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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 20%
Average: 1.82%
Pretty Bad: 0.91%
Total Crap: 1.82%

4 reviews, 86 user ratings

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Die Hard
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Justin Helmer

"It's like Die Hard in a...oh wait."
4 stars

Okay so there’s this guy, not really a superhero…as a matter of fact most of the people who meet him think he’s kind of a pain in the tail. He’s on a trip to visit estranged family, it being Christmas time and all. And then all hell breaks loose.

Released in 1988 shortly after the end of his hit series Moonlighting, Die Hard represented quite a risk for all involved. Bruce was untested in the realm of action movies at the time, as it turned out the central character was enough of a match to not only make him but a whole genre popular for years to come.

When the bad guys grab control, John McClaine is the only one who escapes their grasp. He then proceeds to lead the terrorists in a cat and mouse game through the empty floors of an office building. He becomes that most American of film icons, the ‘one person’ standing between order and chaos.

It struck me seeing it again how well the visuals hold up over time, the film doesn’t look like 1988. The only thing I noticed that dated the picture at all was the packaging of some of the well known products that make cameo appearances. I found this pretty impressive; John McTiernan really does shoot some nice looking movies.

The pacing grabs you by the lapels and pushes you along past every pesky plot hole that might interfere with your enjoyment. The cast is well placed, and it boasts not one but two of the great character actors from the 80’s. William Atherton (Ghostbusters) and Paul Gleason (The Breakfast Club) both turn in solid performances in a-hole roles that they wear like comfortable clothing.

In addition, Alan Rickman shines as the head baddie Hans Gruber. A lesser actor might have disappeared behind all of the explosions. This proves invaluable as it gives Bruce Willis a worthy foil to bounce his trademark smart-ass character against.

It really is pretty silly, but I’m amazed at how close it cuts to being out and out laughable. If the mix had been off just a little, it would have been a wholly forgettable film. As it is, it stands up quite well all these years later.

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originally posted: 01/08/03 03:01:14
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Trilogy Starters: For more in the Trilogy Starters series, click here.

