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Live Free or Die Hard Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… really only about things getting blown up and destroyed. Read full 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.

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Diverting enough if you want to see plenty of fast-paced action sequences, some heart-stopping chase scenes and plenty of things blow up.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    An enjoyable pop projection of post-9/11 anxiety.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune

    Early in LFODH, a villain taunts our hero, calling him "a Timex in a digital world"; McClane, characteristically, takes the dig as a compliment. Two hours, countless butt-kickings and hairbreadth escapes later, we know why.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    This fourth iteration of a series that first burst upon the world in 1988 turns out to be terrific entertainment, and startlingly shrewd in the bargain, a combination of minimalist performances -- interestingly minimalist -- and maximalist stunts that make you laugh, as you gape, at their thunderous extravagance.

    Read Full Review

  • 90

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    It's simply old-school stunts and movie magic.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Live Free or Die Hard reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 13 & under

First non-R Die Hard still a big blowout.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although this fourth Die Hard movie is the first in the franchise not to get an R rating (which may be more about the culture than the movie itself), it's still full of frequent, noisy, painful-looking violence that yields plenty of injuries and dead bodies. Expect bloody shootings, falls, body smashes, strangulations, punches, slaps, kicks, spectacular car crashes and flips, huge explosions, and ferocious hand-to-hand fights. A boy puts his hand on Lucy's bra during a make-out session; there are also brief cleavage shots and an extended kiss. Language includes an unfinished exclamation of "Yippee-ki-yay, motherf---er," as well as multiple uses of "s--t," "hell," and "ass."

  • Families can talk about why we love action movies. What is it about filmgoers that we like to see things blow up?
  • Talk with your kids about the difference between real life and fantasy -- even teens (especially if they're driving). Point out that consequences exist -- even if it makes you feel humorless.

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Messages about patriotic duty and helping the vulnerable run throughout, along with the idea that government (and police) and inept and slow moving and that vigilantism is the most effective way to solve major problems.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: NYC detective John McClane operates outside the law to get his job done: He blows things up, breaks into buildings, steals cars, and doesn't read villains their rights -- but theoretically it's all for a good cause, to save the world from "virtual terrorism."

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Lots: Explosions, falls out windows, fireballs, car crashes and flips, shoot-outs, throttling, kicks, punches, slaps, helicopter door-gunning, Harrier jet missile-firing, non-lethal shots into legs and feet, twisting of gun into a wound. Fights include a thug grabbing John through his car window, then being dragged along and smashed into a dumpster. There's a video image of the exploding U.S. capitol (revealed to be fake); a car flies through the air into a helicopter (big explosion, from which one thug escapes by falling hard to the ground); slamming fight between John and Mai (includes tosses into walls, a car crashing down an elevator shaft, a body falling down the shaft, the car exploding in the shaft); villain shoots his own hackers; battle between John in semi and Harrier jet leaves tuck demolished and elevated highway collapsing -- repeatedly; bloody bodies in close-ups.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Reference to Mai's "sexy voice" Lucy makes out with boy (she pushes away his hand on her bra); Mai shows cleavage a couple of times; Mai and Gabriel kiss deeply; Matt slows Gabriel's computer downloads by setting loose a pop-up attack ("Sexy Singles," "Cheap Viagra," etc.).

  • language false4

    Language: Plenty of colorful "action" language, including one almost-use of John McClane's signature phrase ("Yippee-ki-yay, motherf...," covered over by a sound effect); repeated uses of "jerk-off," "dick," "screw up," "damn," "s--t," "ass," "a--hole," "bitch," "hell," and "son of a bitch."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Mention of Arby's.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Injured Matt says he's been dosed with morphine, so his pain has subsided.