Live Free or Die Hard


Live Free or Die Hard

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.



Total Count: 208


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,859,686
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Movie Info

On the Fourth of July weekend, an attack on the vulnerable United States infrastructure begins to shut down the entire nation. The mysterious figure behind the scheme has figured out every modern angle... but he never figured on McClane--the old-school "analog" fly in the "digital" ointment. It's the beginning of the holiday, but New York City Detective McClane isn't celebrating. He's had yet another argument with his college-age daughter Lucy, and received a crushingly routine assignment to bring in a young hacker, Matt Farrell, for questioning by the FBI. But for McClane, the ordinary has a habit of exploding into the extraordinary--abruptly hurtling him into the wrong place at the wrong time. With Farrell's help, McClane slowly begins to understand the increasing chaos surrounding him. An attack is underway on the vulnerable United States infrastructure, shutting down the entire nation. The mysterious figure behind the scheme, Thomas Gabriel, stays several moves ahead of McClane as he implements his incredible plans, known to uber-geeks like Farrell as a "fire sale" (as in, everything must go!)

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Critic Reviews for Live Free or Die Hard

All Critics (208) | Top Critics (50)

Audience Reviews for Live Free or Die Hard

  • Feb 15, 2015
    It's not common for a franchise to have not had a bad film after four entries. Even less common is when that franchise is an 80's action staple. But the Die Hard series has held on this far. Live Free or Die Hard may not be the best Die Hard film, or even the best Die Hard sequel, it may not even be the best over the top cop-led action film of 2007 (Because Hot Fuzz is) but there's one more thing it's not: It's not bad. Not bad at all.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 06, 2013
    I don't know who's saying that this film's title is lame, because I for one find it to be awesome... for a tagline or something. Hey, after "Die Hard 2: Die Harder", the standard fell harder than the deaths in this series, and at any rate, at least this film's official American title is more creative than the alternate title, "Die Hard 4.0". Well, that title is at least more fitting, because this film is all about computers and whatnot, so much so that they got the Mac guy to be Bruce Willis' sidekick, even though they sadly didn't take advantage of the opportunity to make John Hodgman the antagonist (I don't care how cool Timothy Olyphant is, I want "Mac vs. PC: The Movie"). Really, when this film showed up, it had been twelve years before we saw either hide or hai-... head of John McClane, so a lot of things have changed, and yet, even in this day and age, people still aren't so offended by everyone's favorite film series about terrorism in New York that the producers didn't fight to give this thing the R rating that the other installments had gotten. I like how Martin "Leon" Thomas of put it when he said that the only villain that McClane hasn't been able to defeat is the ratings board, though I would like to disagree to a certain extent, because the biggest villain that McClane has not yet bested is hair loss. Boy, Michael Chiklis sure did lose a lot of weight for "The Shield: The Movie", or rather, a "Fantastic Four" spin-off about Ben "Thing" Grimm, seeing as how this film is so over-the-top that it may as well be Bruce Willis' second superhero film. Okay, I think it's official that "Unbreakable" was, in fact, the real fourth "Die Hard" installment, made to explain what happened to Sam Jackson's character after "Die Hard 3", and how Bruce Willis' iconic character got superpowers, or at least that's my attempt at trying to make sense out of this (This is directed by the guy who started up the "Underworld" films, so maybe he's implementing his tastes in supernatural action films), because as much as I found this film to be fun, it's a little "hard"-head, as well as flawed in other ways. The film's somewhat less fluffy attitude to storytelling makes the final runtime of well over two hours feel a bit more reasonable than it has been in previous installments in the "Die Hard" saga, but if it's not excess filler that drags out this narrative, it's overcomplicated material that bloats plotting and, with it, length, often to a repetitious point, no matter how much the film shoves in moments in pacing gets too snappy for its own good. The action sequences are certainly noisier than ever, but there's a fair deal of freneticism throughout sometimes downright lame-brain storytelling to all but make up for all of the structural dragging with sudden, or rather, jarring jolts in pacing, which may not aggravate too much, but certainly add to unevenness in pacing, while playing a role in tonal unevenness. This film arguably takes itself more seriously than any of the "Die Hard" installment up to this point, yet that relative seriousness is still often broken by all of the aforementioned frantic comic relief, if not less directly humorous, more tongue-in-cheek moments that would be more effective if they weren't so inconsistent with