8.2/10
737,368
852 user 284 critic

Die Hard (1988)

Trailer
1:28 | Trailer
An NYPD officer tries to save his wife and several others taken hostage by German terrorists during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.

Director:

John McTiernan

Writers:

Roderick Thorp (novel), Jeb Stuart (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
68 ( 163)
Top Rated Movies #124 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Die Hard 2 (1990)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

John McClane attempts to avert disaster as rogue military operatives seize control of Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C.

Director: Renny Harlin
Stars: Bruce Willis, William Atherton, Bonnie Bedelia
Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

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.

Director: John McTiernan
Stars: Bruce Willis, Jeremy Irons, Samuel L. Jackson
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

John McClane and a young hacker join forces to take down master cyber-terrorist Thomas Gabriel in Washington D.C.

Director: Len Wiseman
Stars: Bruce Willis, Justin Long, Timothy Olyphant
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

In 1938, after his father Professor Henry Jones, Sr. goes missing while pursuing the Holy Grail, Professor Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. finds himself up against Adolf Hitler's Nazis again to stop them from obtaining its powers.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Alison Doody
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

In 1936, archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before Adolf Hitler's Nazis can obtain its deadly powers.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In 1984, a human soldier is tasked to stop an indestructible cyborg killing machine, both sent from 2029, from executing a young woman, whose unborn son is the key to humanity's future salvation.

Director: James Cameron
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn
Jurassic Park (1993)
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A pragmatic Paleontologist visiting an almost complete theme park is tasked with protecting a couple of kids after a power failure causes the park's cloned dinosaurs to run loose.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum
Aliens (1986)
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Ellen Ripley is rescued by a deep salvage team after being in hypersleep for 57 years. The moon that the Nostromo visited has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, colonial marines have impressive firepower, but will that be enough?

Director: James Cameron
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn
Adventure | Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the eccentric scientist Doc Brown.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson
Alien (1979)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as a distress call, its landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious lifeform, and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her teenage son, John Connor, from a more advanced and powerful cyborg.

Director: James Cameron
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong
Braveheart (1995)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

When his secret bride is executed for assaulting an English soldier who tried to rape her, William Wallace begins a revolt against King Edward I of England.

Director: Mel Gibson
Stars: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Willis ... John McClane
Bonnie Bedelia ... Holly Gennaro McClane
Reginald VelJohnson ... Sgt. Al Powell
Paul Gleason ... Deputy Police Chief Dwayne T. Robinson
William Atherton ... Richard Thornburg
Hart Bochner ... Harry Ellis
James Shigeta ... Joseph Yoshinobu Takagi
Alan Rickman ... Hans Gruber
Alexander Godunov ... Karl
Bruno Doyon Bruno Doyon ... Franco
De'voreaux White De'voreaux White ... Argyle
Andreas Wisniewski ... Tony
Clarence Gilyard Jr. ... Theo
Joey Plewa Joey Plewa ... Alexander
Lorenzo Caccialanza ... Marco
Edit

Storyline

NYPD cop John McClane goes on a Christmas vacation to visit his wife Holly in Los Angeles where she works for the Nakatomi Corporation. While they are at the Nakatomi headquarters for a Christmas party, a group of robbers led by Hans Gruber take control of the building and hold everyone hostage, with the exception of John, while they plan to perform a lucrative heist. Unable to escape and with no immediate police response, John is forced to take matters into his own hands. Written by Sam

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

40 Storeys High - with Suspense, Excitement and Adventure on every level! See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | Italian | Japanese

Release Date:

20 July 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Hard See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$601,851, 17 July 1988

Gross USA:

$83,519,093

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$141,482,154
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints) (4 channels)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When McClane is speaking with Gruber, who is impersonating Bill Clay, there is an office directory behind Gruber. There are three names on it in order, "Degovia, De Souza, Debont" referring to the production designer, screenwriter and cinematographer. See more »

Goofs

When Karl's brother comes to apprehend John, we see a close-up of his weapon when he flicks the light switch. The charging handle is forward (the bolt is closed). In the next shot, however, it's back, and the bolt is open. We later see him slap the handle forward. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Businessman: You don't like flying, do you?
John McClane: What gives you that idea?
Businessman: You wanna know the secret to surviving air travel? After you get where you're going, take off your shoes and your socks then walk around on the rug bare foot and make fists with your toes.
John McClane: Fists with your toes?
Businessman: I know, I know, it sounds crazy. Trust me, I've been doing it for nine years. Yes sir, better than a shower and a hot cup of coffee.
John McClane: Okay.
[the businessman sees John's gun]
John McClane: It's okay, I'm a cop. Trust me, I've been ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the widescreen version, the 20th Century Fox logo is stretched. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Ultimate edition DVD contains the following deleted/extended scenes:
  • Extended power shutdown sequence.
  • Extended opening flight scene.
  • Brief dialogue in the first Hans/McClane confrontation.
  • Extended scene where Robinson/Powell brief the FBI on the tower situation.
  • Brief dialogue when Hans interrogates Takagi.
  • Brief dialogue after Theo says "You didn't bring me along for my charming personality".
  • Extended/alternate dialogue in McClane/Powell conversation after McClane uses the plastic explosives.
  • Brief scene of FBI agents getting stuck in thorn bushes as they make their way towards the building.
  • At the end, McClane says "You got a warranty for this (Holly's watch, a gift from Ellis)?" to which Holly laughs.
  • Argyle's dialogue as Powell's police cruiser flies by in the background.
  • Brief Ellis dialogue reacting to the terrorist intrusion.
  • City engineer briefly coughs before pulling out the power cord.
  • Brief dialogue in Hans/Karl argument about "neutralizing" McClane.
  • Additional Holly dialogue after seeing Karl's reaction to McClane's escape.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Winter Wonderland
Written by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith (as Dick Smith)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
The Perfect Modern Action Film
31 July 2001 | by MadReviewerSee all my reviews

