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70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 280 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: When terrorists take over a Los Angeles skyscraper on Christmas Eve, visting New York cop John McClane (Willis) thwarts their plans.
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. Reviewed by: Hal Hinson
    70
    A logistical wonder, a marvel of engineering, and relentlessly, mercilessly thrilling.
  5. 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]
  6. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    70
    As high tech, rock hard and souped up as an action film can be.
  7. 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.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 47
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 47
  3. Negative: 2 out of 47
  1. 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,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
  2. 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
  3. May 25, 2014
    10
    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 absolutelyDie 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.
    Expand
  4. 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 greatestIt 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. Expand
  5. MarcusL.
    Jan 5, 2009
    9
    The best of the four Die Hards. Bruce Willis as John McClain was great. /the action and humor made this movie great and the best Die Hard.
  6. Nov 10, 2014
    8
    Die Hard is popcorn entertainment at its finest with strong performances all around (including an iconic portrayal of Hans Gruber by AlanDie 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. Expand
  7. JamesM.
    Dec 20, 2005
    0
    Absolute garbage. Andrew M., yes, I did enjoy it, when I first saw it when I was 8. Quite a few years down the track, now that I am past Absolute garbage. Andrew M., yes, I did enjoy it, when I first saw it when I was 8. Quite a few years down the track, now that I am past puberty, I find to to be trash. Expand

See all 47 User Reviews

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