[Screen It]


(1995) (Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson) (R)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Minor Heavy Heavy Mild Extreme
Mild None Minor None Extreme
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Minor Minor Minor Mild Extreme

Action/Adventure: A N.Y. cop must contend with a terrorist intent on playing games with him while plotting to rob a large amount of gold.
John McClane (BRUCE WILLIS) is a N.Y. cop who's been suspended from active duty due to personal problems. When a bomb goes off in the city, however, he's reactivated to pursue and play along with the many riddle games posed by the bomber, Simon Gruber (JEREMY IRONS). It's during one of those games that McClane is saved by Zeus Carver (SAMUEL L. JACKSON), a Harlem electrician. From that point on, McClane and Zeus are paired together as they try to solve Simon's riddles before he sets off another bomb and steals a large supply of gold.
If they're fans of the other "Die Hard" films, they will.
For strong violence and pervasive strong language.
  • BRUCE WILLIS plays a hung-over cop who must kill many bad guys to stop the terrorist and his plans.
  • SAMUEL L. JACKSON plays a mildly racist man who gets stuck having to help McClane.
  • JEREMY IRONS plays a man intent on mentally torturing McClane before finally killing him. He also sets off bombs that injure many people and tries to steal a large supply of gold.


    OUR TAKE: 7.5 out of 10
    While not quite up to the sheer fun of the original "Die Hard," this film is vastly superior to the second in the series. Moving from the closed-in confines of the first two, this film moves out onto the streets of N.Y. and provides some exciting action scenes with some impressive stunts. Where this film improves on the others is with the addition of Jackson. His presence not only provides the standard "opposites" partner, but also supplies a great deal of the film's humor. And Iron's villain performance returns more to the Alan Rickman roots of a "classy" bad guy vs. the serious tough guy found in the second installment and in most other films. Those comparisons aside, this film, unlike many sequels, can easily stand on its own. It's an enjoyable escapist diversion and it's sure to please fans of the action/adventure genre. We liked it and give it a 7.5 out of 10.
    Despite our praise, this certainly isn't a film for younger kids. Profanity is rampant as is the often brutal violence that occurs throughout it. Many people are shot and those scenes, along with a graphic knifing, are extremely bloody and not the squeamish. Sex is restricted to the beginning of an encounter between two of the villains, but nothing's seen. There are touches of racism (but nothing too bad), and very little smoking or drinking (although McClane is hung-over for the first half of the film). For older teens who are mature enough to handle the material, this may be a moderately suitable escapist film for them. Of course that decision lies with you and we suggest that you check out the scene listings to make that determination.

