A Good Day to Die Hard

Fifth in violent action series is also least entertaining.
  • Review Date: February 13, 2013
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 97 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The "good" guys think nothing of simply shooting and killing all bad guys, with no consequences. At one point, the main character even brags that having a son in the CIA will get him off the hook, no questions asked. Also, the father character practices "tough love" with his son, ridiculing him for having weaknesses and feelings. That said, they eventually do get closer, and McClane is persistent, if nothing else.

Positive role models

John McClane is still a vigilante, operating outside the law, stealing cars, and killing bad guys, justified by the notion that he's protecting the free world. His son is very similar. But they're both dedicated to their jobs and what they see as their duty.


Constant, over-the-top action violence and destructive mayhem, including car crashes and helicopter crashes, falls from heights, hails of bullets, huge explosions, and dozens of dead bad guys. Some characters are shot graphically in close-up, sometimes in the head or other vital organs, with sprays of blood. Strangling, punching, helicopter battles. The "good guys" kill any and all bad guys without consequences. They're covered with bloody cuts and scratches throughout. One character removes a metal bar from another character's abdomen after he's been stabbed by it.


One female character's sex appeal is played up. She wears a leather motorcycle outfit in one scene and alluringly unzips the jacket. (No nudity shown.) A man caresses and nuzzles her while both are clothed. One scene takes place in a nightclub, with some dancing girls in skimpy outfits shown in the background.


"F--k" and "motherf----r" are used several times, as is "s--t." "Damn you," "Jesus Christ," "goddamn," "jerkoff," "a--hole," "ass," "crap," "scumbags," "bastards," "goddamn," "oh my God," and "hell" are also used. A grown son tells his father to "shut up."


In Moscow, Pepsi and Heineken signs are visible. Mercedes vehicles are prominent. A character mentions Bosco brand chocolate syrup.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some bad guys are seen briefly smoking cigarettes. One scene takes place in a nightclub, with some background drinking suggested.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that A Good Day to Die Hard is the fifth -- and least entertaining -- of the action-heavy Die Hard series. The attempt to tone down the previous entry, Live Free or Die Hard, for a PG-13 rating for has been abandoned this time out. Big, explosive action violence is evident throughout, with characters shot and killed (some with sprays of blood), huge crashes and explosions, and falls from heights, all without consequences. Language is also strong, with more than one use of "f--k," many uses of "s--t," and more. One female character's sex appeal is played up (she's shown in alluring outfits), bad guys are shown smoking briefly, and some brand names are shown and/or mentioned. But ultimately the biggest issue is the vigilante justice dispatched by the heroes; bad guys are killed without remorse or consequence.

What's the story?

Following a few opening jokes about his old age, John McClane (Bruce Willis) heads to Moscow to try to help out his son, Jack (Jai Courtney), who's in trouble with the law. It turns out that Jack is actually a CIA agent who's helping rescue Russian political prisoner Yuri Komarov (Sebastian Koch) and secure a secret file related to Chernobyl. John gets in the way of the plan, and, before long, father, son, and prisoner are on the run from Russian thugs. After a double-cross and a daring escape, the two McClanes decide to infiltrate Chernobyl itself to prevent the bad guys from getting their hands on a load of weapons-grade uranium. Will they save the world before they destroy it?

Is it any good?


Twenty-five years after the original Die Hard, John McClane now has a grown son who serves as his comic sidekick, like Samuel L. Jackson in the third entry and Justin Long in the fourth. But Courtney was cast for his brawn and not for his banter; the characters' "tough love" talk is actually more cruel than funny. Moreover, director John Moore (The Omen remake, Max Payne, etc.) is a camera shaker who often jolts the action off-kilter.

The script by Skip Woods hits all the right marks, but it also relies on some ludicrous twists and ridiculous plot holes. For example, father and son survive a gas explosion, unscathed, merely by ducking behind some stone pillars. Not to mention that the use of Chernobyl as a setting for a showdown is in questionable taste, and the movie humorously shrugs off the possibility of radiation poisoning for our heroes. It's very likely that this entry will be the death of Die Hard.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about A Good Day to Die Hard's over-the-top violence. How does its impact compare to what you might see in a horror movie? Or a more realistic drama?

  • Why are the main characters allowed to simply kill bad guys, rather than bring them to justice? What differentiates the "good guys" and the "bad guys"?

  • How did you feel about the "tough love" relationship between the father and son? Why did the father ridicule his son for having feelings and weaknesses?

