Live Free or Die Hard Reviews

Top Critic
Ben Walters
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Len Wiseman handles many of the set-pieces with flair and tension.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Bob Mondello
NPR.org
October 18, 2008
It's not remotely plausible, but with Willis' McClane leaping onto the tailfins of passing jet fighters and bringing down helicopters by launching police cars at them, there's enough stuff blowing up that action fans won't mind much.
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Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader
January 4, 2008
The bad guys' omnipotence at nearly every turn dilutes the film's suspense.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
November 28, 2007
An enjoyable pop projection of post-9/11 anxiety. That said, it also makes you nostalgic for the days when irresponsible action movies didn't have to deal with it.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
July 31, 2007
What's the fourth "Die Hard" called? I keep forgetting. "Die Hard: With a Pension"? "Die Hardened Arteries"? "Die Laughing"?
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
July 15, 2007
Movie characters like McClane are the Paul Bunyans and John Henrys and Pecos Bills of our age, the stuff of tall tales spun with the technology of an age whose campfires are found in multiplexes with stadium seating.
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
July 12, 2007
The rookie mistakes are legion.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
July 11, 2007
Willis should not be the victim of facile stereotyping. He brings more heart and humor to apocalyptic pulp fiction than any other actor I can think of offhand.
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
June 30, 2007
Far from the crass, just-for-the-money sequel it appeared to be on paper. It's a genuine blast.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
June 28, 2007
Terrific entertainment, and startlingly shrewd in the bargain, a combination of minimalist performances -- interestingly minimalist -- and maximalist stunts that make you laugh, as you gape, at their thunderous extravagance.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
June 28, 2007
Easily the best in the series since the first one.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
June 27, 2007
None of the scrapes and bruises [Willis] sustains are as wince-inducing as the image of his younger self in the first film, padding across broken glass with bare feet. He was human back in 1988; now he's the Terminator.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Rob Nelson
Village Voice
June 27, 2007
The real intrigue has to do with whether McClane -- 'a Timex watch in a digital age,' per the lead baddie (Timothy Olyphant) -- can log in to 2007.
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
June 27, 2007
Willis' John McClane, with that sly, sideways smile, is like an old acquaintance you don't mind running into. He may be older and balder, but he's none the worse for the wear. And he can still take a punch.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
June 27, 2007
Live Free or Die Hard may work better for an audience that doesn't know much about the series than it will for Die Hard die hards, who will be wondering who that impersonator is and what he did with the real John McClane.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
June 27, 2007
This paradox comes with an attendant fallacy: that the best way to solve the static problem is to make the stunts even larger, the bangs even bigger. Wrong: More action just stops the film longer.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
June 27, 2007
It is a movie born to be forgotten-except as something that against your better judgment, you had a pretty good time watching back in the summer of '07.
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Rob Salem
Toronto Star
June 27, 2007
Live Free or Die Hard is indeed a worthy successor to the original -- not perhaps quite as good, but close.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Richard Roeper
Chicago Sun-Times
June 27, 2007
The post-9/11 techno-terrorist stuff works, the fights are creative and funny, and Willis is in top form in his career-defining role.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
June 27, 2007
Sorry, boys. After two decades, the first film still does more with one skyscraper than Live Free or Die Hard does with an entire country.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
June 26, 2007
That this implausible stew works as well as it does is in part a tribute to the unlikely but enjoyable rapport that forms between old school McClane and his youthful computer-savvy companion.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
June 26, 2007
[McClane] still has the same knack for trouble, the adrenaline-pumping, cheerfully anarchic kind that causes cars to ignite, bodies to fly, eardrums to pop and hearts to race and gladden.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
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Dana Stevens
Slate
June 26, 2007
It has enough mind-blowing stunts to leave audience members walking out and inventing obscenity-laced catchphrases of their own.
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
June 26, 2007
If your sense of the credible isn't awfully flexible, you're the wrong audience for movies like this. The nonsense bounces along at such a breathless clip that most viewers should willingly give the improbabilities a free pass.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Ted Fry
Seattle Times
June 26, 2007
Ultimately, Live Free or Die Hard so completely slacks our jaw and so successfully suspends our disbelief that the highest praise goes to the crew of first-class technicians who pulled it off.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Louis B. Parks
Houston Chronicle
June 26, 2007
Live Free or Die Hard is the most creative and exciting Die Hard film since the original, though it's hardly the original's equal.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
June 26, 2007
The action in this fast-paced, hysterically overproduced and surprisingly entertaining film is as realistic as a Road Runner cartoon.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
June 26, 2007
This time the hype is real. The latest Die Hard film, the first in a dozen years, is the best in the series, an invigorating return to the style of blockbuster that dominated summers back in the early 1990s.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
June 26, 2007
Willis has a firm grip on what has made his character popular for nearly two decades, and maintains a firm hand on the wheel. Like almost everything he drives, he keeps the movie airborne. Yippee-ki-yay.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
June 26, 2007
Live Free or Die Hard gets the action job done and you better believe that Bruce is still the man.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
June 26, 2007
It's the movie equivalent of a cop on the eve of retirement: he knows what he has to do, and he gets it done. But his heart isn't really in it anymore.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
June 26, 2007
It's a pulse-pounding, bad-guy-pummeling exercise in action excess, peppered with bad, bad dialogue.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Tom Long
Detroit News
June 26, 2007
The most perfect protagonist is always the imperfect protagonist. Leave it to John McClane to bring back the action hero.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
June 26, 2007
If this is living free, you might consider pulling the plug.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
June 26, 2007
Mostly, the flick relies on old-school stunt work rather than computer generated effects.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
June 26, 2007
This fourth installment in the franchise delivers when it comes to kick-butt, action-packed mayhem but bogs down focusing on key characters staring at computer screens, typing madly on keyboards or spouting techno-babble.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
June 26, 2007
At a time when the action genre has come to be dominated by sleek, matte surfaces and set-'em-and-forget-'em computerized effects, Live Free or Die Hard seeks to remind viewers of the simple, nostalgic pleasures of watching stuff get blown up.
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Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
June 26, 2007
There's no point in whining that Die Hard is mindless. That's like complaining about the sound of people eating popcorn in the theater.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Jessica Reaves
Chicago Tribune
June 26, 2007
The usual pyrotechnics are intact, the corpses pile up and McClane even gets to spit out his signature battle cry.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Bob Longino
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
June 26, 2007
It's loud, yippee-ki-yay explosive, mostly watchable and, unfortunately, almost entirely forgettable after its final bang.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
June 26, 2007
Director Len Wiseman never lets the movie slow down enough for us to think about what's happening. And he gives us some amusing things to keep us occupied, including one particularly fitting cameo.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
June 25, 2007
Tone careens madly from serious peril to action camp and everything in between, but the sheer quantity of often outrageous stunts should help overcome franchise mustiness.
Top Critic
David Germain
Associated Press
June 25, 2007
For a pure summer power trip, it's a decent throwback to the pure-brawn heyday of Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, an agreeable respite from today's cartoonlike ballets of computer-generated action.
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Gene Seymour
Newsday
June 25, 2007
As long as you understand that [LFODH] is nothing more or less than a three-ring festival of intricate stunts and pyrotechnic effects, punctuated with clown routines, you may not mind that it's about a half-hour longer than it needs to be.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
June 25, 2007
Stunt work is among the best ever committed to film. There is something very satisfying in this digital age about an action film where CGI doesn't overwhelm, actors are in great physical shape and huge spaces are actual sets.