Die Hard

1988, Mystery & thriller/Action, 2h 11m

79 Reviews 250,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

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

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Movie Info

New York City policeman John McClane (Bruce Willis) is visiting his estranged wife (Bonnie Bedelia) and two daughters on Christmas Eve. He joins her at a holiday party in the headquarters of the Japanese-owned business she works for. But the festivities are interrupted by a group of terrorists who take over the exclusive high-rise, and everyone in it. Very soon McClane realizes that there's no one to save the hostages -- but him.

Cast & Crew

Bruce Willis
Detective John McClane
Alan Rickman
Hans Gruber
Bonnie Bedelia
Holly Gennero McClane
Paul Gleason
LAPD Deputy Chief Dwayne T. Robinson
William Atherton
Richard Thornburg
Hart Bochner
Harry Ellis
Jeb Stuart
Screenwriter
Charles Gordon
Executive Producer
Beau Marks
Associate Producer
Michael Kamen
Original Music
Jan de Bont
Cinematographer
John F. Link
Film Editor
Jackson De Govia
Production Designer
John R. Jensen
Art Direction
Philip Leonard
Set Decoration
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Critic Reviews for Die Hard

Audience Reviews for Die Hard

  • Dec 23, 2020
    Yippee-ki-yay ______!" The best action movie ever made. There. I said it. This is not a decision I take lightly. There are serious contenders, including: T2, Mad Max Fury Road, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Raid and more. Except for the first 18 minutes it is non-stop action. In addition to nearly every action scene being awesome, it has the most like-able everyman lead in Bruce Willis, some of the best quotable quotes, and a fantastic villain in Alan Rickman (RIP!). Oh, did I mention it's also one of the best Christmas movies too?
    Mark B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 25, 2016
    Die Hard was directed by John McTierman (Predator) and stars Bruce Willis as John McClane, a New York cop visiting LA to see his wife (Bonnie Bedelia) and kids. Shortly after John arrives at his wife's big corporate Christmas party, the building is taken under control by terrorist Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) and his 12 henchmen who are using a hostage situation as a cover while they rob the company of its riches. Is there anything to say about Die Hard that hasn't already been said? Not only did this movie effectively provide Bruce Willis with consistent employment for the rest of his life, but it also set the standard of action movies to follow. John McClane is an easy character to cheer for thanks to his charisma and sarcasm. If John McClane is the foundation for action protagonists to be build upon, then Rickman's Hans Gruber does the same for antagonists. In my humble opinion, Hans Gruber might only be second to Darth Vader himself for the best movie villain of all-time. His deception, ruthlessness, and composure make for a chilling enemy. Watching his ultimate demise is probably one of the more satisfying moments in action cinema. Another thing I love about Die Hard is how fleshed-out the other characters are. The cop in communication with McClane (played by Reginald VelJohnson) is given some backstory that really helps develop his ever-trusting relationship with John. Holly McClane shows that she is having troubles with her marriage to John through the use of her maiden name when conducting business. Even one of Hans' henchmen is given a personal reason to bring down McClane early on. These simple traits do nothing but aid the impact of every scene. There are even some subtle lines that end up having major impacts on the plot later on. In my most recent viewing, I caught a line from the sleazy executive trying to woo Holly about a watch he gave her. Next time you watch the movie, REMEMBER THAT WATCH. That's just one example of the layers of complexity given to this masterpiece. Folks, obviously I love Die Hard and have nothing negative to say about it. It may very well be not only one of the best action movies of all-time, but one of the best MOVIE movies of all-time. Full of brilliant writing, rich characters, and amazing one-liners, Die Hard is clearly THE BEST CHRISTMAS MOVIE EVER! Final grade: A+ YIPPIE KI-YAY, MOFO! -Ben
    Ben B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 20, 2016
    This is one of the absolute classic action films. One of Willis's best performances. Excellent script written about a New York City cop going to LA for the holidays and terrorists taking over the office building he is at for his estranged wife's holiday party. Many many quotable lines. If a film has many lines and scenes taken from it for parody films, you know it is a well loved classic. If you are a fan of action films and haven't seen this one, then you're not a fan of action films. Action is great and even the "down time" dialogue between Willis and VelJohnson is well written and well acted.
    Patrick W Super Reviewer
  • Feb 21, 2016
    One of the best action movies ever made and the strongest in the franchise. Watching this film is a necessity if you are a fan of action movies!
    Mr N Super Reviewer

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