"Die Hard" is the prototype type for the modern action film. Since it's also one of the best action films ever made, that happens to be a very good thing. "Die Hard" is lean, mean, and doesn't contain a single second of wasted screen time. The direction, the action, the story, the acting . . . every aspect of this film comes close to big-budget action movie perfection. Since "Die Hard" was first released in 1988, it's difficult to think of a blockbuster action film that doesn't follow the basic structure and format of "Die Hard" . . . or, for that matter, is better than "Die Hard".

"Die Hard" is about John McClane (Bruce Willis, in one of his all-time best film performances), a basically good, honest New York cop with a penchant for annoying authority figures. Traveling to Los Angeles in a last ditch attempt to patch things up with his estranged wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia), John McClane suddenly finds himself involved in a hostage situation. Terrorists, led by the enigmatic Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), have taken over the office building in which Holly is working, and with Gruber holding the upper hand over the LAPD and FBI forces in Los Angeles, it's up to John McClane to save the day . . . .

Kudos should be given to both director John McTiernan and screenwriters Jeb Stuart and Steven DeSouza -- the film is tight, electrifying, and clever, which is something few action films can ever claim. The story isn't completely believable, but it's believable enough, and it manages to move along at a quick enough pace to where the most glaring plotholes can easily be glossed over. There's also enough twists and wrinkles thrown into the story to keep the audience guessing as to what's going to happen next . . . and the surprises don't come out of left field, but are actually clever and well thought-out. (The fact that McClane often relies on his brains instead of his bullets to get out of his predicaments is also a big plus.) Simply put, "Die Hard" is one of the smartest and savviest action screenplays ever written. McTiernan holds up his end of the film admirably as well -- he uses the claustrophobic nature of the office building to great effect (particularly in any scene involving an elevator shaft), and he keeps the film rolling at a rollercoaster pace, building up the anticipation of the audience before unleashing the action. A lot of recent action films just fly along at a mindless, breakneck pace, without ever allowing the story to breathe or the suspense to build . . . unlike those films, "Die Hard" knows how to maximize the impact of each and every scene, and that's why it stands out so clearly from them all. With "Die Hard", John McTiernan puts on a perfect clinic as to how to pace an action movie.

As for the acting, it's darn near close to perfect. Bruce Willis is awesome as John McClane. As played by Willis, McClane's a smartass with a distinct disdain for being given orders . . . but McClane's also clever, and knows how to keep cool under pressure. There's more to McClane than the stereotypical tough guy hero. Fortunately, the role was given to Bruce Willis, who infuses McClane with the perfect mix of cocky arrogance and stone-cold heroism. The fact that Willis plays McClane as a man often in disbelief of his own situation, and who struggles in his fight against bad guys instead of just killing bad guys with ease, like most stereotypical action heroes -- well, not only does it make the character much more believable, it's darn brilliant. (The fact that Willis also knows how to deliver a deadpan one-liner better than anybody else in Hollywood makes the character all the better.) There's only a handful of movies where both character and actor are a completely perfect match; Bruce Willis as John McClane is one such perfect match.

Also worthy of mention is Alan Rickman's performance as the villain Hans Gruber. The Machiavellian Gruber would've been an easy villain to turn into little more than a scenery-chewing Bond villain . . . fortunately, Rickman doesn't travel the easy route. Gruber, as played by Rickman, is cold and calculating, and actually acts smart, instead of merely claiming to be smart and then being thoroughly outwitted by the hero. He always appears to have an ace hidden up his sleeve, and is so convincing at giving this impression, it's hard to tell throughout the film whether he or McClane truly have the upper hand. Other actors probably could've played Gruber fairly well, but Rickman makes Gruber one of the all-time great villains. As for the rest of the cast, they're all pretty good. Bonnie Bedelia does a nice job as John's soon-to-be-ex-wife Holly -- she plays her with enough smarts and feistiness to break the usual "damsel in distress" mold. It's also worth mentioning that Paul Gleason, who plays the obstinate police chief Robinson, pretty much sets up the modern action movie stereotype of the authority figure who refuses to heed the advice of the maverick hero. The character is stupid to a fault, and he's wonderful because of it.

"Die Hard" is a terrific example of what happens when all the pieces of a film fall together perfectly. There simply are no weak spots or dull moments in the film. Is "Die Hard" one of the best overall movies ever made? Probably not. But it's undeniably one of the best action movies ever made, and it just might well be the perfect modern action film. Grade: A


336 of 452 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 852 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed