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Parents' Guide to

White House Down

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Patriotic thriller is ridiculous, violent, and entertaining.

Movie PG-13 2013 127 minutes
White House Down Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 10 parent reviews

age 10+

Great movie!

This movie is great! It has minimal violence (Explosions, helicopters going down) Similar to roland emmerich's newest movies like Independence day 2 and 2012. But I must say, the explosion looked SO fake that it made me and my 11 yr old son burst into laughter! It looked so unrealistic, as if it was from the 80s. Otherwise great movie and I think that overall a 10 to 11 yr old could watch it, (its got a few s words) but nothing as bad as today's movies. Just ask your son or daughter to look away at the first assault scene (was quite graphic) Otherwise my son enjoyed it without the scene. Thanks for looking at my review. Peter,

This title has:

Too much violence
age 13+

Great to watch

Good movie mild violence

This title has:

Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (10 ):
Kids say (47 ):

Judged by the merits of serious filmmaking, the legends of the craft, and the movies that go down in history as being powerful, groundbreaking, or novel, this is a by-the-numbers flop of a thriller. It's completely unoriginal (it's not even the first "White House is taken over" movie of 2013!) and derivative; the plot is illogical and the action preposterous (how can not one military-trained armed guard get a shot off, even in a surprise siege?). But. It's also one of those explosion-filled summer popcorn movies that make you succumb to the charm of its cast, the humor of the dialogue, and the over-the-top sequences of one man defeating a room of machine gun-armed mercenaries.

Some movies are so silly you can't help but smile -- so ridiculous it doesn't even matter how impeachable the movie is on almost every level, because it's amusing and makes good use of its stars. People will laugh when they're not meant to, mostly because it looks like Tatum and Foxx (who, despite what he's said in the press, looks very much like he's doing an impression of an Obama-esque Commander in Chief) are having so much fun. The bits of humor (shoeless President Sawyer looks into his closet for wingtips and then changes into Air Jordans instead; later, he says "the pen IS mightier" when sticking it to a baddie with his presidential fountain pen), the well-choreographed action, and the performances -- from the irresistible Tatum, to the fabulous Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty) and Woods as villains, to Maggie Gyllenhaal as the Secret Service agent trying desperately to help -- will make up for this crowd-pleaser's many failings.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: June 28, 2013
  • On DVD or streaming: November 5, 2013
  • Cast: Channing Tatum , Jamie Foxx , Maggie Gyllenhaal
  • Director: Roland Emmerich
  • Inclusion Information: Black actors, Female actors
  • Studio: Columbia Pictures
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Run time: 127 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: prolonged sequences of action and violence including intense gunfire and explosions, some language and a brief sexual image
  • Last updated: January 26, 2023

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