A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
There's a strong patriotic message, though it's wrapped in lots of violence. Sacrifice for your country is promoted, as is sacrifice for the life of innocents. One man is able to take on an entire small army of terrorists and -- with his strength, smarts, and dedication (and weapons) -- defeat the enemy.
Positive Role Models
All of the Secret Service agents and soldiers take their jobs seriously, and Mike goes above and beyond the call of duty to save the president, his son, and everyone being held hostage at the White House. The president and his Cabinet hold up remarkably well under threat of execution.
Violence & Scariness
Extreme, cringe-inducingly realistic action violence. The body count is enormous; people are blown up, shot, stabbed, and tortured in various ways (a knife held up to someone's throat, about to puncture it; a brutal kicking/beating to the head and body; threatening to kill another person if someone doesn't reveal a code; etc.). Viewers hear bones crunching and see blood spatter, spraying brain matter, and severed limbs as highly trained men kill each other. Washington, D.C., landmarks are destroyed, including the White House and the Washington Monument. The worst moments involve torture and assassination of public officials, including members of the president's Cabinet and basically every Secret Service agent and military official stationed at the White House. A female Cabinet member is beaten nearly to death. Children and animals are in peril (a dog is ultimately shot in the head); early in the movie, a mother dies in a terrible car accident. A boy is shown playing violent video games.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A kiss between the president and his wife at the beginning of the movie and one at the end between Mike and his wife.
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Strong language includes many uses of "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "hell," "ass," "goddamn," "oh my God," and more.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Olympus Has Fallen is a remarkably violent but patriotic action thriller that's like Die Hard meets Air Force One, with way more blood. The body count is insanely high -- people are tortured, blown up, shot, and killed in hand-to-hand combat. Plus, a mom dies in a terrible car accident early in the film, and kids and animals are in peril. All of the violence is grisly and cringe-inducingly realistic -- you'll see severed limbs, cracked bones, televised assassinations, and blood splattering everywhere. On the other hand, there's no sex or romance except for a couple of marital kisses, and the language is strong ("f--k," "s--t," "a--hole") but not relentless. The movie definitely bleeds red, white, and blue, but the intense violence is too much for young teens. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
If you don't mind the unflinchingly brutal violence, this is the kind of throwback action film in which one brave man is all it takes to set the world right. Like most presidential action thrillers, there's a certain amount of patriotic cheerleading that goes on when America gets the bad guys -- particularly after national landmarks like the White House and Washington Monument have been destroyed. Audiences demand revenge, and director Antoine Fuqua delivers it in bloody sequences intended to prove that it just takes one well-armed, well-trained American (OK, Butler's actually Scottish, but he's playing an American) to mete out justice. Butler, who's also a producer, has made a series of duds recently, but he's in his element cursing and killing and promising to save the president.
All of the cast members in Olympus Has Fallen bring their A-game to a script that isn't exactly inspired but doesn't need to be when the White House has been attacked, the vice president executed on television, and the female secretary of defense (Melissa Leo, who gives an electric performance) is being tortured and beaten while she recites the Pledge of Allegiance. The screenwriters know there's no way this story can end without a climactic fight between Butler, Yune, and Eckhart, who plays a remarkably fit president. And Freeman and Angela Bassett (as head of the Secret Service) are very good in their secondary roles.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.