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15 Best Movies Like White House Down

December 31, 202312 Mins Read


  • White House Down is one of many action movies that follow the Die Hard formula, featuring a lone hero facing overwhelming odds to save the day.
  • There are other movies, such as Olympus Has Fallen and Skyscraper, that share similarities with White House Down, including attacks on important figures and thrilling siege situations.
  • Die Hard remains the original and influential action movie that inspired countless copycats, including White House Down, and continues to be a beloved classic in the genre.

Along with it being the second Die Hard-in-the-White House action movie that came out in 2013, there are plenty of other movies like White House Down to please fans of the genre. White House Down stars Channing Tatum as aspiring Capitol police officer John Cale and Jamie Foxx as the President of the United States James Sawyer. They team up to rescue Cale’s daughter and save DC from a paramilitary terrorist threat. The movie is often unfavorably compared to Olympus Has Fallen given their near-identical plots. However, for those who have more affinity for this star-studded thriller, there are other similar action movies out there.

The best movies like White House Down are all full of heart-pumping thrills that have defined the genre since Die Hard and other action movies of the 1980s. Whether it’s an attack on the President, a siege in an exciting environment, or a lone hero against seemingly impossible odds, the best movies like White House Down have enough in common to please action movie fans.


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15 Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

Gerard Butler Must Have The President From Hostage-Takers

Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart in Olympus Has Fallen

In Olympus Has Fallen, Gerard Butler cemented his reputation as one of modern movie history’s top action stars with his performance as Secret Service agent Mike Banning, who must rescue US President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) from a presidential hostage situation in the White House. Combined with over-the-top action movie dialogue and set pieces, this is an entertaining thriller from start to finish. The movie’s plot similarities with White House Down are immediately obvious and Olympus Has Fallen ended up being a bigger box office success on a smaller budget, prompting two sequels, London Has Fallen and Angel Has Fallen. Butler is slated to return as Banning for Night Has Fallen.


14 Speed (1994)

Keanu Reeves Boards A Bus With A Bomb


Release Date
June 10, 1994

Jan de bont

Dennis Hopper , Sandra Bullock , Joe Morton , Jeff Daniels , Keanu Reeves

116 minutes

While Keanu Reeves is currently one of the biggest action stars of the 21st century thanks to the John Wick franchise, he also ruled the genre in the ’90s with Speed as one of his best outings. Reeves plays Jack Taven, a hotshot cop who must work with passenger Annie Porter (Sandra Bullock) to save a bus full of innocent people that is armed with a bomb that will blow if the bus slows down. The fun premise makes great use of the small setting, allowing for a fast-paced action ride. Like White House Down, it supplements the action with a good sense of humor that entertains while never taking away from the high stakes of the story.

Watch On Starz

13 In The Line Of Fire (1993)

Clint Eastwood Is An Aging Secret Service Agent

Clint Eastwood running down the street in In the Line of Fire

In the Line of Fire

Release Date
July 8, 1993

Wolfgang Petersen

Clint Eastwood , John Malkovich , Rene Russo , Dylan McDermott , Gary Cole , Fred Dalton Thompson

128 minutes

Tatum’s John Cale is a fun hero for White House Down, but likely the best Secret Service hero in action movie history is Frank Horrigan from In the Line of Fire. Clint Eastwood plays the veteran agent who is called back into duty when there is a new threat on the life of the president. The movie effectively addresses Eastwood’s age in the role, adding an interesting element of Frank being haunted by guilt over failing to save JFK from his assassination. It is an effective taut thriller with moments of fun 90s action movie vibes. However, the highlight of the movie is John Malkovich’s Oscar-nominated role as the would-be assassin.

Watch On Netflix

12 Skyscraper (2018)

Dwayne Johnson Fights To Save His Family From Villains Inside A Burning Building

Dwayne Johnson hangs from a ledge in Skyscraper


Release Date
July 13, 2018

Rawson Marshall Thurber

Matt O’Leary , McKenna Roberts , Neve Campbell , Roland Møller , Noah Taylor , Pablo Schreiber , Byron Mann , Dwayne Johnson , Kevin Rankin


With disaster movie veteran Roland Emmerich at the helm of White House Down, it is not surprising it goes for a lot of over-the-top and ridiculous action. This is a similar approach to many of Dwayne Johnson’s action movies, including the similar lone hero adventure of Skyscraper. Johnson plays Will Sawyer, a security expert who must save his family from a high-tech building controlled by dangerous criminals all while the building burns. Skyscraper is another movie that owes more than a little to Die Hard but its silly blockbuster tone feels more akin to White House Down.

