much help from boss (Alan Arkin) or his law enforcement veteran buddy Harry (Robert Forster), Jack does get support from his assistant Janet (Mary Lynn Rajskub).

Is it any good?

Though Firewall takes up the topical focus of fears of surveillance, it offers precious few new ideas. Once again, Harrison Ford must save his family from violent outlaws, grimacing and flailing as he discovers that "going along" only inspires the bad guys to do more damage. Lesson to be learned: You gotta fight back!

The surveillance cams all yield distressingly grainy fisheye-lens images designed to generate viewer tension. Mary Lynn Rajskub plays a variant of Chloe, her much beloved character on 24, splendidly. Her character's relationship with Jack -- slightly offbeat, based in Ford's signature vulnerability, as well as a trust born of necessity -- brings welcome freshness to an otherwise predictable plot.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the insecurity of online exchanges, of information, money, and identities. What does Jack's change from compliant victim to agitated hero suggest about the consequences of pushing "nice guys" to the edge? How must Jack give up some of his authority (at least until the film's climax), to prevail over his more predictable enemies?

Movie details

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