Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"


Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.


Olympus Has Fallen


Watch This Review

We hope you enjoyed this content. Be sure to share it with family and friends you think will enjoy it as well.

Movie Review

The White House has been called the "most protected building on earth." But even the most secure bastion can theoretically be compromised, if not by brute force, then perhaps by wily subterfuge. Just ask the populace of Troy about a certain infamous horse. Or, for that matter, the devilishly deceptive North Korean terrorists whom the President of the United States unwittingly invites right into his most secure stronghold in Olympus Has Fallen.

Once that happens, all the king's horses and all the king's men—not to mention all his helicopters, jets and four-star generals—are powerless to help him put "Olympus" back together again. The only man with even a slim chance to save the president and stave off nuclear holocaust is a disgraced former Secret Service agent.

It's July 5. A day that begins like any other for Mike Banning, who, for the last year and a half, has been shuffling off to his soul-sapping desk job at the U.S. Treasury Department. The job's a punishment more than a career. He's been doing it ever since failing to pull the first lady from an SUV slipping over an icy precipice. The former Special Forces veteran longs to erase his shame and return to his real passion: protecting President Benjamin Asher and the first son, Connor. But for now, it's an unmet longing … one that leaves Banning restless and irritable while it erodes his marriage to Leah, an ER nurse.

But July 5, it turns out, will not be a day that ends like any other. The president is set to receive a South Korean delegation, including the country's prime minister, to talk about North Korea's increasingly threatening political posture. No sooner has that discussion begun, however, than a heavily armed military transport plane slips through the nation's security net and bears down on the White House—a threat prompting the Secret Service to usher the president into his über-secure command bunker.

The president insists upon taking the South Koreans with him.

It seems the attack is contained when the rogue aircraft is downed on the National Mall. But that's just the cue for more terrorists—including the supposed South Korean security team surrounding the prime minister—to hit the White House itself in a second wave from the outside … and from inside the president's hermetically sealed sanctum.

North Korean terrorist Kang soon begins issuing demands. First, that the Americans remove their forces from the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. Second, that they move the 7th Fleet out of the area. Third, that they surrender three codes to the Cerberus system, a fail-safe program designed to disable the country's nuclear arsenal in the event of an accidental launch.

Kang and Co. clearly have plans for those codes—and for America.

The acting president, Speaker of the House Allan Trumbull, is pondering his options and on the verge of acceding to Kang's terms when he learns that hope is not yet lost. The shocking message that Olympus has fallen is accompanied by news that Mike Banning has managed to infiltrate the smoking war zone the White House has become.

His first job: rescuing young Connor.

His second job: rescuing the chap's dad, the POTUS.

His third job: rescuing America before Kang can push the country's self-destruct button.


Positive Elements

Olympus Has Fallen majors in heroism and courage. Exhibiting ample amounts of both in his pursuit of Kang is Banning, who refuses to give up until he's accomplished all three of his life-and-death objectives. Also especially courageous is Secretary of Defense Ruth McMillan. Despite being tied up, punched, kicked and beaten by Kang, she remains defiantly unwilling to submit to his brutal intimidation. Kang's trying to get her Cerberus code, along with the one assigned to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Both officials are willing to resist to the death.

The film shows how grief and shame debilitate Banning and the president after Banning fails to save the first lady. Banning is depressed and despondent, longing for a shot at redemption. The president and his tween son are still grieving too. We see Asher trying to set aside his presidential mantle so he can just be the dad Conner needs. Likewise, Banning has a special bond with the boy, and seeks to find and rescue him with the same fierce determination a father might exhibit.

Spiritual Content

Kang gloats, "I read your Bible, Mr. President. It says, 'The wages of sin is death.'" The president asks an American traitor who's helped the North Koreans, "What's the going rate for souls these days?" In an address to the America people, President Asher says, "May God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America." He also mentions praying for those who've been lost. Trumbull says of Kang at one point, "He's just opened the gates of hell."

The code name for the White House is Olympus, a reference to the abode of the Greek gods.

Sexual Content

The president and his wife kiss. She wears a cleavage-baring dress. While being dragged by terrorists, Secretary McMillan's blouse is inadvertently torn off, and we see her in a camisole.

Violent Content

Once the North Korean assault begins, it's pretty much nonstop carnage. A transport plane unleashes its wrath first on two jet fighters, then (via massive machine guns) on the inhabitants of D.C. The plane eventually collides with the Washington Monument, and falling bricks bury fleeing tourists. Six Black Hawk helicopters are destroyed as casualties mount. One copter crashes into the White House explosively and nearly kills Banning.

