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Die Hard Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    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.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    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.

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  • 70

    out of 100


    As high tech, rock hard and souped up as an action film can be.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    The New York Times

    Has to be the most excessive film around. It piles every known element of the action genre onto the flimsy story. [15 July 1988]

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Dave Kehr

    Has everything but a personality. [15 July 1988, Friday, p.A]

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    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]

  • See all Die Hard reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 15 & under

Original Bruce Willis violent actioner.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Die Hard is packed with extreme acts of violence perpetrated by both the "bad" guys and the hero. The film includes a bloody execution, many onscreen killings, and the holding of many innocent hostages. There is some female nudity, but it does include a moderate amount of strong language.

  • Families can talk about stereotyping and vigilante justice. Are John's actions, blowing things up, killing, etc. warranted by the situation? Should he have taken alternate legal measures to deal with the situation?
  • The film uses a number of stereotypes in the development of its villains. What characteristics unite individuals such as Hans and Karl? Are such generalizations problematic? How do films today approach this subject?
  • All of the film's active characters, John, Al, Hans and his henchmen are men. Can you think of more recent action films that feature women as main characters?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Very clear distinction between "good" and "bad," though extreme violence is used by both.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: The German terrorists are clearly marked as the bad guys, but the film does not really interrogate the type of violence used by the film's hero. His role as savior for the innocent rationalizes his killings in the world of the film.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Multiple onscreen killings, graphic execution, some graphic gunfights.

  • sex false4

    Sex: Brief female nudity, randy partygoers, and a repeated image of girlie pictures hanging in the building.

  • language false4

    Language: Strong language throughout.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Twinkies.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false4

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Cocaine use.