Live Free or Die Hard
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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Live Free or Die Hard can be found here.

When the FBI's computer system is breached over the Fourth of July holiday, NYPD detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) is asked to pick up and transport computer hacker Matt Farrell (Justin Long) to FBI headquarters in Washington D.C. for questioning. It doesn't take long for Farrell to recognize the breach as a terrorist-initiated "firesale" in which all of the nation's computer-controlled systems—transportation, telecommunication, financial structure, and power utilities—are systematically shut down, totally crippling America's economy. While FBI Deputy Director Miguel Bowman (Cliff Curtis) tries to handle the breach from FBI headquarters, McClane and Farrell attempt to stop the terrorists, reverse the shutdowns, and rescue McClane's daughter Lucy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who has been taken hostage.

The film was based on a magazine article about a cyber-warfare "firesale" by British journalist and author John Carlin. Titled "A Farewell to Arms", the article was published in the May 1997 edition of Wired magazine. It was originally made into a screenplay by American screenwriter David Marconi for an earlier movie to be called When that project stalled, however, the script was reworked for Live Free or Die Hard by American screenwriter Mark Bomback. The character of John McClane was introduced in the novel Nothing Lasts Forever (1979), by American writer Roderick Thorp. Live Free or Die Hard is the fourth movie in the Die Hard series, preceded by Die Hard (1988), Die Hard 2 (1990) and Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995) and followed by A Good Day to Die Hard (2013).

No exact time span is given in the movie. However, it was mentioned in this film that John McClane had been a cop for 30 years. He said he had been doing that for 11 years in Die Hard. This movie would have been exactly 19 years later, so it is happening 12 years after Die Hard with a Vengeance.

"Firesale", as the term is used in this movie, refers to a a three-stage attack on a country's Internet infrastructure, either as a form of jihad or as a preliminary step prior to actual physical attack. One-by-one, each of a nation's various computer systems are selectively shut down. First to go is the transportation system, shutting down traffic signals, aircraft, and trains, resulting in general public chaos. Second to go are systems involving telecommunications (phones, satellites, etc.), financial information, law enforcement, and government agencies. The third step is to shut down all utilities (electricity, gas, water, nuclear and solar energy plants, etc.). The term "firesale" is used because of its previous reference to the sale of goods at extremely discounted prices, usually due to a fire, and to the commercial catchphrase: "Everything must go!"

Yes. The article can be read on Wired Magazine's archives here.

The mastermind of the firesale operation is Thomas Gabriel (Timothy Olyphant), an ex-employee of the Department of Defense (DOD) who was "crucified" by the department after he pointed out the vulnerability of the U.S. to cyber-attack. He is aided by his girlfriend Mai Linh (Maggie Q) and several other "bad guys", but their aim is never made clear. Some viewers claim they planned to download all of the nation's financial data from stock markets, corporations and government agencies in order to effectively control the nation's wealth. Others claim that they are after the money in the Social Security programs.

There's two possible reasons. On the DVD commentary, Wiseman reveals that, in scenes that show McClane conversing two-way with Gabriel, no dialogue was written. Willis was instructed to speak gibberish so that he looks like he's talking to Gabriel, and the dialogue was filled in later. Another possibility is that the film was originally rated R, and they just toned it down by changing the lines so the film could be viewed by a wider audience.

It's mentioned by Gabriel, as he is searching online for McClane's personal information, that John and Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) are divorced. An up-to-date photograph of the actress is briefly shown.

Gabriel forces Matt to reverse the encryption codes by threatening to shoot Lucy in the head at the count of 10. Meanwhile, Gabriel's few remaining henchmen begin to load up the plane for their escape. Suddenly, McClane enters the hangar and is immediately shot in the right shoulder. As McClane lies on the floor, Gabriel walks toward him. Lucy fights with the thug holding her, shoots him in the foot, and tries to kick a gun to her father, but Gabriel catches it with his foot. He hoists McClane to his feet, telling him to hold on until Matt has finished, after which he is going to kill Lucy and Matt before his eyes. He then digs his gun into McClane's already wounded shoulder. "On your tombstone," Gabriel says, "it should read, 'Always in the wrong place at the wrong time'." "How about 'Yippee ki-yay, motherfucker'?", McClane replies and pulls Gabriel's trigger, shooting himself through his own shoulder again and killing Gabriel. Matt then shoots the guy holding Lucy. The FBI finally arrive. In the final scene, before the ambulances leave, McClane thanks Matt for saving his daughter but warns him not to have eyes for her. As McClaine's ambulance prepares to leave, Lucy asks whether Matt said anything about her. McClane replies, "I'm in enough pain already," and the ambulance carries him off to the the hospital.

Live Free or Die Hard is a reference to New Hampshire's state motto "Live Free or Die". Since people outside the USA are unlikely to know anything about that motto or about New Hampshire, Die Hard 4.0 has been used for the international title. Die Hard 4.0 was actually the working and planned title for this movie until it was changed during post-production.

According to, the trailer music is as follows (note that some of the music comes from licensed trailer music producers only and may not be commercially available): "Goth (Remix)" - 615 Music / Craig Sharmat, "Cycler" - RipTide Music, "War Zone" - audiomachine, "Rankle" - X-Ray Dog, "Adrenaline Surge" - Future World Music, "Suicide Mission" - Wild Whirled, "Ode to Joy" - Sorman Nystrom, "Full Throttle Part #2" - Static, "Hits, Swooshes and Rises" - Distortion Music.

"Fortunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival. It is also played in an earlier scene (where McClane and Farrell are driving). McClane even mentions the name of the band.

The previous "Die Hard" films were rated "R" while this one was edited down to a "PG-13" rating which came as a surprise and shock to most people. Fox especially have had a record of re-releasing titles as unrated or "R"-rated cut DVD editions such as Alien vs. Predator, Daredevil and Mr & Mrs Smith. Also, Justin Long has said in interviews that alternate takes were filmed in some scenes that would be held back for future use in a possible "R"-rated or unrated version of the film. Further evidence for the possibility of an unrated Die Hard 4 DVD was the numerous moments when character's mouths moved but they didn't say anything, or they said something that doesn't match their mouth movements. An unrated DVD became available on November 20th, 2007, either by itself or with a second disc of bonus features. The Blu-ray releases of Live Free or Die Hard and the "Die Hard Collection" do not include the unrated version, as these discs were authored before work on the unrated cut was finalised.

The unrated cut features more explicit violence and much more foul language that was cut to make the film PG-13. A detailed comparison between both versions can be found here.


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