tone or, for that matter, cheesy. Of course, it's not the film is rarely cheesy, because even without the fall-flat moments in humor, it's hard to not be a little annoyed by all of the over-the-top action, as well as a questionable narrative whose storytelling intrigue goes challenged by limitations in believability, made all the more glaring by bombastic direction, and even by familiarity. A very modern action blockbuster to be a revival of a classic action series, this film feels very different from its predecessor, although that is by no means to say that this film doesn't feel much too similar to many an effort of its type, being almost as formulaic as any "Die Hard" installment with all of the tropes and thin characterization. This may be new for a classic series, but outside of that, it's nothing new, and that familiarity makes it all the harder to disregard all of the inconsistencies in pacing and tone and cheesiness that make the final product not much more than just another action blockbuster, like its predecessors, only more modern. Of course, as surely as the predecessors were fun flicks fit for the '80s and '90s, this revival a plenty of fun as a modern action thriller, complete with an intriguing, if questionable story to break up with explosions and whatnot. Yeah, this very modern thriller narrative about cyber terrorism and buddy coppery is pretty familiar, as well as pretty hard to buy in plenty of places, yet it remains intriguing, with nifty ideas as a race-against-time and over-the-top action blockbuster. Make no mistakes, there are plenty of things about this overblown story to question, especially when storytelling starts to take itself too seriously, but if you're willing to run with this story concept, it's pretty fun to unravel, even on paper, and when it comes to directorial interpretation, the entertainment value continues. As surely as the basic story concept carries questionable attributes, Len Wiseman's direction carries questionable attributes, particularly when it comes to bombasticism which leads to some pacing inconsistencies, maybe even tonal inconsistencies, yet the fast pace that is responsible for it all consistently delivers on entertainment value, and often compliments tension, especially when the action kicks in. The broader action set pieces are particularly dumb and over-the-top, as you can imagine, but it is still outstandingly grand in staging, as well as pumped up by excellent special effects, and when it comes to the tighter combat that this series has always been particularly well-known for, you can expect sharp choreography and about as much intensity as there can be with a PG-13 rating (I reckon the "unrated" cut - which is indeed rated R, no matter how much they try to deny it - is the definitive version, especially for R-lovin' "Die Hard" fans). Needless to say, the action particularly flavors up the fun factor, yet the final product keeps consistent with entertainment value, backed by an intriguing premise, briskly well-paced and stylish direction, and - last, but not least - a colorful cast. Serious material, or at least attempts at serious material, provide some dramatic opportunities that most everyone in this talented cast handles pretty well, but at the end of the day, charisma reigns supreme, especially within the leads, with Justin Long being charming and sometimes effective as a genius and smart-aleck hacker whose problematic skills place him in dangers well over his head, while Bruce Willis, as sharp as always as John McClane, charms just as much, if not more, but not without bonding with Long's charisma in a way that nails a sense of chemistry and building comradery between the leads which drive the protagonistic roles, or at least endear thoroughly. Either way, Willis and Long do a lot to carry this film, yet don't work alone, because as much as this film takes itself too seriously to be so formulaic, uneven and cheesy, fun never fails in making the final product a relatively worthy comeback for a series whose underwhelmingness is still retained, even with all of the entertainment value. Bottom line, uneven pacing is bookended by draggy overcomplications to plotting and frantic elements that are mostly anchored by overtly fluffy elements which also inspire tonal unevenness, settled by consistency in cheesiness within the narrative, whose familiarity subtly, but surely, secures the final product as yet another underwhelming "Die Hard" installment and modern action thriller, complete with a still-reasonably intriguing, if questionable story concept that is driven enough by lively direction - highlighted by excellent action set pieces - and a colorful cast - headed by the charismatic duo of Bruce Willis and Justin Long - to make "Live Free or Die Hard" a fun action blockbuster, if you can get past the usual problems found within "Die Hard" and modern thriller flicks. 2.5/5 - Fair
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Dec 03, 2013
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Feb 25, 2013
    An uptick from the sequels. It isn't as good as the original but it is by far the best sequel. The older Willis is charming in heading through a very far fetched plot to deliver on some gratifying bangs.
    John B Super Reviewer

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