Metascore
70

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

User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 250 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. 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]

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 44
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 44
  3. Negative: 1 out of 44
  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, 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. 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. Expand
  3. 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. Expand
  4. 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
  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. Jul 5, 2014
    8
    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
  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 puberty, I find to to be trash. Expand

See all 44 User Reviews

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