As any action fanatic will tell you, Die Hard is among the best films of its type ever made. Tautly directed by John McTiernan, deceptively well shot by cinematographer Jan de Bont, and full of charismatic turns from Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman and Bonnie Bedelia, it’s seldom been bettered, even by its sequels.
The key to the first film's success, and the sequels in their best moments, is hero John McClane. Tough, sarcastic but ultimately human and relatable, he cuts a very different figure from the beefed-up, larger-than-life heroes of 1980s and 90s action cinema. When John McClane gets shot or injured, he actually feels pain. It's something we were keenly aware of in the 1988 original, but gradually ebbed away as the Die Hard franchise drifted from thriller territory