Assault on Precinct 13 1976

Assault on Precinct 13

Critics Consensus

Lean, taut and compellingly gritty, John Carpenter's loose update of Rio Bravo ranks as a cult action classic and one of the filmmaker's best.

98%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 43

80%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 24,661

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Movie Info

When the LAPD kills several members of the South Central gang Street Thunder, the remaining members avenge themselves by way of a bloody war waged against cops and citizens alike. Caught in the crossfire is Lt. Ethan Bishop (Austin Stoker), who's managing a skeleton crew at the local and soon-to-be-closed police precinct. As the gang members close in, Bishop forms an unlikely alliance with a group of prisoners in order to defend the station and the lives of everyone in it.

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Critic Reviews for Assault on Precinct 13

All Critics (43) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (42) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for Assault on Precinct 13

  • Nov 30, 2014
    Night of the Living Dead without the living deads! Assault on Precinct 13 is a clever piece of work that does not shy away from violence, shock and action. It's simple and fast paced, though looked a bit cheap in the beginning, the story developed itself rapidly with interesting characters.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Oct 21, 2013
    Man, I just love how this movie sets up it's premise like a cold and calculated chess game, always keeping you wondering who these characters are and how will the fit with the Assault itself. And when the shit hits the fan, it delivers, never forgetting why we're following these characters, giving them enough depth to make us care. Sometimes it's a bit cheesy on some dialogues, a bit stale at times and probably a bit too mean on the ice cream scene but Assault On Precinct 13 is a fantastic ride, giving a lot of depth and food for thought on an apparent simple-minded action flick.
    Francisco G Super Reviewer
  • Oct 09, 2012
    John Carpenter's "Assault on Precinct 13" has an opening half that's shocking, suspenseful, well-shot and sure to keep your eyes glued to the screen, but when it reaches the actual 'assault' in its second half, it loses all credibility and becomes cheap, predictable action fanfare, which is about as uninteresting as it sounds. Now, don't get me wrong. "Assault on Precinct 13" is a quick, enjoyable flick that has a fairly-executed premise and a strong start, but it just can't keep the momentum going. If nothing else, it's an effective time-waster.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Oct 07, 2012
    Low low budget exploitation thriller which was Carpenters first proper film after the seriously low budget sci-fi 'Dark Star'. Inspired by 'Rio Bravo' and almost any other old western really, this stand off thriller is one of Carpenter's best films for me. Again the plot is very basic but executed so well. A group of men, mainly police and convicts and a couple women are holed up in a defunct police station as a large gang of thugs lay siege outside. Your typical last stand against the bad guys. What works (like other old films) is the fact there isn't lots of fancy ass camera angles, huge explosions, tarty gun play and slow motion. Everything is created real time and with as much flare and creativity as possible, this always (well mostly) works out for the better visuals wise. I admit there are few sequences which do look rather hokey these days, when the hoodlums attack the station via the windows they don't seem to work out that's an easy way to get blown away. The final showdown involving an explosion isn't very glorious truth be told but its still acceptable. Hardly violent a tall watching today but back in the day there was a huff over one scene where a kid is shot virtually point blank. I can see why as it is a cold little sequence but these small quirks make you chuckle these days, adds spice to the film when you look out for the infamous bits. The cast really help this film it must be said. Was never really meant to do anything money wise methinks, or suppose to be classic film making but the cast really juiced up the film to cult status. Stand out players easily being Stoker as the loan cop, all that's left after the initial bloodshed. His stoic stern calm manner is the perfect leader, the perfect hero standing for what's right and true. Alongside him is Joston as the gruff tough ice cool convict who becomes Stoker's close ally. Joston's performance may be hammy by today's standards but its the perfect foil and is typical of many old classic western tough guys...'got a smoke?' For a film that plays out within the small confines of a few rooms the tension is solid, you wanna see what's gonna happen. Not much happening outside accept for the odd shot of hoods running around, action is small, fast and quick whilst visuals are enough to get the job done.
    Phil H Super Reviewer

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