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Universal acclaim- based on 249 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 15 out of 249

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  1. Sep 18, 2011
    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.
  2. Apr 2, 2011
    German terrorists, a skyscraper, Christmas Eve and LA. When these elements are combined, you get Die Hard, a 1988 rip-roaring action epic that shot Bruce Willis to international fame. The plot is delightfully simple; John McClane is a New York cop who is visiting his wife Holly in LA during Christmas Eve. He meets up with her at her business company's Christmas party. All goes well until a few uninvited guests in the form of creepy terrorists seize control of the building and take all 30 of the guests hostage, demanding a ransom. McClane, in the bathroom at their time of arrival, escapes into the unfinished skyscraper armed only with his standard issue 9mm at his disposal. His main objective; find out what the hell is going on. His only help is a flatfooted cop on the ground played by Reginald VelJohnson of Family Matters. Along the way, he is listening to radio messages between the villains with a stolen walkie talkie in an attempt to figure out their nefarious plan. Alan Rickman is great as Hans Gruber, leader of the baddies, and delivers a performance he echoes in the Harry Potter films as Prof. Severus Snape. One of the best movie villains of all time. This festival of explosions, guns and epic battles was directed by John McTiernan, famous already for the original Predator. He delivers a movie that entertains as well as it shocks. In particular, the sequence in which one of the hostages attempts to save his own life by offering McClane to the terrorists. Correctly anticipating a liar, Hans shoots him in the head. The film was one of the biggest box office hits of the 1980s and spawned three sequels throughout the 1990s and 2000s, firmly placing John McClane as an action hero alongside the Terminator and Rambo. Also, it is the best Christmas movie ever made. Expand
  3. Dec 7, 2012
    How can you not like Die Hard? As I said for First Blood, It's one of the best action movies of all time and is a must watch for all action film fans.
  4. Apr 2, 2012
    First off, I would give this a 9.5 out of 10. Acting is great. The villian is great, and Bruce Willis is awesome. The story is really good, and the score is really good. The action sequences are great. This is such a great, intense, action movie. Overall, this is a great action movie. It's really good. You should go see it. Highly recommended.
  5. Jan 26, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand 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. Expand
  6. Sep 15, 2013
    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.
  7. Nov 20, 2011
    Die Hard is flat-out amazing, it is a great action movie that is nice for the holidays. The plot is great and Bruce Willis' acting is hands-down amazing along with the antogonists' acting, this creates for an intense and gripping movie. The dialogue is all great and I kept wanting to know what would happen next as it is that intense. The violence and action is well-played out and very entertaining, it is a great watch. The flaws are that the story sometimes slows down and this can be annoying but this happens rarely and is uncommon. Overall "Die Hard" is a great movie that action junkies must watch as well as a great entertainment fix for anyone that watches it. Breakdown for "Die Hard": Presentation: 9.2, Plot: 9.0, Acting: 9.5, Dialogue: 8.7, Lasting Appeal: 9.2, Verdict: 9.1 out of 10 "Amazing" Expand
  8. Dec 8, 2013
    Not only one of the best action films of all time but also one of the best Christmas films of all times. I love that is also features Reginald VelJohnson from 'Family Matters' fame.
  9. Oct 27, 2010
    just a fun film thats over the top and the king of 80s action films . bruce willis comes off as the every man who is **** , funny , and just in over his head but just plods on through this fun action packed adventure .
  10. Mar 6, 2011
    An action film at it's peak finesse and a perfect Christmas movie. Action; absolutely awesome, acting; memorable and quotable- need I say more about this film? It is too damn good to give it the highest praise.
  11. Feb 20, 2011
    This movie is absolutely awesome. Only idiots will deny it. If you didnt knew when this movie was made then you could have thought it was made in 2000 and up since its so awesome made.
  12. Apr 12, 2014
    It may be more than 25 years old now but, thanks to its perfect mix of humour and spectacular action sequences, Die Hard remains the greatest action movie of all time.
