2013 Certificate: 12


Capitol Hill cop Cale (Channing Tatum) is on a tour of the White House with his young daughter when it is attacked by a terrorist group. Led by duplicitous government insider James Woods, the guerrillas demand a big chunk of the Federal Reserve. However, Cale is determined to save his nipper, protect the president (Jamie Foxx) and take the terrorists down... even if it means totalling the White House in the process. Disaster movie maestro Roland Emmerich (Independence Day; The Day After Tomorrow) directs an enjoyable popcorn rabble rouser that has its tongue very firmly in its cheek.


  • Roland Emmerich


  • Channing Tatum

  • Jamie Foxx

  • Maggie Gyllenhaal

  • Jason Clarke

  • Richard Jenkins

  • James Woods


The White House's head of security must be slumped with his head in his hands asking himself the question: "Why me?".

Twice this year, courtesy of Hollywood, the Washington DC home of the US President and the most iconic building in the land of the free has come under attack from terrorist groups bent on triggering a world conflagration.

In the neocon wet dream Olympus Has Fallen, Gerard Butler played a disgraced security officer who redeems himself by taking out a gang of rotters led by an ex-North Korean terrorist overly keen on turning America into an irradiated wasteland.

White House Down, it's good to report, is a lot more fun even if the plot is almost exactly the same.

Wannabe White House security officer John Cale (Tatum) gets separated from his 12-year-old daughter just as a gang of political nutjobs are breaking in, detonating a dirty bomb in the Capitol Building and taking a couple of dozen hostages including Cale's nipper.

Undetected, he ghosts through the corridors, eventually hooking up with the president (Foxx) and turning the tables on the terrorists in the noisiest manner available to him.

Winningly self-mocking and politically provocative - the White House turncoat is an oily composite of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld - this blasts away like an NRA jamboree with helicopter gunships spinning to the ground and Cale and the Prez taking a spin in an armoured limo on the White House lawn while pursued by goons with rocket-launchers.

Typically for Emmerich, it's a cacaphonous popcorn extravaganza which doesn't know when to stop...but you never find yourself wishing that it would.

Tim Evans