Die Hard and knock-offsby demented_peruvian | created - 28 Aug 2013 | updated - 28 Aug 2013 | Public
Action movies that follow this formula: "Ridiculously well-prepared terrorists take over [x] with great ease. All is lost. Except that, little do they suspect, one man is hiding inside, whom is highly talented and clever, and fights back." Do not confuse with movies where a hero is sent into the situation.
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1. Die Hard (1988)
R | 132 min | Action, Thriller
John McClane, officer of the NYPD, tries to save his wife Holly Gennaro and several others that were taken hostage by German terrorist Hans Gruber during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.
Votes: 669,511 | Gross: $83.01M
Duh! x=LA skyscraper, hero= NYPD officer in LA.
2. Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)
R | 128 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
John McClane and a Harlem store owner are targeted by German terrorist Simon Gruber in New York City, where he plans to rob the Federal Reserve Building.
Votes: 324,284 | Gross: $100.01M
My favorite, but not #1 as technically it breaks with the formula. x= all of New York City, hero= NYPD officer whom has done this before.
3. Speed (1994)
R | 116 min | Action, Adventure, Crime
A young police officer must prevent a bomb exploding aboard a city bus by keeping its speed above 50 mph.
Votes: 285,608 | Gross: $121.25M
x= mostly a bus, but also an elevator and a subway train. Hero = SWAT officer. Almost does not count as he is sort of thrown into the situations.
4. Cliffhanger (1993)
R | 112 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
A botched mid-air heist results in suitcases full of cash being searched for by various groups throughout the Rocky Mountains.
Votes: 105,154 | Gross: $84.05M
x= mountain. Hero = expert climber.
5. Passenger 57 (1992)
R | 84 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
An airline security expert must take action when he finds himself trapped on a passenger jet when terrorists seize control of it.
Votes: 40,005 | Gross: $44.07M
x= passenger jet. Hero = security expert.
6. Die Hard 2 (1990)
R | 124 min | Action, Thriller
John McClane attempts to avert disaster as rogue military operatives seize control of Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C.
Votes: 295,647 | Gross: $117.54M
x = DC airport. Hero = NYPD cop whom has done this before.
7. Under Siege (1992)
R | 103 min | Action, Thriller
An ex-Navy Seal turned cook is the only person who can stop a group of terrorists when they seize control of a U.S. battleship.
Votes: 66,927 | Gross: $83.36M
x= Navy battleship. Hero = a former SEAL.
8. Toy Soldiers (1991)
R | 111 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
When terrorists seize control of a boarding school, a group of troublemaking boys decide to resist them.
Votes: 17,415 | Gross: $15.07M
x= boarding school. Hero= clever rebellious teen.
9. Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
PG-13 | 128 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
John McClane and a young hacker join forces to take down master cyber-terrorist Thomas Gabriel in Washington D.C.
Votes: 357,708 | Gross: $134.53M
x= computer systems of DC and most of the Northeastern USA. Hero = an NYPD cop whom has done this many times before.
10. JCVD (2008)
R | 97 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
Jean-Claude Van Damme gets involved in a bank robbery with hostages situation and reflects about his life during it.
Votes: 35,202 | Gross: $0.47M
Meta-film, satirizing this sort of movie. x= bank. Hero = Van Damme himself.
11. Con Air (1997)
R | 115 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
Newly paroled ex-con and former U.S. Ranger Cameron Poe finds himself trapped in a prisoner transport plane when the passengers seize control.
Votes: 244,226 | Gross: $101.12M
x= plane full of dangerous convicts. Hero= former Army Ranger.
12. Air Force One (1997)
R | 124 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
Hijackers seize the plane carrying the President of the United States and his family, but he - an ex-soldier - works from hiding to defeat them.
Votes: 159,213 | Gross: $172.96M
x= see title. Hero = ass-kicking US president.
13. Sudden Death (1995)
R | 111 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
A former fireman takes on a group of terrorists holding the Vice President and others hostage during the seventh game of the NHL Stanley Cup finals.
Votes: 28,138 | Gross: $20.35M
x= hockey match. Hero= former firefighter.
14. Olympus Has Fallen (2013)
R | 119 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
Disgraced Secret Service agent (and former presidential guard) Mike Banning finds himself trapped inside the White House in the wake of a terrorist attack; using his inside knowledge, Banning works with national security to rescue the President from his kidnappers.
Votes: 223,902 | Gross: $98.93M
x = White House. Hero = former Secret Service agent.
15. Interceptor (1992)
R | 92 min | Action, Sci-Fi
A U.S. Air Force officer tries to stop a murderous group of terrorists who are trying to steal two top secret F-117A Stealth Fighters from the cargo hold of a gigantic C-5 Galaxy Transport flying at 30,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean.
x= a military plane carrying stealth fighters. Hero = an Air Force Officer.
16. Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)
PG-13 | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Crime
A computer hacker breaks into the computer system of the Seabourn Legend cruise liner and sets it speeding on a collision course into a gigantic oil tanker.
Votes: 65,435 | Gross: $48.61M
x = a cruise boat. Hero = another SWAT officer.
17. A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)
R | 98 min | Action, Thriller
John McClane travels to Russia to help out his seemingly wayward son, Jack, only to discover that Jack is a CIA operative working undercover, causing the father and son to team up against underworld forces.
Votes: 179,456 | Gross: $67.35M
x = Eastern parts of Russia and Ukraine. Hero = an NYPD officer who has done this too many times.
18. Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995)
R | 100 min | Action, Thriller
Casey Ryback hops on a Colorado to LA train to start a vacation with his niece. Early into the trip, terrorists board the train and use it as a mobile HQ to hijack a top secret destructive US satellite.
Votes: 39,023 | Gross: $50.02M
x= train. Hero= former Navy SEAL.
19. Turbulence (1997)
R | 100 min | Action, Thriller
After a shootout on a flight transporting prisoners, a stewardess must outwit a smooth-talking serial killer and land the plane herself.
Votes: 9,609 | Gross: $11.47M
x= airplane. Hero = stewardess. Only sort-of-counts.