11 Red Dawn (1984)

Young Rebels Fight Off Soviet Invaders

Two rebels kneeling in a field in Red Dawn

Red Dawn

Release Date
August 10, 1984

John Milius

jennifer grey , Patrick swayze , Lea Thompson , C. Thomas Howell , Charlie Sheen

114 minutes

The idea of enemies attacking the heart of America as seen in White House Down is an idea that has become popular in a lot of action movies. However, the movie most famous for this is Red Dawn. The 1980s action movie imagines a scenario in which the Soviet Union successfully invades the United States leaving a band of young rebels to fight back against the conquerors. With a cast of young ’80s stars like Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, and Charlie Sheen, the movie places itself well in this iconic era of action movies, being ridiculous enough to have fun with but taking itself seriously enough to be thrilling.

Watch On Max

10 Taken (2008)

Liam Neeson Goes On A Warpath To Save His Daughter

Liam Neeson pointing a gun in Taken.


Release Date
January 30, 2009

Pierre Morel

Liam Neeson , Katie Cassidy , Famke Janssen , Leland Orser , Maggie Grace

90 minutes

There is something so thrilling about the idea of a bunch of bad guys simply picking the wrong good guy to mess with. In White House Down, the villains could likely have gotten away with their plan were it not for John Cale. In Taken, the villains make the deadly mistake of kidnapping the daughter of Bryan Mills (Neeson). It is extremely satisfying seeing Mills and his particular set of skills cut through the bad guys in his quest to save his daughter. While Cale also has his young daughter in danger, there is likely no father more protective in movie history than Bryan Mills.

Watch On Netflix

9 Die Hard (1988)

The Action Classic That Inspired Countless Copycats

Die Hard

Release Date
July 15, 1988

Bruce Willis , Bonnie Bedelia , Reginald VelJohnson , Paul Gleason , William Atherton , Hart Bochner

132 minutes

A classic that redefined how audiences view action movies, creating a Star Wars-like wake of copycats that turned into something like a genre unto itself, Die Hard remains a top-tier action thriller. Several elements in White House Down are direct references to the original Die Hard, not least of which is Tatum’s white tank top, a look made famous by Bruce Willis’ lone cop John McClane battling well-armed thieves in a skyscraper.

While Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down may share a number of plot points, Die Hard is the true creative source of both of their characters and stories. Along with being considered one of the greatest action movies of all time, the Die Hard Christmas movie debate continues to make it a holiday favorite.


8 Under Siege (1992)

Steven Segal Takes On Tommy Lee Jones And Gary Busey In A Stolen Battleship

Casey Ryback with a knife in Under Siege

After the success of Die Hard, the concept of a single man overpowering a much larger force in a contained siege situation became a new Hollywood obsession. Willis’ performance as John McClane catapulted him to a level of action movie stardom associated with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. Steven Seagal was always known as an action star, but his Die Hard clone was by far his most successful mainstream movie. As Casey Ryback, a Navy SEAL turned ship’s cook, Seagal faces Tommy Lee Jones’ colorful villain William Strannix who takes control of a warship, with wild supporting antics from Gary Busey as Strannix’s second-in-command, Peter Krill. Under Siege is essential viewing for a White House Down fan looking for the best siege movies.

7 Vantage Point (2008)

An Assassination Attempt Is Viewed From Multiple Perspectives

Thomas, Kent, and Howard look through a video recorder in Vantage Point

An assassination attempt made against the President of the United States is seen from multiple viewpoints before, during, and after the attack, and is replayed and seen from the perspectives of different characters. The main draw for White House Down fans here is Dennis Quaid as dedicated Secret Service agent Thomas Barnes, who will stop at nothing to save the President. Beyond that though, Vantage Point is a well-cast thriller that’s built all around its many twists. With each new perspective explored, the movie reveals a little more about what is at the truth of this conspiracy.


6 Executive Decision (1996)

Kurt Russell Leads A Team Aboard A Hijacked Plane

The promo image for Executive Decision.

One of the most popular spin-offs of the Die Hard formula is the self-explanatoryDie Hard on a plane’ scenario and one of the best in that arena has to be Executive Decision. Kurt Russell plays David Grant, a fish-out-water CIA consultant who has to lead an elite team to infiltrate and take back a hijacked passenger plane without it landing. The movie finds plenty of ways to keep its claustrophobic environment exciting, and fans of White House Down will appreciate its similarly robust cast of supporting players which includes Oliver Platt, Halle Berry, and John Leguizamo. There is also a fun supporting role from Steven Seagal that makes for a great first-act surprise.

