Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. 100
    Not only is it a thrill-a-minute ride, but it has one of the best film villains in recent memory, a hero everyone can relate to, dialogue that crackles with wit, and a lot of very impressive pyrotechnics.
  2. Reviewed by: Carmel Dagan
    100
    This brash, clever picture caught the attention of audiences after years of moribund product from the likes of Schwarzenegger and Stallone.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    88
    The result is a foot-stomping rouser. Where else can you get a cop in his underwear boogalooing with skyscraper terrorists? [15 July 1988, Life, p.4D]
  4. A firepowered, blood-drenched action picture that doesn't let up.
  5. 75
    Has everything but a personality. [15 July 1988, Friday, p.A]
  6. Slick, glossy, overblown, implausible. [15 July 1988, Daily Notebook, p.E1]
  7. Reviewed by: Caryn James
    70
    Has to be the most excessive film around. It piles every known element of the action genre onto the flimsy story. [15 July 1988]
  8. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    70
    As high tech, rock hard and souped up as an action film can be.
  9. Reviewed by: Hal Hinson
    70
    A logistical wonder, a marvel of engineering, and relentlessly, mercilessly thrilling.
  10. Reviewed by: Staff (not credited)
    60
    A triumph of slick direction and lowbrow thrills, marred but not spoiled by a sour aftertaste.
  11. 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. [15 July 1988, Calendar, p.6-1]
  12. 50
    On a technical level, there's a lot to be said for Die Hard. It's when we get to some of the unnecessary adornments of the script that the movie shoots itself in the foot.
  13. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    50
    What Willis proves in Die Hard is that it is not one you can ease through, especially if your preparation runs more to body building than to character building. [July 25, 1988]
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 216 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 39
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 39
  3. Negative: 1 out of 39
  1. Sep 18, 2011
    9
    Director John McTiernan's "Die Hard" is one of those original one-man macho action movies that have brainless fun and a surprisingly deep character depth. It certainly is a masterpiece. Full Review »
  2. Sep 15, 2013
    10
    In 1988, when Die Hard came out, my parents and a family friend went to see it in New York City in a big theater. The movie was so crowded, they all did not even get to sit together. (And I don't even think it was opening weekend!) Take that into consideration for how big a movie this was back then and still is.

    Die Hard is the best action movie, and probably my favorite movie, with a close second or tie with The Shawshank Redemption.

    Die Hard combines well-executed action scenes with cheesy but iconic one-liners and a great main character. As sarcastic, profane, and messed up John McClane is, you have to find yourself rooting for him.

    Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, and Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald Veljohnson, and many others will have their acting skills defined by this movie forever. After all, it definitely gave a career boost to some, although Willis already had a nice acting resume on his plate. Nevertheless, it redefined the whole genre.

    Action movies consist of a bunch of key elements that come together to form a coherent picture. (At least I hope it will be coherent, as some tend to fail at this process.) They combine action scenes (obviously), at least a couple one-liners, a car (there's always a car or some kind of vehicle), a villain, and usually an explosion or two. Or three. All of these elements and many more were all in Die Hard, and it kind of changed the genre for good. You will hear people say "Oh, that movie is a Die Hard rip-off", or "That stunt was first made famous in Die Hard." It's not that action movies didn't have these elements before Die Hard, it's just that Die Hard made them better and/or famous.

    Die Hard will keep you on the edge of your seat, and is an extremely well-done picture that doesn't lag or slow down at all. It eases into the action in such a way that it feels natural and not forced or unnecessary.
    Full Review »
  3. Jan 26, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. This is truly an piece of cinema. Bruce Willis was excellent as the perfect NYPD detective John McClane. That Hans Gruber got what was coming for him. Full Review »