8.2/10
642,523
742 user 237 critic

Die Hard (1988)

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.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
695 ( 104)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Top Rated Movies #121 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Die Hard 2 (1990)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 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 | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 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 | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A seemingly indestructible humanoid cyborg is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs.

Director: James Cameron
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn
Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    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 ten year old son, John Connor, from a more advanced cyborg.

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

During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

When Dr. Henry Jones, Sr. suddenly goes missing while pursuing the Holy Grail, eminent archaeologist. Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. must follow in his father's footsteps to stop the Nazis from getting their hands on the Holy Grail first.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Alison Doody
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman
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 30 years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A boy who communicates with spirits that don't know they're dead seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

After a daring mission to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt, the rebels dispatch to Endor to destroy a more powerful Death Star. Meanwhile, Luke struggles to help Vader back from the dark side without falling into the Emperor's trap.

Director: Richard Marquand
Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a Wookiee, and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle-station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader.

Director: George Lucas
Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Sgt. Al Powell (as Reginald Veljohnson)
...
...
...
...
...
...
Bruno Doyon ...
...
...
...
Joey Plewa ...
...
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 bank 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:

It's Christmas Eve In L.A. And The Party Action's About To Explode... On The Fortieth Floor! See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

20 July 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Duro de matar  »

Box Office

Budget:

$28,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$81,350,242 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints) (4 channels)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Alan Rickman nearly passed up the role of Hans Gruber, which ended up being his first film role. He had only arrived in Hollywood two days earlier and was appalled by the idea of his first role being the villain in an action film. To a degree, Rickman was right to be concerned considering his performance as Hans Gruber was so hailed that the actor had to struggle being typecast as a player of villains for much of his career. See more »

Goofs

Gruber speaks a Germanic-tinged English but, when caught by Willis, speaks flawless American English. Non-native users of any language tend to carry the intonation, phonological processes and pronunciation rules from their mother tongue into their English speech, which is what gives them an 'accent'. These are very difficult to get rid of but, once you have learned to overcome these and are able to speak English perfectly, you cannot 'unlearn' them. Once you have mastered the phonemes (like using 'th' as an alveolar fricative instead of using 'z' or 's' or pronouncing 'w' as 'wuh' instead of 'v')and little things like the native English speaker's offglide on the vowels 'i' and 'u', you wouldn't use the incorrect German pronunciation in normal English speech. If Gruber could speak perfect English then it was his German-tinged English accent that must have been deliberately put on, not his American English imposter's accent. 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 »


Soundtracks

Ode to Joy
(uncredited)
from "Symphony No.9 in D- 'Choral', Op.125"
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The ultimate thrill-ride – and still the standard by which I judge an action movie
27 July 2014 | by (wherever good films play) – See all my reviews

Seeing 'Die Hard' for the first time as a teenager was a one-of-a-kind experience. This level of raw, "edge-of-your-seat" action was unknown to me prior to this film; it made my head spin and the intensity of it was nearly unbearable. When it was over, I could only think of one word: Wow!

For a long time - at least in western cinema - the only "true" action movies (by that I mean films that were all about the action and you went to see them because of the action) were the 'James Bond' movies. They had the most unreal stunts and crazy, over the top action sequences that you could imagine at the time, and they were (and still are) great fun. However, they usually lacked three vital ingredients:

1. A sense of realism (meaning: the hero is only human and can get hurt)

2. Grit (messy, unpolished action, dirty people and LOTS of swearing)

3. R-rated violence (showing the audience what real weapons do to the human body)

Well, it took John McTiernan to bring those three key elements together in 'Die Hard' - and thus the modern action film was born (it had a good run through the late eighties until the end of the nineties – then the studios figured out they could maximise the box-office by taming down the swearing, violence and sex and thus, alas, the contemporary, toothless PG-13 action film was born). Sure, there have been a couple of others before McTiernan's masterpiece ('First Blood', 'Terminator', 'Predator' - which was also by McTiernan - or 'Lethal Weapon' and probably some more), but those films could have fallen into any number of other categories as well ('Adventure-/Survival-/War-', 'Sci- Fi', 'Horror-' or 'Buddy-movie') – and I can't think of another film that was just such a relentless, pure-action-from-the-beginning-to-the-end film as was 'Die Hard'. To me, it's the ultimate thrill ride. The formula has since been repeated so many times, but the original still sets the standard by which I judge an action film. Should be seen every Christmas. 10 stars out of 10.

Favorite Films: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054200841/

Lesser-known Masterpieces: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls070242495/

Favorite Low-Budget and B-movies: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054808375/

Favorite TV-Shows reviewed: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls075552387/


90 of 97 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page