  • How does the Die Hard series strike you as a whole? What's John McClane's appeal? Is he a role model?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 14, 2013
DVD release date:June 4, 2013
Cast:Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch
Director:John Moore
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Run time:97 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:violence and language

This review of A Good Day to Die Hard was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Written byAnonymous October 10, 2014
age 14+

A Good Day to Die Hard review

========================================================= Sex/Nudity: Irina begins to peel off her motorcycle jumpsuit and begins to reveal her bra. (Interestingly, in the trailers and at least one commercial, we see the suit come off and a lot more skin, but that shot is not in the film). A loud nightclub features numerous scantily clad women. Some might be prostitutes. At least one appears only in a bra and panties. Some are shown embracing male club goers. John says Moscow traffic "sucks," and his Russian cab driver mistakes the word for "sex" and asks if he would like to be driven to where he can get some. One of Komarov's mercenaries is very muscular and appears late in the film shirtless as weapons are being loaded onto a large chopper. Yuri is shown shirtless getting a massage. 3/10. ========================================================= Violence: The film opens with a black screen and the sound of very loud gunshots and explosions going off. Jack walks into a crowded nightclub, pulls out a handgun, and shoots a man named Anton dead. Jack is then tackled hard to the ground by security. John shoots at a target in a police firing range. Alik detonates multiple car bombs outside of a courthouse with men loyal to him and Yuri still in them. The explosions rip through the building's walls and kill many inside. Jack and Komarov are protected inside sealed glass defendant cages and are able to escape the building. Numerous gunmen swarm the courthouse looking for Komarov. One uniformed man still alive from the blast but struggling for medical attention is shot dead by Alik. In the aftermath of the courthouse bombing, Irina shoots a dying man dead. Komarov and Jack escape the courthouse together and a massive vehicle chase ensues. Jack and Komarov steal a service vehicle, while John steals a flatbed truck. Alik and several mercenaries give chase in a large, multi-wheeled military vehicle that they slam through traffic, thrashing numerous vehicles stuck in gridlock traffic or that are simply parked. It is unclear how many drivers are injured or even killed when their vehicles are slammed into. No actual deaths are depicted, but the crashes are violent and often spectacular. It should be noted that no bystanders on foot are hit. When the three vehicles get into a section of the city with more fluid traffic, numerous innocent drivers are rammed into and get into additional accidents. At one point, Alik orders an RPG rocket be fired at John, who has been ramming his vehicle from behind. John, though, is able to execute a fancy driving maneuver and dodges the rocket which explodes into another vehicle, surely killing anyone who was inside. John's vehicle, though, careens out of control and crashes. Soon after, John is hit by a car and rolls hard for several feet along the pavement. He is then screamed at by the driver, who John promptly punches hard. John eventually drives off a bridge overpass and maneuvers atop several 18-wheeler trucks and random cars until he is back on pavement. He then rams the large vehicle that Alik and his cohorts have been chasing and ramming Jack in and forces it to slam into a concrete highway divider. This causes Alik's truck to careen out of control and off another overpass, into traffic, causing a really huge pileup. Alik gets out of his vehicle and shoots a police officer. He then shoots at McClane who stands over him on a freeway overpass. At a safe house, Jack's CIA contact Collins is suddenly shot dead in the head and Komarov is shot in the arm. The house is then lit up with bullets by attacking gunmen. John defends the surviving two by firing a large assault rifle and killing numerous hooded assailants. Alik hits both a kneeling Jack and John with the butt of his rifle. He then punches and kicks Jack multiple times and hits John, too. Jack manages to use his hidden switchblade to cut through his ropes, letting John see that he is about to be freed. Before Alik and his men can shoot them dead, they spring into action using a variety of quick, fancy fight moves to overpower a couple of henchmen, seize their guns, shoot several bad guys, and punch and generally brutalize others. Eventually, the henchmen's larger numbers cause the McClanes to retreat and take cover behind a bar. Alik and his men fire multiple shots, destroying bottles of alcohol and taking large chunks out of the bar. The McClanes eventually shoot back and kill everyone but Alik who is able to escape to a waiting chopper with Irina and a now-captive Komarov. The attack chopper takes off, circles around, and glides back towards the hotel. It begins to fire gigantic rounds of ammunition into the rooftop hotel ballroom where John and Jack still are. The McClanes dodge the bullets and jump out a window. Scaffolding that has been attached to the facade of the building breaks their fall, even though they plunge several stories. The chopper continues to track their movement, firing the whole way. John and Jack then jump down the makeshift tubing that construction crews have erected to toss their trash from up high to the ground. John and Jack are able to slow their descent to the point where they don't die when they land hard on the ground below. SPOILER ALERT: Komarov and Irina reveal their true nature when, out of the blue, she allows him to shoot Alik in the head. Out of spite, Komarov then continues to shoot Alik's corpse multiple times with glee. John and Jack shoot two guards dead as they gain access into the Chernobyl facility. John and Jack sneak up behind two other masked guards and beat them unconscious with the butts of their rifles. Yuri is strangled to death while Komarov listens to his struggle over the phone with much