Is there any more incredible action hero than John McClane? Bruce Willis’ iconic character has definitely withstood the test of time — or at least the test of the decades. It’s been 34 years since the first Die Hard film hit theatres, pulling in roughly $140 million U.S. against an estimated budget of $28 million. For perspective, that’s about $320 million and $64 million, respectively, when adjusted for inflation. Since then, the franchise has earned a collective $1.4 billion at the worldwide box office, not to mention all of that extra revenue from merchandise, DVD sales and other ventures that helped the brand stay strong.
It’s hard to pinpoint the exact reason for the films’ ongoing success. Maybe it’s a combination of violent action and old-school stunt work? Perhaps it’s the action-comedy combo that really resonates with people. It’s probably it’s a combination of both. And, of course, we can’t forget the man at the center of it all, Bruce Willis. He is the face of the franchise, after all. With the recent announcement of his retirement, we would be remiss not to wax poetic just a little about the man who brought Die Hard to life.
Whether you’ve never actually seen the movies or you want to watch them again in all their bloody glory (except you, Live Free or Die Hard, but more on you below), we’ve rounded up where you can watch Die Hard and all its sequels, online, right now.
Where to Watch Die Hard
Since 20th Century Fox previously owned Die Hard, all five movies are now available to stream on Disney Plus. A basic Disney Plus subscription is $7.99 per month, or you can subscribe to Hulu and ESPN+ as a bundle for $12.99 per month with ads. Not a fan of ads? Upgrade your subscription to $19.99 per month instead.
How Many Die Hard Movies Are There?
Altogether there are five Die Hard movies. Fans have long hoped a sixth movie would make its way to the studios, and although it came close, it never happened. In 2021 producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura confirmed to Polygon that McClane would have been based on another script that eventually turned into a Die Hard franchise pick. That script would have allowed McClane to come into contact with his younger self, opening the door for Willis and another actor to star. However, Disney and 20th Century Fox (which owned Die Hard rights) merged and later axed the project.
Who Stars in Die Hard?
Willis has always been the face of the franchise. However, the actor has officially left acting due to the recent news that he has been diagnosed with aphasia — a language disorder caused by brain damage that affects someone’s communication ability. That means, even if another Die Hard movie does eventually make its way onscreen (and given the string of reboots and remakes lately, we have every reason to believe it will be one day), Willis won’t star.
Meanwhile, the franchise has also featured plenty of other notable actors over the years. Jeremy Irons, Alan Rickman, Maggie Q and Alexander Gudonov have all played memorable villains. In contrast, Bonnie Bedelia played McClane’s wife in the first two films, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Jai Courtney play McClane’s respective kids, Lucy and Jack.
Is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?
One of the oldest debates surrounding Die Hard is whether or not it is a Christmas movie. Personally, we feel there is a strong case for the original as a holiday flick, however, and it has nothing to do with giving you those Hallmark warm and fuzzies. Why is Die Hard a Christmas movie to us? For one, Die Hard takes place during a holiday office party. Additionally, there is Christmas music on the soundtrack, Santa hats featured throughout, and — spoiler — it snows at the very end.
In our books, that counts.
Die Hard, The Original (1988)
The original, John McTiernan-directed film that started it all introduces us to a tank-top wearing John McClane, an NYPD officer. He fights to save his wife and other hostages after a German terrorist named Hans Gruber (Rickman) ruins a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.
Die Hard 2 (1990)
Renny Harlin stepped behind the camera to helm the action on the first big-budget sequel. The film takes us to Washington, D.C., where McClane attempts to save Dulles International Airport from rogue military operatives led by a dude named Colonel Stuart (William Sadler).
Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)
Samuel L. Jackson joined Willis in the action for this second John McTiernan-directed take, which heads to New York. There, a German terrorist named Simon (Irons) plans to rob the Federal Reserve Building. Naturally, McClane Yippee-ki-yays his plans.
Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
Director Len Wiseman has earned a decent critical response for his oversight on the fourth sequel, although purists weren’t a fan of the PG-13 rating, which meant most of the franchise’s signature blood and gore was utterly toned down. In the film, McClane returns to Washington, D.C. and teams up with a hacker (Justin Long) to take down a master cyber-terrorist (Timothy Olyphant). Maggie Q, Kevin Smith and Zeljko Ivanke also star.
A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)
The fifth and final installment in the franchise also has the least critical acclaim, earning just 15% over at Rotten Tomatoes. Director John Moore brought the action to Moscow, where McClane tracked down his estranged son Jack (Courtney). When McClane learns his son is actually working undercover and is not the degenerate he previously believed him to be, they team up to take down some bad guys.
Where to Purchase Die Hard Movies
Some completists may want to get their hands on all five films to add them to their library. If you’re the type who would rather own the movies on Blu-ray, Amazon has you covered.
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