Firewall

  • Review Date: June 5, 2006
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 104 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Harrison Ford as action hero again. Teens and up.
  • Review Date: June 5, 2006
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 104 minutes

Age(i)

2
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5
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8
9
10
11
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15
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

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
Not applicable

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:February 10, 2006
DVD release date:June 6, 2006
Cast:Harrison Ford, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Paul Bettany
Director:Richard Loncraine
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Thriller
Run time:104 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:some intense sequences of violence.

This review of Firewall was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

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.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

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

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written bypurplecatroo April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

It gets an A

great movie. A little violent but I say good for kids 11 and up
Adult Written bybethlthomson April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

thiller movie

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

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 whether it is appropriate for little ones... other than that, good flick!

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