5 Con Air (1997)

Nicolas Cage Saves The Day Aboard A Hijacked Convict Plane

Con Air

Release Date
June 5, 1997

Simon West

115 minutes

Nicolas Cage got his own white tank top hero character in this beloved ‘Die Hard on a plane’ movie that’s packed with dazzling supporting players like Malkovich, John Cusack, and Steve Buscemi as Con Air‘s scene-stealing Garland Greene. The story sees Cage’s former Army Ranger Cameron Poe fight to take back a prisoner plane that’s been hijacked by Malkovich’s nefarious criminal mastermind Cyrus Grissom. White House Down fans will appreciate the movie’s similarly tongue-in-cheek tone that allows the action sequences to become entertainingly ridiculous. It features the kind of bombastic action expected from the 90s Jerry Bruckheimer movies while Cage makes for a great underdog action hero.


4 The Rock (1996)

Sean Connery And Nicolas Cage Take On A Hostage Situation At Alcatraz

John Mason gives a thumbs up in The Rock.

The Rock

Release Date
June 7, 1996

John C. McGinley , Sean Connery , David Morse , Nicolas Cage , Michael Biehn , William Forsythe , Vanessa Marcil , Ed Harris , Tony Todd , John Spencer

136 minutes

Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery lead this characteristically excessive action extravaganza from renowned action movie director Michael Bay. When Ed Harris’ rogue military leader takes over Alcatraz Island and uses it as a base to threaten San Francisco with stolen chemical weapons, it’s up to the unlikely pair to break into the famous prison and save the day. White House Down fans are sure to have a blast with Bay’s trademark fireball explosions and penchant for overdramatics. It is a lot of fun seeing the aged Connery and the eccentric Cage take on the vicious mercenaries while sharing a fun dynamic.

3 The Sum Of All Fears (2002)

Ben Affleck Fights To Stop World War III

Ben Affleck screams and is held back in Jack Ryan: The Sum of All Fears.

The fourth Jack Ryan movie, The Sum of All Fears features the third onscreen Ryan courtesy of Ben Affleck. In this entry, Ryan discovers a plan from a neo-Nazi faction to detonate a nuclear weapon in an American city and must stop it from creating a conflict between the US and Russia. Ryan is paired up with CIA director William Cabot, played by Morgan Freeman, and together, they spruce up every big moment with intensity. This is an action-packed thriller that handsomely adapts one of Tom Clancy’s most famous novels, and fans of White House Down will like the high stakes as much as the big stars.

Watch On Max

2 Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Captain America Fings Himself In A Modern Spy Conspiracy

The second Captain America movie in the MCU elevated the cinematic universe to an all-new level. The movie puts Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff in the middle of a classic conspiracy. The Winter Soldier balances the heroics of Captain America and the underlying political themes of the story through the trappings of the spy movie genre. Plus, the team-up of Cap, Falcon, and Black Widow makes for some stellar action sequences. White House Down fans will likely enjoy the scale of this Marvel movie, whether they’re fans of superhero films or not.

Watch On Disney+

1 Air Force One (1997)

Harrison Ford Is The President On Board His Hijacked Plane

Gary Oldman holds Harrison Ford at gunpoint in Air Force One

Air Force One

Release Date
July 25, 1997

Wolfgang Petersen

124 minutes

Before Harrison Ford’s presidential role in the MCU, he was Commander in Chief in Air Force One. When Russian radicals hijack Air Force One, led by Gary Oldman’s loyally Soviet version of Hans Gruber, Vice President Kathryn Bennett (Glenn Close) negotiates with them while Ford’s roguish President James Marshall retaliates against the terrorists on board in true action movie fashion. Among the Die Hard rip-offs, Air Force One is one of the best because of Ford’s iconically quotable performance, and White House Down fans will love the movie’s unabashed exuberance.

Watch On The Roku Channel

  • White House Down Poster

    White House Down

    Roland Emmerich

    Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Richard Jenkins, James Woods, Joey King


    131 minutes


    While divorced veteran John Cale is taking his daughter on a guided tour of the White House, a terrorist attack is made on the building. Soon, it’s up to Cale to save both his daughter, and the President of the United States himself.

    $150 million


    Release Date:

    James Vanderbilt


    Olympus Has Fallen, London Has Fallen

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