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Die Hard (1988)



Average Rating: 8.3/10
Reviews Counted: 63
Fresh: 58 | Rotten: 5

Its many imitators (and sequels) have never come close to matching the taut thrills of the definitive holiday action classic.


Average Rating: 6.2/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 4

Its many imitators (and sequels) have never come close to matching the taut thrills of the definitive holiday action classic.



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Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 567,279

My Rating

Movie Info

It's Christmas time in L.A., and there's an employee party in progress on the 30th floor of the Nakatomi Corporation building. The revelry comes to a violent end when the partygoers are taken hostage by a group of terrorists headed by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), who plan to steal the 600 million dollars locked in Nakatomi's high-tech safe. In truth, Gruber and his henchmen are only pretending to be politically motivated to throw the authorities off track; also in truth, Gruber has no intention

Mar 9, 1999

20th Century Fox - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (63) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (58) | Rotten (5) | DVD (33)

Die Hard is an action picture with a capital A. In fact, you might as well go ahead and capitalize the whole darn word.

July 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As a grand flourish of cinematic technique, it is awesome; as a human drama, it is disgusting and silly, a mindless depiction of carnage on an epic scale.

July 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

McTiernan, who directed last summer's Predator, composes the action cleanly and logically, making good use of Jackson DeGovia's elaborate post-modernist set-the building becomes something of a character in itself.

July 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In the first half of Director John McTiernan's movie, Willis wears an undershirt. In the second half he gets rid of it. And that's pretty much it for his performance.

December 5, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine | Comments (46)
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Die Hard is as high tech, rock hard and souped up as an action film can be.

November 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A serviceable if rather overextended and overblown adventure thriller.

November 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is the action thriller that minted Bruce Willis's career, launched a franchise and still stands as a giant of the genre.

December 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

For all its moments of almost overwhelming cheese, Die Hard is still the definitive action thriller.

July 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Within the narrow framework of the hard-action genre, Die Hard is almost as good as it gets.

July 9, 2013 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Willis gleefully strips down the action movie to a pretend game for children who like to fire guns and shoot bad guys. Machismo may never be the same.

July 9, 2013 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

Die Hard is probably the most manipulative movie I've seen this year, but since it makes no bones about being manipulative and does it so well, this not only isn't a problem -- it's fun.

July 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

The very pinnacle of the '80s action movie, and if it's not the greatest action movie ever made, then it's damn close.

July 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Most of the action is run-of-the-mill Hollywood blood and thunder, but a couple of scenes are unusually reprehensible.

July 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

DIE HARD is a classic film. Simply put, every single thing works.

February 11, 2013 Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

... Not only the best action movie ever made but one of the very best of any genre.

February 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)

Undoubtedly, it's dated in some respects, but as a pure actioner Die Hard remains timeless.

January 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Flix Capacitor
Flix Capacitor

John McTiernan's thriller-actioner is well executed, boasting a strong performance from Bruce Willis, which made him a big-screen star.

April 20, 2012 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Original Bruce Willis violent actioner.

January 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

High-tech cartoonish action thriller.

March 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comments (6)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Great pace, great gun battles, great fun.

November 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Film4

Audience Reviews for Die Hard

An exhilarating all-time classic of action movies, impressively well directed and tense when it needs to be, while always surprising us with its well constructed script and the realistic composition of its witty flesh-and-bone hero, John McClane.
August 18, 2013

Super Reviewer

When terrorists take the staff of a hi tec skyscraper hostage during a Christmas Eve party, a lone New York cop trapped in the building with them fights for survival while trying to foil their plans. Die Hard was a watershed moment in the evolution of the action movie, and was genre defying in that the heroes usually tended to have everything under control in action movies previous to this, while a blood soaked and desperate John McClane always seems one step away from defeat. This makes for some very suspenseful action and Willis' charismatic performance rightly elevated him to mega stardom. It has its faults, namely in the soapy back story of he and his wife and especially the ridiculous nonsense about his would be partner Al and his holstered pistol. These are minor points however as the quips are funny, the action beautifully choreographed and its a thrill ride that has dated surprisingly well. One of THE classic action movies.
July 9, 2013
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

"Die Hard" is one of my personal all time favorites and it holds a special place in my heart. When I was little my Dad worked night shift a lot at the water plant, and many nights my mom would let me stay up and watch movies with her. "Stand by Me", "Hitcher", and "Die Hard" were main three, but it never failed that "Die Hard" was always on and always at the same parts. She and I watched this so many times it's crazy. One year for her birthday I bought her a John McClane action figure:-p It's just "our" movie, and anytime a sequel comes out we go see it together. I love all the sequels, but none of them are nearly as awesome as the original. If you haven't seen this, then you don't like movies or are living under a rock(but how would you be on facebook or rotten tomatoes?). Bruce Willis stars as McClane the guy in the wrong place at the wrong time. He's a New York cop who comes to L.A. to try to win back his wife(she moved out there to advance her career). He goes to her Christmas party, and while there a group of terrorists led by Hans Gruber(Alan Rickman) take over and hold everyone hostage while robbing the company. But, McClane is on the loose and begins battling them, trying to save his wife and get out alive. It's awesome and has spawned more knockoffs than I can name, but none compare. This is the perfect action movie. Funny, thrilling, great performances, and great characters. McClane and Gruber are one of the best hero/villain combinations in movie history. Rickman has never been better, and this is the movie that made Willis a superstar. Go back and rewatch this immediately!
February 15, 2013
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

John McClane is one of the most memorable action stars in recent memory and Bruce Willis is just a blast to watch on screen. Taking place in one building for the majority of the movie, the film finds so many new places to explore and it never finds a soft spot for story, it is everything you could ever wish for, and more. "Die Hard" is the action film of the 90's that will remain in my head as my favourite, because it has all of the elements of an action masterpiece. The villains are not even close to one-dimensional and even getting in quite a bit of background on them was nice. "Die Hard" is one of my favourite action films of all time!
September 23, 2012
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

    1. Karl: He wasn't lying about Marco. He's down on the street. The other one was Heinrich. And his bag is missing.
    2. Hans Gruber: He had the detonators.
    – Submitted by Jason K (6 months ago)
    1. Sgt. Al Powell: In fact, I think he's a cop. Maybe not LAPD, but he's definitely a badge.
    2. Dwayne T. Robinson: How do you know that?
    3. Sgt. Al Powell: A hunch, things he said. Like being able to spot a phony ID.
    4. Dwayne T. Robinson: Jesus Christ, Powell, he could be a fucking bartender for all we know!
    – Submitted by Mike H (7 months ago)
    1. John McClane: Glass, who gives a shit about glass?
    – Submitted by Mike H (7 months ago)
    1. John McClane: Welcome to the party, pal!
    – Submitted by Sam F (10 months ago)
    1. Hans Gruber: Now I have a machine gun. Ho-ho-ho.
    – Submitted by Robin M (12 months ago)
    1. John McClane: [huddled in an air vent, recalls his wife's invitation] Come out to the coast, we'll get together, have a few laughs...
    – Submitted by Gabriel R (14 months ago)
View all quotes (58)

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The first time you see a film makes all the difference.
February 13, 2011:
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Foreign Titles

  • Stirb Langsam (DE)
  • Die Hard (UK)
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