  13. Apr 10, 2013
    This is the perfect action movie. Bruce Willis is the witty action hero every movie wishes it had and Alan Rickman the classy badass villain every movie wishes it had.
  14. Dec 14, 2011
    There is a reason that Die Hard is a classic and that's because it is just so very entertaining. It has a good story, a claustrophobic setting, a dynamic lead, wonderful villain and action that holds up even now, 23 years after its initial release.
    Sure it's a man's film but it doesn't try to be anything other than that. It does its job and in the process creates one of the best movie
    villains of all time. Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) is a terrific antagonist with everything from his demeanour to his delivery being spot on. He plays well off of Bonnie Bedelia who is great as the strong female presence of the film. Bruce Willis takes his place as one of the best action stars of this generation, taking the reigns from the likes of Stallone and Van Damme. It's a great movie. Expand
  15. Dec 25, 2012
    This movie is great. Bruce Willis plays an amazing character in this one. He's very witty and funny. There are so many ups to this movie. I don't want to spoil it so I will just say get the DVD and watch it pronto. I am now going to watch the rest of the films in the series and waiting for the newest installment which comes out next year.
  16. Jul 25, 2012
    Many critics have noted over the years that 'Die Hard' is one of the greatest action movies of all time. I would be partial to that sentiment to a certain degree. It isn't one of the best films ever made but it is top of its class in its respective genre, which is good enough for me. Bruce Willis is a terrific hero but It's Hans Gruber (played by Alan Rickman) who is the standout character of the flick. He's simply everything you ever look for in an evil villain - and the accent only helps. If you're looking for a fantastic popcorn feature to enjoy then look no further. Expand
  17. Feb 28, 2012
    In spirit, this is the simple story of a man who saves Christmas; a kind of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians scenario, in which the greedy German terrorists are defeated by the noble and just bullets of Bruce Willis' MP5 - delivering the meaning of sharing and caring right into their heads. Of course, trying to define Die Hard as nothing more than a hollow-day (!) movie would be doing it a great disservice. The characterisation of both McLane and Gruber (or Grinch - a coincidence? You decide) is done superbly by their respective actors. They draw you in with their personalities so well, that you find yourself cheering both of them on, just to see them continue to snap at each other. It's like a bizarro buddy-cop routine that took the 'good cop, bad cop' play a little too seriously. It's not incidental that the characters themselves often refer to cowboys and Westerns - this is a veritable wild-west duel, taken at a number of vertical paces rather than a standard back-to-back reflex test. That being said, however, some of the best moments are when McLane is just talking to himself, cracking wise while in the middle of a seemingly impossible situation. You don't have to convince anyone that you're a badass when you've just jumped off an exploding rooftop, Roy. You could try and make a case for the ending being cheesy and unnecessarily joyous, or that there are many implausible moments, but that would just be ill-spirited pedantry. This is action at its finest, and you better take what Mr. McTiernan gives you. There's no CGI or giant robots flying around - just good old-fashioned action, and it quickly becomes very obvious that films these days are just plain old doing it wrong. So sit back and plug in for two hours; you'll be yippie-kai-yaying in no time. Written for: Expand
  18. Aug 28, 2014
    The ultimate Bruce Willis action-flick straight out of the 1980s. Die Hard is no doubt a roller coaster of thrills, but it is all a bit familiar. Nevertheless, Alan Rickman's villainous portrayal will long be remembered.
  19. Jun 24, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It may look like a stupid action movie to judgmental snobs, but if you payed attention and/or read the book you would be see the depth of this movie, from John doing quick scan of all the empty floors as he's escaping from the terrorists at the beginning of the movie, to the genuine look of horror in Alan Rickman's eyes as he falls. Expand
  20. Aug 16, 2013
    La mejor película de acción de la historia. No hay mucho mas para decir, solamente que es una sinfonía de Bethoven la película. Que buen rato pasé mirándola por primera vez, así que decidí verla de nuevo y me puso los pelos de punta con los tiros. Un lujo.
