User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 196 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 2 out of 196

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  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.
  2. Apr 2, 2011
    9
    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. Apr 2, 2012
    10
    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.
  4. Jan 26, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers. 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. Collapse
  5. 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.
    Expand
  6. Nov 20, 2011
    9
    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
  7. Dec 8, 2013
    9
    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.
  8. Oct 27, 2010
    9
    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 .
  9. Mar 6, 2011
    10
    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.
  10. Feb 20, 2011
    10
    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.
  11. Apr 12, 2014
    9
    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.
  12. Apr 10, 2013
    10
    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.
  13. Dec 14, 2011
    9
    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
  14. Dec 25, 2012
    10
    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.
  15. Jun 24, 2012
    10
    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
  16. Aug 16, 2013
    10
    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.
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. Slick, glossy, overblown, implausible. [15 July 1988, Daily Notebook, p.E1]
  3. Reviewed by: Staff (not credited)
    60
    A triumph of slick direction and lowbrow thrills, marred but not spoiled by a sour aftertaste.