Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: White House Down Is Predictable Action Fluff

Plus, The Heat features a solid buddy-cop combo.

by | June 28, 2013 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got an attack on the executive branch (White House Down, starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx) and feuding law-enforcement officers (The Heat, starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy). What do the critics have to say?

White House Down


Director Roland Emmerich blew up the White House in Independence Day, and he’s back to wreak more havoc on the presidential residence in White House Down, which critics say is a cheerfully absurd thriller with a few kinetic action scenes and an overreliance on rudiments cribbed from Die Hard. Channing Tatum stars as John Cale, a United States Capital Police officer on a tour of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with his daughter when a paramilitary group launches an attack. It’s up to Cale to thwart the terrorists and protect President James Sawyer (Jamie Foxx). The pundits say White House Down will satisfy audiences in need of an old-school action fix, but others will find it numbing, predictable, and way over-the-top. (Check out this week’s Total Recall for a countdown of co-star Richard Jenkins’ best-reviewed movies, as well as our interviews with the White House Down cast.)

The Heat


Given the right performers, even the most predictable comedy can earn big laughs. Case in point: The Heat, which critics say gets a major boost from an anarchic Melissa McCarthy and an exasperated Sandra Bullock, whose deft interplay enlivens an otherwise pedestrian script. Bullock plays a straight-arrow FBI agent who teams up with McCarthy, a loose-cannon Boston detective to take down a drug kingpin. Can our heroines put their personal animosity aside long enough to crack the case? The pundits say McCarthy is hilarious, Bullock is an excellent comic foil, and the supporting cast is solid as well, resulting in a film that puts a fresh twist on buddy-cop movie cliches. (Check out this week’s 24 Frames for a gallery of Bullock’s career in pictures.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Museum Hours, a drama about a pair of lonely souls who form a bond within the walls of the Kunsthistorisches Art Museum in Vienna, is at 100 percent.
  • 100 Bloody Acres, a horror comedy about two brothers who make fertilizer out of human blood and bones, is at 91 percent.
  • A Band Called Death, a rockumentary about the rediscovery of a pioneering proto-punk group, is at 89 percent.
  • The French drama Laurence Anyways, about a writer who asks his fiancée to support his transition into a woman, is at 80 percent.
  • How To Make Money Selling Drugs, a doc about the illicit drug trade featuring interviews with former dealers and kingpins, is at 67 percent.
  • Some Girl(s), starring Adam Brody and Kristen Bell in a dramedy about a successful author on the cusp of matrimony who meets up with his exes to apologize for his mistakes, is at 59 percent.
  • Byzantium, starring Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton in a fantasy thriller about a mother and daughter vampire pair taking refuge in a quiet town, is at 56 percent.
  • Redemption, starring Jason Statham in a thriller about a damaged ex-soldier who falls in with a criminal gang, is at 55 percent.
  • Pedro Almodóvar‘s farce I’m So Excited!,about boozy and kinky goings-on aboard a passenger plane that’s forced to fly in circles due to technical difficulties, is at 52 percent.
  • The Secret Disco Revolution, a doc featuring interviews with Gloria Gaynor, the Village People, and other notable practitioners of the genre, is at 42 percent.

Tag Cloud

Western Nickelodeon technology 24 frames Lucasfilm 45 theme song space Calendar Action Epix Extras A&E Acorn TV dragons Creative Arts Emmys Year in Review strong female leads golden globes SDCC Set visit 20th Century Fox GoT singing competition First Look Comedy medical drama zombies BBC America sports Shondaland Trailer DC Universe Superheroes game show Comics on TV Esquire thriller TIFF Christmas TNT President MTV aliens adventure GIFs MCU El Rey Paramount Network BET robots The CW Comic Book 2019 Vudu TV zero dark thirty CNN TV Land Reality E! Opinion American Society of Cinematographers LGBT NYCC ITV Food Network Sundance green book Thanksgiving New York Comic Con discovery IFC Films war Syfy Grammys Toys composers transformers Horror cinemax YA Oscars politics spider-man elevated horror AMC Tomatazos OWN Best and Worst serial killer Writers Guild of America Premiere Dates BBC Summer Schedule Starz Fantasy Mudbound CMT TBS Netflix Nominations television cats Paramount Pirates Infographic anime ABC Family Comedy Central Certified Fresh LGBTQ Captain marvel Mindy Kaling IFC facebook Mary Tyler Moore 2016 Sony Pictures Women's History Month Awards Mary Poppins Returns supernatural Masterpiece Bravo Marvel Black Mirror Dark Horse Comics sitcom finale 2017 CW Seed Pet Sematary dc true crime Cartoon Network TCA Fox News sequel travel Pop nature harry potter docudrama Sneak Peek Kids & Family Polls and Games Columbia Pictures biography RT21 Teen what to watch political drama 2015 TCA 2017 comic FXX Pride Month Star Wars Amazon Prime Hulu San Diego Comic-Con National Geographic Emmy Nominations 007 Countdown mockumentary ABC ratings crime Ovation Walt Disney Pictures Lionsgate anthology historical drama jamie lee curtis Biopics vampires Video Games ESPN Crackle VICE PBS crime thriller X-Men FX hist mutant Freeform Martial Arts Pixar Tarantino Superheroe Brie Larson Nat Geo USA Holidays spy thriller Film Festival Chilling Adventures of Sabrina natural history Country Sundance Now miniseries Amazon Apple Rock Stephen King streaming period drama witnail Star Trek DirecTV cults DC streaming service dramedy Character Guide Awards Tour Podcast Cannes Adult Swim Lifetime social media DC Comics spinoff PaleyFest toy story 21st Century Fox Britbox Disney Channel Shudder CBS CBS All Access justice league Heroines romance based on movie unscripted teaser Ghostbusters Universal The Witch festivals Drama Musicals cooking Emmys HBO Disney Winners Mary poppins zombie Reality Competition Ellie Kemper 2018 History doctor who cops Super Bowl Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt binge Trophy Talk science fiction Spring TV Rom-Com YouTube Premium police drama YouTube Red talk show Trivia VH1 TCM DGA Box Office SXSW SundanceTV diversity TLC Sci-Fi Song of Ice and Fire Spike Chernobyl adaptation Interview Showtime blaxploitation Valentine's Day crossover dceu richard e. Grant award winner NBC Tumblr MSNBC TruTV Spectrum Originals Photos FOX WGN psychological thriller disaster crime drama Rocky Marathons Logo E3 Music Warner Bros. USA Network Fall TV Musical RT History Quiz The Arrangement Anna Paquin Winter TV Rocketman comiccon Red Carpet casting See It Skip It Watching Series Cosplay Mystery APB boxoffice Election GLAAD Animation Elton John psycho animated