(Photo by 20th Century Fox/courtesy Everett Collection)

All Die Hard Movies, Ranked By Tomatometer

Just how influential was 1988’s Die Hard? For a good solid decade afterwards, action movies were pitched and sold as “Die Hard on a something,” like Die Hard on a bus, or in a football stadium, or in a dirigible. The movie seemed to re-invent and immediately perfect the action formula, with detective John McClane as the guy who’s simultaneously in way over his head and always one step ahead of the bad guy, brought to life by Bruce Willis with a steely glint in the eye, and cynical everyman wit and humor. (Die Hard also turned “Nakatomi Plaza” into a Los Angeles tourist attraction, in reality 20th Century Fox’s headquarters situated right next to their studio lot, so you can imagine the cost-savings for the company when it got taken over by terrorist scum. Thanks, Hans.)

The sequels have had their ups and downs, sending John to the nation’s capital (Die Hard 2), Russia (A Good Day to Die Hard), and twice to his old stomping grounds in New York (Die Hard With a Vengeance, Live Free or Die Hard). And now we’ve taken the entire franchise to rank all Die Hard movies. Yippee-ki-yay, Tomatometers!

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 22.949%
Critics Consensus: A Good Day to Die Hard is the weakest entry in a storied franchise, and not even Bruce Willis' smirking demeanor can enliven a cliched, uninspired script.
Synopsis: John McClane (Bruce Willis) heads to Russia in this fifth installment of the Die Hard film series. Skip Woods (The... [More]
Directed By: John Moore (VIII)

#4
Adjusted Score: 63.578%
Critics Consensus: Die Hard with a Vengeance benefits from Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson's barbed interplay, but clatters to a bombastic finish in a vain effort to cover for an overall lack of fresh ideas.
Synopsis: Bruce Willis returns as misfit cop John McClane in the third film in the Die Hard series. McClane has fallen... [More]
Directed By: John McTiernan

#3

Die Hard 2 (1990)
69%

#3
Adjusted Score: 73.333%
Critics Consensus: It lacks the fresh thrills of its predecessor, but Die Hard 2 still works as an over-the-top -- and reasonably taut -- big-budget sequel, with plenty of set pieces to paper over the plot deficiencies.
Synopsis: "Another basement, another elevator...how can the same thing happen to the same guy twice?" asks John McClane (Bruce Willis), in... [More]
Directed By: Renny Harlin

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 89.027%
Critics Consensus: Live Free or Die Hard may be preposterous, but it's an efficient, action-packed summer popcorn flick with thrilling stunts and a commanding performance by Bruce Willis. Fans of the previous Die Hard films will not be disappointed.
Synopsis: On the Fourth of July weekend, an attack on the vulnerable United States infrastructure begins to shut down the entire... [More]
Directed By: Len Wiseman

#1

Die Hard (1988)
94%

#1
Adjusted Score: 99.707%
Critics Consensus: Its many imitators (and sequels) have never come close to matching the taut thrills of the definitive holiday action classic.
Synopsis: It's Christmas time in L.A., and there's an employee party in progress on the 30th floor of the Nakatomi Corporation... [More]
Directed By: John McTiernan

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