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A Good Day to Die Hard

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
A Good Day to Die Hard Movie Poster Image
Fifth in violent action series is also least entertaining.
  • R
  • 2013
  • 97 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 15 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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 & Representations

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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMATUREKIDS February 16, 2013

Good movie

Their are some swearwords.
Adult Written byPoundtho June 5, 2013
Teen, 14 years old Written bymovie loving teen February 15, 2013

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 t... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byFILMCRITIC500 October 18, 2013

second best in series is mildly bloody and very entertaining.

a massive, super-explosive entry in the popular Die Hard series is the second best film is the franchise, falling close behind Live Free or Die Hard. anyway, th... Continue reading

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?

It's very likely that this entry will be the death of Die Hard. Twenty-five years after the original film in the series, 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.

Talk to your kids 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

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