Firewall (film)

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Firewall 2.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Richard Loncraine
Produced by
Written by Joe Forte
Music by Alexandre Desplat
Cinematography Marco Pontecorvo
Edited by Jim Page
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • February 10, 2006 (2006-02-10)
Running time
105 minutes[1]
  • United States
  • Australia
Language English
Budget $50 million[2]
Box office $82.8 million[3]

Firewall is a 2006 American-Australian crime thriller film directed by Richard Loncraine and written by Joe Forte. The film stars Harrison Ford as a banker who is forced by criminals, led by Paul Bettany, to help them steal $100 million. The film was a box office disappointment and received negative reviews from critics.


The film opens with Jack Stanfield leaving his house, loving wife Beth, dog, and 2 children, to his job at Landrock Pacific Bank in downtown Seattle. The day goes smoothly until Jack is visited by a collection agency, claiming that he owes $95,000 in debts to their online gambling site. He trusts a colleague to take care of it (as he is convinced of some form of identity theft, which is later found out to be true and used to later set up Jack with a motive for robbing the bank) and goes out for a drink with colleague Harry Romano and potential employer, Bill Cox. Harry leaves in a taxi and Jack gets in his car. Unexpectedly, Cox follows him into the back seat. Cox then goes on to tell Jack that his family is being held hostage at their home to ensure Jack's cooperation. He then points a gun to Jack's head and forces him to drive home.

Upon their arrival, Jack sees that, although his family is unharmed, they are under heavy watch by Cox's henchmen. Jack is not told what to do until the next morning, when he is told that he must give Cox $10,000 each from the bank's 10,000 largest depositors ($100 million total). He is outfitted with audio and video devices in the form of a pen and a body microphone, making any intentions to resist useless.

Once at work, Cox makes a surprise visit, reintroducing himself as Bill Redmond to Jack's secretary, Janet Stone. Next, Jack gives him a tour of the facilities and security system. On the way back home, Jack attempts to bribe Willy, a henchman, into betraying Cox, yet this only results in Cox killing Willy. The Stanfields attempt an escape, but the plan fails just barely. In retaliation, Cox tricks the Stanfields' son Andy with a cookie containing nut products. Because he's allergic to nuts, Andy goes into anaphylactic shock. Cox withholds the treatment (an EpiPen), until Jack acquiesces to their plan.

The next day, Cox forces Jack to fire his secretary Janet fearing that she is growing suspicious. Jack downloads the files for the $100 million onto his daughter Sarah's iPod mini hard drive and then initiates a wire transfer to send the money to Cox's offshore accounts. Before leaving, Jack uses an employee's camera phone to take a picture of the account information on the screen. Cox then sets about wiping his tracks clean, forcing Jack to delete security data and surveillance tapes and using a virus to put the network on the entire building into disarray, setting Jack up to take the fall for the embezzlement. Returning home, Jack finds the house empty except for Liam, one of Cox's men.

Realizing Liam is still around for no reason other than to kill him, he pushes Liam over a chair, grabs a heavy glass blender, and beats him in the head with three blows, killing him. Jack realizes that Cox has been lying all along and had no intention of letting Jack's family or even himself live regardless of having the money. Jack tries to call Harry using Liam's unmonitored cell phone but cannot reach his friend. Instead, he sneaks into Harry's apartment to wait for his friend's return. Both Cox and Harry enter and Cox suddenly shoots Harry from behind, using the gun he had earlier confiscated from Jack. Because of this, along with a message planted on Harry's answering machine by Beth as she was held at gunpoint, it will appear that Jack killed Harry in a jealous rage over Beth and would be used to set up Jack for the police.

Jack runs to the only ally he has left: his "fired" secretary Janet. He asks her for help, and she provides him with a car to get the phone which Jack had used to take a picture of Cox's account information; and then to a late-night branch of the bank at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. There, he uses the picture from the phone to get access to Cox's account and calls him. Jack tells him that there’s been a change of plans: he has hacked into his Cayman Island accounts and is stripping five accounts, $20,000,000 apiece. Cox tries forcing Jack to put the money back, but it is a futile threat. Jack informs the criminal that he will get his money when he gets his family. Next, Jack tells Cox that he will call him when the banks open to make the exchange. During the conversation, Jack hears the family dog, Rusty in the background, and realizes that the family can be located and followed by the GPS tracking unit in Rusty's collar. This leads him and Janet to an abandoned house. He leaves Janet on the road to call the police.

Cox shoots one of his henchmen, Vel, who had compassion for the hostages after intervening with them and Cox. Another henchman, Pim, chases after Sarah who manages to escape and Jack runs into Pim with Janet's car, hurling him into an RV, which then explodes, burning the RV, killing Pim and destroying Janet's car. Cox, seeing that the tide is turning against him, panics and takes Beth and Andy to the upper level of the house. Jack scales the side of the house, destroys a window and comes to rescue his wife and son, tackling Cox to the floor and forcing him to a final showdown. After a struggle, Jack grabs a pickaxe lying near the front of the house and impales Cox through the back, killing him and winning his family's freedom.


The film’s core plot has many parallels with the 1961 British production Cash on Demand.



Box office[edit]

Firewall opened theatrically on February 10, 2006 in 2,840 venues, earning $13,635,463 in its opening weekend, ranking fourth in the domestic box office.[4] The film ended its run fourteen weeks later, on May 18, 2006, having grossed $48,751,189 in the United States and Canada, and $34,000,000 internationally for a worldwide total of $82,751,189.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

The film received largely negative reviews from critics. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 19% rating based on 156 reviews, with an average rating of 4.5/10. The site's consensus states: "Harrison Ford's rote performance brings little to this uninspired techno-heist film whose formulaic plot is befuddled with tedious and improbable twists."[5] Metacritic reports a 45 out of 100 rating based on 38 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[6]

Home media[edit]

Firewall was released on DVD on June 6, 2006 and opened at #2 at the DVD sales chart, grossing $10.8 million off 596,000 units. As per the latest figures, 1,286,600 units have been sold translating to $21.1 million in revenue.[7]


Award Year Category Result Cast/Crew
World Stunt Awards
Best Fight Nominated Jason Calder
Mike Carpenter
Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Feature Film - Young Actor Age Ten or Younger Nominated Jimmy Bennett

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "FIREWALL (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. February 23, 2006. Retrieved December 29, 2015. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b "Firewall (2006)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. May 19, 2006. Retrieved December 29, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for February 10-12, 2006". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. February 13, 2006. Retrieved December 29, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Firewall (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved December 29, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Firewall reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 29, 2015. 
  7. ^ Movie Firewall - DVD Sales. The Numbers. Retrieved 2010-11-20.

External links[edit]