Die Hard (1988) - Rotten Tomatoes

Die Hard (1988)



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

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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 of allowing anyone to get out of the building alive. Meanwhile, New York cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) has come to L.A. to visit his estranged wife, Holly (Bonnie Bedelia), who happens to be one of the hostages. Disregarding the orders of the authorities surrounding the building, McClane, who fears nothing (except heights), takes on the villains, armed with one handgun and plenty of chutzpah. Until Die Hard came along, Bruce Willis was merely that wisecracking guy on Moonlighting. After the film's profits started rolling in, Willis found himself one of the highest-paid and most sought-after leading men in Hollywood. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Bruce Willis
as John McClane
Alan Rickman
as Hans Gruber
Reginald VelJohnson
as Sgt. Al Powell
Bonnie Bedelia
as Holly McClane
Hart Bochner
as Harry Ellis
Paul Gleason
as Dwayne Robinson
Joey Plewa
as Alexander
Gerard Bonn
as Kristoff
Gary Roberts
as Heinrich
Robert Davi
as Big Johnson
Grand L. Bush
as Little Johnson
Bill Marcus
as City Engineer
Rick Ducommun
as City Worker
Matt Landers
as Capt. Mitchell
George Christy
as Hasseldorf
Anthony Peck
as Young Cop
David Ursin
as Harvey Johnson
Mary Ellen Trainor
as Gail Wallens
Diana James
as Supervisor
Shelley Pogoda
as Dispatcher
Taylor Fry
as Lucy McClane
Noah Land
as John Jr.
Kip Waldo
as Convenience-Store Clerk
Mark Goldstein
as Station Manager
Tracy Reiner
as Thornburg's Assistant
Bill Margolin
as Producer
David Katz
as Soundman
Robert Lesser
as Businessman
Stella Hall
as Stewardess
Terri Lynn Doss
as Girl at Airport
Jon E. Greene
as Boy at Airport
Michele Laybourn
as Girl in Window
Scot Bennett
as Hostage
Bob A. Jennings
as Cameraman
P. Randall Bowers
as Kissing Man
Kym Malin
as Hostage
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News & Interviews for Die Hard

Critic Reviews for Die Hard

All Critics (66) | Top Critics (13)

There are good performances from everyone in this long, often funny, very violent but exciting melodrama.

July 28, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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…

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…

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 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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…

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

November 27, 2007 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Die Hard


An exhilarating all-time classic action movie that is not only impressively well directed and tense when it needs to be but also always surprises us with its well-written script and realistic characterization of its witty, flesh-and-bone hero, John McClane.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


Remains a stone-cold action classic even by modern movie standards. The premise is widely inventive, the action is always tense, the comedy is on-point, and the cast is top-notch all around. The highlights are by far the charismatic Bruce Willis and "always awesome in everything" Alan Rickman, who have a fantastic hero-villain dynamic that the franchise would never quite capture again. The definitive "Christmas" movie for action fans everywhere.

Christopher Heim
Christopher Heim

Super Reviewer


Still one of the, if not the, best action film of all times. A great hero, a unique location, an excellent bad guy and plenty of kick-ass action. Doesn't get much better than this. Merry Chrismas!

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

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