All Die Hard Movies, Ranked from Worst to Best by Rotten Tomatoes
Which is your favourite?
With the holiday season just around the corner, thoughts turn to that fundamental question: is Die Hard a Christmas movie? And I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t matter. Forget about whether it fits the brief of being a Christmas film and just enjoy it for what it is.
Of course, the original spawned a franchise that lasted 25 years. So which is the best Die Hard movie according to Rotten Tomatoes? Here is the full franchise, ranked from worst to best:
5. A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 15%
The fifth and final film in the series is undoubtedly the weakest. The plot was pretty standard: John McClane travels to Moscow to help his son Jack escape custody. When an explosion goes off in the courthouse, the two escape, but are now wanted men.
It doesn't have the same twists and turns that audiences had become accustomed to. Also, the dialogue – in particular the one-liners – feels a bit hackneyed. As a standalone action movie it was passable. As part of an epic, high-octane series, it was found wanting.
4. Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 58%
Airing on: IFC, Friday December 8, 9:45 PM and Saturday December 9, 3:00 AM.
When a bomb goes off in a New York department store, a man named Simon claims responsibility. He also informs the authorities that he'll set off another explosion if John McClane doesn't comply with his demands.
It soon becomes clear that Simon is out for revenge against the cop. There's a lot of action and the plot keeps things interesting. Definitely worth a watch.
3. Die Hard 2 (1990)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%
Stream on: Disney +, Hulu, Prime, Google Play, Apple TV, Vudu, YouTube
Die Hard 2 is set in an airport on Christmas Eve. John McClane is waiting for his wife to arrive when terrorists seize control of the air traffic control system. Once again he must step in and save the day. If he doesn't, his wife will be just one of many passengers to die.
But the police and a military commander in charge of the case don't want McClane involved.
2. Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%
Stream on: Disney +, Hulu, Prime, Google Play, Apple TV, Vudu, YouTube, Max
This movie is just superb. It brought the franchise into the 21st century with a plot that centres on online hackers without losing the authenticity of the brand.
John McClane is sent to bring in a hacker from New Jersey and arrives just in time to save him from an assassination attempt. As the hacker opens up to McClane the true nature of the threat currently facing the US is revealed.
1. Die Hard (1988)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%
Stream on: Disney +, Hulu, Prime, Google Play, Apple TV, Vudu
The original and the best. Die Hard is the high-octane thriller that made Bruce Willis an action hero. Before this movie, he was best known for playing David Addison in the comedy show Moonlighting.
If anyone had any doubts about whether he could carry an explosive flick, they were dispelled the minute Die Hard was released.
John McClane arrives in LA for his estranged wife's Christmas party at the Nakatomi Towers. While he's changing, the place is taken over by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) and his henchmen. They plan to steal $640 million in untraceable bearer bonds from the building's vault.
What they don't know is that they forgot to round up McClane with all the other guests. Can he take down the villains and keep his wife safe?