  21. Jul 30, 2013
    Best movie of the hostage action shooter movie cool fast hitting scope and range u actually feel the chemistry between the characters and cast not like some recant bull
  22. May 25, 2014
    Die Hard has to be one of the greatest Christmas movies of all time the fact that its also a brilliant action film makes it absolutely amazing. Of course this is the best Die Hard in the franchise and after you watch the newest one it makes you love this movie even more but also sad to see how the franchise dwindled. Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman are phenomenal together they brought both of their characters to life with their amazing acting to a point where you want to root for both of them to win. Bruce Willis as John McClane was so enjoyable because of how real the character felt rather then a normal super hero main character that you dont care for they made him just a regular guy so that you connect more with him then you would with a emotionless main guy out for blood like many movies in this genre. Die Hard was Alan Rickman's first movie and what an impression he made with his slick acting as the main villain Hans Gruber a guy you start to love throughout because of how cold and calculating he is. He later went on to be in many high profile movies and is now one of my favorite actors.

    Overall i give it a solid 10 This is for sure the best Christmas action movie of all time i dont care what anyone says. I watched it when i was young and i plan to watch it when im old no doubt about that.
  23. Jan 1, 2014
    Die Hard is popcorn entertainment at its finest with strong performances all around (including an iconic portrayal of Hans Gruber by Alan Rickman), witty dialogue, and terrific action sequences.
  24. Jul 5, 2014
    One of the best action films of all time, Bruce Willis puts on a very charismatic performance. Alan Rickman also puts on a nice villainous performance
  25. Sep 28, 2014
    I love me an action classic. And Die Hard is the definition of that. One of the most relatable main characters ever, gunfights that will have you on the edge of your seat, and, for lack of better words, a f*cking awesome villain. And let's not forget John's good old catchphrase. Yippe-Ki-Yay mother f*cker!

  26. Nov 10, 2014
    Die Hard is popcorn entertainment at its finest with strong performances all around (including an iconic portrayal of Hans Gruber by Alan Rickman), witty dialogue, and terrific action sequences.
  27. Oct 25, 2014
    This movie launched a whole new perspective on the hard hitting action hero. It's not pulsing with muscle like Arnold or Stallone. It's not suave and tact like James Bond. It is sloppy, gritty, and wise-cracking. Bruce Willis opens out a stage all his own with his role as John McClane. A normal NYPD cop visiting his wife in LA runs into a problem when a some bloodthirsty thieves break into the Nakatomi building (Mrs. McClane's work building and headquarters of the entire company) Lead by German master mind Hans, they take over the building with dozens of hostages including John inside while they plan to steal the company's wealth. He's just one man. And he looks pretty ordinary, but he quickly proves to be a problem for the bad guys. Bloody shootouts, hard nosed fight scenes, and clever Willis commentary. Any person who likes action films has to respect what has been done here. Simple as that. Due to the excessive blood, gore, and swears, the score has to be a little low. I also felt some of the hand to hand and gun fights were a bit choppy and chaotic more so than they needed to be. The local chief of police also seemed pretty stupid. That was kind of the point, but I think they made him a little too stupid and ignorant. But don't get me wrong, this is one of the best action movies on record. John McClane is one of my all-time favorite action heroes. Takes the genre to new levels. Props. Expand
  28. Sep 28, 2014
    I may be young, but god, I LOVE the classics, especially this film. The action in the film had me on the edge of the sofa for the whole film, I just couldn't get my eyes away from the TV!
    A great, funny and action packed film that I would definitely recommend watching!

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. Slick, glossy, overblown, implausible. [15 July 1988, Daily Notebook, p.E1]
  3. Reviewed by: Staff (not credited)
    A triumph of slick direction and lowbrow thrills, marred but not spoiled by a sour aftertaste.