At the White House, North Koreans unleash a massive assault on the presidential residence. Machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, hand grenades and tear gas overwhelm the security team. Banning (with help from a few others) eventually kills all comers (more than 50) using guns, knives and fists. Thus, we see many, many people getting gruesomely shot, with blood spray and gore frequently accompanying their deaths. Twice Banning kills people in cold blood after interrogating them (both times with knives to the head). Throats are slit. Necks broken. By film's end, the few people who've survived must pick their way through the litter of bodies.

Below ground, in the president's bunker, one woman is brutally executed with a gunshot to the head. Another is beaten, kicked and essentially tortured in an attempt to get information. A South Korean official is similarly executed.

The film opens with the horrifying accident that leaves the president and his wife's vehicle dangling over the edge of a bridge on a snowy winter night. Her head is bloody and she's unconscious as Banning tries to extricate her before the car flips onto the ice below and slips beneath the water.

Crude or Profane Language

Banning sarcastically dubs North Korea "The United People's Front of I Don't Give a F‑‑‑." Beyond that, there are about 35 more f-words and a dozen or so s-words. We hear "h‑‑‑," "a‑‑," a‑‑hole," "b‑‑ch" and "d‑‑n." Also, eight or 10 misuses of God's name (including three paired with "d‑‑n"), and six or eight abuses of Jesus' name.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Somebody smokes cigarettes.

Other Negative Elements


Most Americans don't tremble with fear at the thought of a modern North Korean assault in the way we once feared the Soviet Union during the Cold War. But that hasn't stopped a new generation of moviemakers from casting the shadowy North Korean regime in Russia's old role. 

Red Dawn remake, anyone?

Olympus Has Fallen feels marginally more believable than the 2012 incarnation of Red Dawn. It's easier to conceive of a deceptive scheme like the one Kang unleashes than it is to suspend disbelief when it comes to the full-on military assault Red Dawn depicts.

That said, there's a more obvious comparison Olympus Has Fallen evokes: Die Hard. Just as Bruce Willis' John McClane deals out deadly underdog retribution in each of those franchise films, so Gerard Butler does here. As cool as Olympus Has Fallen is as a title, it more easily could have been called Die Hard 6: White House Wasteland.

And there's a lot of waste here, and even more hard dying, to be sure.

We see innocent civilians getting mowed down in the streets and bricks falling on them from the toppling Washington Monument. We see a bloody boy in the ER. We see one woman repeatedly beaten to a bloody pulp, and another led screaming and terrified to her death as Kang coldly puts a gun to her head and pulls the trigger … on camera as a shocked national security team watches in real time at the Pentagon. We see knives to throats, knives to heads.

We know where it's all going, of course. Where it has to go. Kang getting what's coming to him. Violently. And his bloody end gets paired, almost simultaneously, with a reaffirmation of the American way of life, one that embraces "dignity," "integrity" and "honor," President Asher tells the country in a speech after Kang is dispatched.

At its best, our country is absolutely about those virtues. They're absolutely worth fighting for. And dying for, if need be. Still, I couldn't help but wonder as I listened to the theater audience hoot, clap and cheer when Banning stuck a knife in Kang's head whether or not brutal, hyperviolent entertainment such as this is really the best way to reinforce those cherished values.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Content Caution





Readability Age Range


Drama, Action/Adventure, War



Gerard Butler as Mike Banning; Radha Mitchell as Leah Banning; Aaron Eckhart as President Benjamin Asher; Ashley Judd as Margaret Asher; Finley Jacobsen as Connor Asher; Dylan McDermott as Dave Forbes; Rick Yune as Kang Yeonsak; Morgan Freeman as Speaker Allan Trumbull; Angela Bassett as Secret Service Director Lynn Jacobs; Melissa Leo as Secretary of Defense Ruth McMillan; Phil Austin as Vice President Charlie Rodriguez


Antoine Fuqua (Brooklyn's Finest, Shooter, King Arthur, Tears of the Sun, Training Day, Bait)


FilmDistrict Distribution



Record Label



In Theaters

March 22, 2013


August 13, 2013

Year Published



Adam R. Holz

We hope you enjoyed this content. Be sure to share it with family and friends you think will enjoy it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!