  • John is hung-over at the beginning of the story and his captain tells Simon that John is "two steps from being a full blown alcoholic." At the same time, John is mouthing that he's only one step away.
  • A young punk on the street drinks from a brown paper bag.
  • The bad guys celebrate their success with champagne.
  • After a violent encounter in Harlem, John's head is bloody and Zeus has a bloody gash on his arm.
  • Many of the people injured or killed throughout the movie are bloody.
  • Simon's girlfriend slices a guard's throat with a curved knife and lots of blood sprays out. She then repeated stabs him and even more blood spills from his body.
  • McClane shoots and kills several of Simon's men in an elevator. Lots of blood is spilled and sprayed onto the elevator's walls.
  • A man is cut in half by a cable that zips by him. Later, McClane and Zeus drag his body away, one dragging the upper half, the other, the lower half (the actual body parts are not seen).
  • McClane is rather bloody after a fight with one of Simon's men who is also bloody.
  • Obviously Zeus and his followers have plenty of both.
  • John is forced to wear a sign that reads, "I hate niggers" while walking through Harlem.
  • Zeus is somewhat of a racist and asks his nephews, "Who do we not want to help us?" and they respond, "White people."
  • John imitates Simon's stuttering, but only because Simon is threatening him and others.
  • An overweight lady is on the phone that John and Zeus need to use. One of the cops tailing them says "There's a big problem." When asked how big, he replies, "Oh, about 300 pounds." Later Simon states that "fat woman" was on the phone.
  • A man calls Zeus "bro."
  • Simon announces that he's placed a bomb in one of the city's schools, causing intended panic.
  • Some local kids steal products from a convenience store because they've noticed that all of the police have left the area.
  • Zeus breaks a car window, hot-wires the ignition, and he and McClane take the car.
  • Many of the scenes listed under "Violence" may be tense to some viewers.
  • Simon tells John and Zeus that there's a bomb in the trash can beneath the phone they're on. They panic and try to get everyone out of the way.
  • McClane must avoid a torrent of water that's been released in the tunnel he's in and must avoid drowning.
  • There's a bomb in a school with a timer that's counting down to zero. Several scenes involving this are somewhat tense.
  • McClane and Zeus must get off a ship before a bomb on it explodes.
  • Guns/Machine Guns/Knives/Bombs: Used to threaten, injure or kill people. See "Violence" for details.
  • Phrases: "Pissed off," "Bone head," "Jerk," "Toilet bug," "Shut up," "Jerk off," and "Idiot."
  • Zeus' nephews are running stolen property (radios, etc...) for a local thug.
  • McClane literally drives through Central Park and then down sidewalks as he races to meet one of Simon's deadlines.
  • Some local kids steal products from a convenience store because they've noticed that all of the police have left the area.
  • Zeus breaks a car window, hot-wires the ignition, and he and McClane take the car.
  • Zeus' nephews hide during a school fire drill.
  • None.
  • There is a minor amount of suspenseful music in a few scenes.
  • None.
  • 92 "f" words (10 with the prefix "mother" and 1 used sexually), 65 "s" words, 3 terms using slang for male genitals ("pr*ck" and "d*ckhead"), 26 "ass" words, 24 hells, 9 damns, 4 S.O.B.'s, and 24 uses of "God damn," 3 uses each of "Jesus" and "Jesus Christ," 2 uses each of "Christ," "Good Lord," and "God" (one in subtitles), and 1 use each of "My God," "Oh my God," and "Oh God" as exclamations.
  • Simon throws his girlfriend to a table and rips open her shirt, exposing her black bra. There's the sound of him unzipping his pants and he then gets on top of her, but nothing else is seen.
  • John smokes a cigarette.
  • A woman smokes a cigarette.
  • There are just a few minor references to McClane being separated from his wife, Holly.
  • Terrorists.
  • Racism.
  • A building is blown up in downtown N.Y. and nearby cars are flipped over.
  • Zeus whacks one of his nephews with a rolled up paper for unknowingly running stolen goods for a local thug.
  • A young punk throws a switchblade into a sign that John's wearing. A buddy of his bounces a basketball off John's head and another threatens him with knife. One of them then smashes a bottle against John's head and another accidentally cuts Zeus' arm with a knife. Zeus then grabs John's gun and gets him into a cab (and holds the gun to the cabbie's head to make him drive away) and the punks immediately attack and smash the windows.
  • McClane drives over parked bikes and sidewalk tables as he races to meet one of Simon's deadlines.
  • A bomb explodes in a subway tunnel, derailing a train and causing it to crash through the terminal, injuring some people.
  • A man is shot dead in a tunnel.
  • Simon's men inject other people with tranquilizers, rendering them unconscious.
  • A guard fires his shotgun at Simon and his men. Simon's girlfriend then sneaks up behind the guard with a curved knife and graphically slices and stabs the guard to death.
  • McClane shoots and kills several of Simon's men in an elevator.
  • McClane shoots and kills two of Simon's men in a dump truck.
  • Parents throw food at the police chief after they're not satisfied with his actions regarding the reported bomb in one of the city's schools.
  • McClane has a gun battle with two men in a pickup truck. They smash into other cars until the pickup flips over and the two men are killed.
  • A man is cut in half by a cable that zips by him.
  • McClane smashes a guy with a door aboard a ship.
  • Simon shoots and injures Zeus with a machine gun.
  • McClane shoots one man dead and then gets into a violent fight with one of Simon's men. The man smashes McClane into a cargo container and kicks him several times. McClane then stabs the man in the leg and hits him with a heavy chain.
  • Simon's girlfriend shoots and kills one of Simon's close associates.
  • Simon shoots at McClane while both are in helicopters. John's is shot down and Simon continues to shoot at him until McClane disposes of the bad guys.

  • Reviewed March 8, 1997

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