User Comments

7/16/18 morris campbell classic action flick with a great villian 4 stars
12/24/13 Michelle O 'Yippie Kai Yay" all the way!!! 5 stars
12/21/11 jcar a very good action movie with a great lead in bruce, yippy!! 4 stars
12/21/11 jcar a awesome action movie with great lead in bruce, good movie fun! 4 stars
9/03/10 S. West One of my favourite films EVER, and so funny! Yippee-ki-yay! 5 stars
1/01/10 Dane Youssef Perhaps the first of it's kind. Willis was made for the role. Worth seeing again and again. 5 stars
12/20/09 IndyX If you hate this movie, you hate life. Please kill yourself Now. 5 stars
12/07/09 JPA Classic, brilliant film that never loses its appeal 5 stars
8/20/09 Jeff Wilder The greatest action movie ever? You bet! Action, humor and a heartbeat. Works perfectly. 5 stars
4/13/09 Dane Youssef One of the hallmarks of the whole action genre. The definitive movie of Willis' career. 5 stars
12/04/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome Story! 5 stars
9/22/08 don fun 4 stars
2/08/08 Anthony Feor It's awesome! 5 stars
12/18/07 MP Bartley The greatest action film to ever come out of America. 5 stars
12/06/07 Pamela White Great action and great effects firm plot and bruce is macho 5 stars
10/01/07 J GREAT! Tons of action, omg 5 stars
6/28/07 --- The coolest action movie ever made 5 stars
6/15/07 Vincent Ebriega This is what action flicks are, and should be. 5/5. 5 stars
6/04/07 Quigley Bruce Willis is awesome. This movie totally rocks. An action masterpiece 5 stars
4/18/07 Stevo UK Plot: willis plays american who shoots germans. germans die. willis wins. 5 stars
3/09/07 johnnyfog Cool villain, I actually hoped he would win. Really good movie! 5 stars
2/27/07 key Prick flick rubbish. 1 stars
2/14/07 johnnyfog Rickman's german accent sucks. Otherwise, no complaints 5 stars
12/25/06 William Goss Possibly the pinnacle of the genre. Relentlessly entertaining. 5 stars
12/16/06 David Pollastrini great fx 3 stars
10/20/06 MP Bartley I literally don't know what to add...aprt from the full five fat stars 5 stars
9/22/06 Booksworm This movie FUCKING ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
5/11/06 rabdalas Mercy, this is a nail-biter. Non-stop adrenaline ride. 5 stars
2/24/06 ES Best action movie ever- McClane is one cool mo-fo 5 stars
11/22/05 Stefan Halka It's been said before and I will say it again: one of the best action movies. Period. 5 stars
10/26/05 cooler Fuck This is the best action movie ever.FUCK YEAH WILLIS KICKS ASS 5 stars
9/02/05 Eden Probably the best action film ever made 5 stars
8/07/05 Movielover Screw Roger Ebert, this movie is awesome!!! 5 stars
8/03/05 Brandy Harrington iT'S FUN ASS SHIITE! 5 stars
7/26/05 Jake The Citizen Kane of Action movies 5 stars
5/28/05 tony great movie! Action movie lovers watch out because this is the best cop movie in its time 5 stars
5/15/05 Indrid Cold OK on the action, but the characters are fantastic, unforgettable. 4 stars
4/01/05 Richard Box Forget The Matrix . This is the best action movie ever ! 5 stars
2/28/05 Jeff Anderson A great action film & Willis' TERRIFIC! Gleason & Atherton's characters are really STUPID!! 4 stars
1/10/05 keithers.. A hero with realism...and great action 5 stars
10/31/04 G-man great plot, and action.....excellent 5 stars
10/15/04 dave yi pee ki yay mother fucker 5 stars
8/17/04 Herolder Action classic from the 80ies 4 stars
7/25/04 Ron Newbold This is a fun action packed film 4 stars
7/24/04 Jack Reynolds Die Hard is simply my favourite film, although it is serious , it's also very funny! 5 stars
7/24/04 Sandy Turynowicz Have to see 5 stars
7/21/04 arctic Best one of trilogy with great execution 5 stars
7/20/04 godan Great plot, great story, great action! What more can ya ask for? 5 stars
7/19/04 twilliams606 One of the best action movies I have seen. 4 stars
7/18/04 Richard totally awesome - years best 5 stars
7/18/04 Onyeabo Monago Great stuff. So many action movies have bit off of it over the years - with good reason. 4 stars
7/17/04 legend One of the best action films ever. 5 stars
7/17/04 Raymond Lee wow! Love this movie 5 stars
7/15/04 Daveman Gotta love it. You get the feeling everyone had fun making this. 5 stars
5/11/04 J.Peckerfoot The benchmark for all action movies since.Even my mum likes it. 5 stars
4/07/04 Sig An Instant Classic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
12/05/03 Ray I dont feel like writing anything 5 stars
11/27/03 John still the one to beat as far as great action movies go 5 stars
5/11/03 123 great funny action film! 5 stars
2/03/03 Turtle This is the best pure action flick you're ever gonna find. Anywhere. 5 stars
1/13/03 Timothy Dineen BEST CHRISTMAS ACTION FLICK EVER! 5 stars
1/01/03 Britishlover Wow, do I love Alan Rickman! Why oh why couldn't Gruber have won? 4 stars
9/01/02 Charles Tatum Better than part 2 5 stars
8/01/02 Kyle Well then fuck you, Andrew. Who WAS right for the role? 5 stars
7/25/02 CVJ Bloody brilliant one of the best action movies 5 stars
6/04/02 Film Dude Dayum. 5 stars
1/25/02 murat great action you will not sit at your seat! 5 stars
11/24/01 Shams Huque An action pioneering film. Alan Rickman is superb. 5 stars
11/01/01 Andrew Carden Pretty Good Actiomn Movie With Great Visuals, but Bruce Isn't Right For This Role. 4 stars
9/15/01 Monster W. Kung Pure entertainment, but a really good film at that. 4 stars
8/09/01 E-Funk The best shoot-em-up action vehicle. Others try...none achieve. 5 stars
8/07/01 Joe Zappa One of the best action movies. Halliwell can kiss my black ass even though I'm white! 5 stars
7/28/01 Henry Ginsberg Best action movie ever made . 5 stars
6/28/01 Geebo Extremely entertaining. Great performance by both Rickman and Willis. 5 stars
6/06/01 Race Bannon One of the standard-setters of modern action movies 5 stars
5/31/01 Ben Donnelly Magnificent actions scenes, definetely an awesome movie 5 stars
4/12/01 fifu the greatest old style action movie ever. 4 stars
1/07/01 R.W. Welch Unusually good flat-out action flick that manages to retain a degree of believability. 4 stars
12/29/00 EvilDead-Ash THE GREATIST MOVIE EVER WITH 2 and 3 and The Matrix 5 stars
11/14/00 The EVIL Penguin Not the best, but still good 3 stars
10/22/00 YOUR Movie Expert The Unbeatable Original.....Intense and Very Funny. 5 stars
9/22/00 White Rabbit The most influential action movie of all time, but NOT the best 4 stars
8/17/00 Elvisfan Willis was great? Adjust your medication or see a real movie for a fucking change 1 stars
6/24/00 Naushad Khanji a one of a kind action movie that takes your breath away. 5 stars
12/01/99 Trip Changed the face of action movies. A true classic.. 5 stars
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  15-Jul-1988 (R)
  DVD: 07-Sep-2004



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