White House Down Poster Analysis

White House Down is a 15 rated action thriller film released in 2013 with an IMDb rating of 6.4 out of 10.


The Washington DC setting is shown immediately, illustrated through the famous background buildings of the Washington Monument and the U.S capitol as well as the USA flag badge on (possibly) the president’s suit.

The characters are centralised in the poster, highlighting that they are a vital aspect to the narrative. Furthermore, it could imply that they are at the centre of the action and drama within the film. The male in front is wearing dirty clothing as well as carrying various guns, conveying that he is the stereotypical “masculine” man who protects others, he is the ‘hero’ of the film which is reinforced by his fierce and determined facial expression. This also clarifies the action genre to the audience. The other male is following behind him, connoting that he is less dominant. He is wearing a suit which is also dirty with a USA flag badge, from which the audience can interpret that he is the President. There is blood possibly due to a gun shot wound on his white shirt illustrating that he has been targeted and that’s why he is being protected.

The U.S Monument shown in the background of the poster is symbolic of law and order due to it being home to the United States Congress, and the seat of the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government and is devastated due to the disruption caused by the bombings, explosions and fire caused by possible terrorists, conveying that law and order has been taken from the US.

At the top of the poster the actors names are shown in equally large sans-serif typography (suggesting that they have equal roles in the film) which transitions from black to grey. The large typography will draw the audience’s eye to their famous names and attract them to the watch their film if they are fans of them. It also states the director and the directors previous work, bringing in fans of their previous work as well. The title is bold and in black sans-serif typography making is stand out. Furthermore the tagline links to the title by repeating the word “Down” from “IT ALL GOES DOWN JUNE 28” which also give the audience relevant information about when it’s released.

At the bottom of the poster there is an internet link to a website promoting the film, as well as the logo of the production company, also promoting them and a hash tag.

My Opinion:

My favourite part of the poster is the background which gives the audience an insight into the narrative immediately. Furthermore, I like the placement of the characters which highlights their importance in the film.

Media Theory: 

  • Roland Barthes (Enigma theory) – The theory which suggests any text (e.g tv and film) makes the audience question something and intrigues the audience, drawing them in. The background of the poster will engage the audience and make them ask questions such as: ‘What happened? Was it terrorism?’.

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