delight. We hear the snap of his neck. After figuring out that Komarov has been playing him, Jack punches him hard in the face. Jack and John get into a tense shootout with Irina and a shirtless henchman. Irina flees. The McClanes, meanwhile, pull the pin on an explosive, attach it to a forklift, and send it the henchman's way. It explodes once it gets near him, killing him instantly but igniting a large fire that almost consumes both McClanes. Onboard Irina's helicopter, McClane shoots one guard in the foot, then in the head. SPOILER ALERT: Jack is shot in the chest by Komarov on the roof of the Chernobyl facility, but he is wearing a bulletproof vest. Irina sees Jack on the roof and starts firing multiple bullets from her chopper's big guns. To save his son, John attaches a chain to a truck in the back of the large helicopter and drives it out the back of the chopper. The truck hangs suspended in mid-air from the aircraft, causing the helicopter to tilt in the air. Jack takes the opportunity to grab and manhandle Komarov. He then throws him off the roof of the building and into the chopper's blades, obliterating him. SPOILER ALERT: Consumed with revenge, Irina is able to pilot the chopper so that it bangs John's truck into the side of the building. John is thrown from the vehicle, crashes through a window, and lands hard inside the building. Irina chooses to ram the building with her chopper. Jack and John jump out of the building just before she crashes and the two land safely in a pool of ground-floor rainwater. The chopper explodes, killing Irina and another mercenary. 8.5/10. ========================================================= Blood/Gore: Jack shoots a man named Anton in the chest, and we see blood spurt from the man's wound. Numerous bloodied and dead bodies are shown in the aftermath of a courthouse bombing. At least two people are shot dead by Yuri's mercenaries in the wake of the bombing, each time very quick blood sprays are briefly visible. Jack has bloody knuckles in the aftermath of the courthouse bombing. Komarov is slightly bloodied. John bleeds from the face and head after crashing his vehicle during a huge chase sequence. Alik's face is bloodied after crashing his vehicle. Komarov is shot in the arm at the safe house, and we see a brief blood spray. Collins is shot and we see a large blood spray and head wound explode. Blood is shown trickling down Jack's head after the safe house attack. Jack tends to Komarov's gunshot wound to the arm. We don't see the wound, but see the blood permeating his shirt. Jack's mouth is bloodied after he is beaten by Alik. Jack bleeds profusely from both nostrils as he takes cover behind a bar during a shootout with Alik's men. During a shootout in an empty hotel ballroom, several of Alik's mercenary gunmen are shot by the McClanes. The scene is somewhat dark, but we see a few, very brief blood sprays. As John and Jack eventually flee the room as it is being shot up, they run past a few corpses. Alik's face is very bloody when he boards a helicopter after his shootout with the McClanes. After escaping an assault by a helicopter, an extremely bloodied Jack and John hole up in a nearby building. John bleeds a lot from a wound on top of his bald head, and the blood trickles all the way down his face and neck. Jack has a large bolt or screw lodged in his abdomen, which John pulls out. Some blood is visible. Jack, John, and Alik bear the facial wounds from their tussle for the rest of the film. John's white T-shirt is quite bloody near the end of the film as he races to climb aboard Irina's helicopter before it takes off. On board Irina's helicopter, McClane shoots one guard in the foot, then in the head. Brief blood sprays are seen in both instances. SPOILER ALERT: Jack takes the opportunity to grab and manhandle Komarov. He then throws him off the roof of the building and into a chopper's blades, obliterating him. 8/10. ========================================================= Profanity: At least 17 "f" words (2 used with the prefix "mother"), 16 "s" words, 2 asses (1 used with "hole"), 2 damns, 2 hells, 1 crap, and 3 uses each of "G-damn" and "Jesus" and 1 use each of "Oh my God," "Oh my Jesus," and "Swear to God" as exclamations. 6.5/10. ========================================================= Alcohol/Drugs: Yuri is shown drinking from a glass of what appears to be whiskey or some other spirit. Many people are shown drinking inside a noisy nightclub where Jack has come to kill a man. Numerous bottles of liquor, wine, and other spirits are shown behind a bar in an empty hotel ballroom. When Jack and John duck behind the bar to avoid getting shot, many of these bottles are shown getting shot up. John asks Jack how long it's been since he had a tetanus shot after pulling a large bolt or screw out of his abdomen. 3/10. ========================================================= Smoking: A Russian police interrogator smokes as he questions Jack. 1/10. ========================================================= A Good Day to Die Hard, in my opinion, is the worst movie in the Die Hard series. While it does have some cool action sequences, it just isn't as good as the title says it is. I give it 4/10. =========================================================
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byMATUREKIDS February 16, 2013
age 11+

Good movie

Their are some swearwords.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 14 years old Written byironkid21 February 16, 2013
age 11+

explosive fifth entry in Bruce Willis action franchise definitely isn't as great as the first, isn't really true "Die Hard", and a lot of it makes no sense but as a standalone turn off your brain action flick...awesome!!!

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written bymovie loving teen February 15, 2013
age 12+

Its not the best in the series but hey its enjoyable.

This could have been PG-13 but I'm glad it was R because they get to say the trademark line. This R but not a hard R it relativily borderline PG-13. Dont trust the website on this one, they say its not appropriate for kids that are 14. I'm 14 and I've seen alot wore then this. No to how good it was, i liked i think its pretty underated actually.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass