Assault on Precinct 13 (2005)

assault on precinct 13 2005 poster
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 6/10

Has moments, not the worst remake

Gets a little lost at the end, loses original's grittiness

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Assault on Precinct 13

Studio:  Rogue Pictures

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  January 19, 2005

MPAA Rating:  R


The question is coppers, do you take the red pill or the blue pill?

It is New Year’s Eve and Detroit’s Precinct 13 is preparing to shutter its doors forever.  Sgt. Jake Roenick (Ethan Hawke) is trying to get over a mission that went sideways and seeing a police mandated psychologist named Dr. Alex Sabian (Maria Bello).  When a notorious gangster named Marion Bishop (Laurence Fishburne) is rerouted to Precinct 13 with a truckload of prisoners due to a blizzard, Precinct 13 could face its longest night.  Someone is gunning for Bishop and the staff of Precinct 13 could be collateral damage.

Directed by Jean-Francois Richet, Assault on Precinct 13 is a remake of John Carpenter’s classic 1976 grindhouse film.   The movie was met with mixed to slightly positive reviews.


Hey at least she’s not buying ice cream like Kim Richards (old movie reference)

I’ll admit that I never saw the original Assault on Precinct 13 until after I saw this remake.  I like Carpenter, but something about the movie and the title never really inspired me.  Though I don’t think this movie is a bad remake, but having now seen both movies this definitely is the inferior film.

The story does a nice job modernizing the tale.  It feels a lot like the original but it deviates enough from the original’s plot that you don’t know exactly what is going to happen (including some surprising deaths).  The movie ends in a bit of a mess once the survivors escape the police station, but for the most part, the story remains strong.


But I thought we were friends?

I’m not an Ethan Hawke fan and it always pains me to have to watch him.  He’s been in a few things where he is ok and this is one of his less problematic roles for me.  Laurence Fishburne is always solid as Hawke’s costar and they have some nice support from Gabriel Byrne, Mario Bello, Brian Dennehy, Ja Rule, John Leguizamo, Drea de Matteo, and Aisha Hinds.

The movie looks pretty good, but it lacks the grittiness which turned the first movie into a classic.  It is too clean and too Hollywood.  I would have loved to have seen the movie a look a bit more guerrilla in its style or do something to keep it from being a washed out version of the original.

Assault on Precinct 13 isn’t the worst movie ever, but it does lack a lot of the fun of the original. As a result it comes off as rather average, but not average enough to make me hate it outright.  I recommend the original, but this movie is an ok substitute if it is not available.

Related Links:

Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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