Die Hard 2: Die Harder



John McClane spreads vigilante Christmas cheer.
Popular with kidsParents recommend
  • Review Date: November 29, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 1990
  • Running Time: 124 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

"Good" and "bad" are clearly distinguished but violence is used to solve all problems. It presents a very complex image of government, police, and civilians (traitors, incompetents, and vigilantes).

Positive role models

The film includes extremely violent individuals, both on the sides of good and evil. All engage in excessive violence, but the film does not really interrogate the type of violence used by the film's hero. His role as savior for the innocent rationalizes his killings in the world of the film.


Murder of the innocent, lots of gunplay, freak accidents involving machinery, explosions, human stampedes, graphic executions of members of the police force, knife fight and graphic stabbing, throat slitting, dismembering, plane explosion, premeditated airplane crash (and death of all of its passengers.)


Brief (non-sexualized) male nudity.


Repeated use of "f--k," plus "s--t," "c--ksucker," "a--hole," and more.



Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Die Hard 2 features constant and extreme violence. Both the good guys and the bad guys put innocent people in harm's way. They use strong language ("f--k" and "s--t") and physical violence to get their points across. In addition, as with all of the Die Hard films, the protagonist McClane seeks justice through his own means that are contrary to rules of law.

What's the story?

After saving L.A. from the evil Germans, John McClane (Bruce Willis) was hoping to spend a peaceful Christmas with his family in the nation's capitol. Instead, he finds himself in middle of a terrorist plot to blow up the airport. In his attempt to save the day and rescue his wife (who's trapped on one of the circling flights), he must negotiate military-trained commandos (led by William Sadler), inept police, and government forces (led by John Amos).

Is it any good?


DIE HARD 2 repeated the success of the first film and helped continue Willis's rise to stardom. Fans of the first installment will enjoy appearances by Reginald Vel Johnson (Family Matters) as John's LAPD buddy and William Atherton (Ghostbusters, Real Genius) as an opportunist news reporter. This installment also features Dennis Franz (NYPD Blue) as the head of the airport police. Don't miss the thrilling ejection from the airplane, and though playing with a lighter saves the day, make sure the kids know that isn't a good idea.

Families may also want to consider that the main conflict of this film engages with the topics of terrorism and airports. In a post-9/11 America, kids may be particularly sensitive about any hostile combination of these two topics.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about issues regarding the media, the legal system, and national security. How does the film comment on the media, through its presentation of Thornburg and Coleman? How does each character represent the responsibilities of members of the media?

  • What is the point of all the violence in this movie? Is it used to illustrate a point, or for entertainment? What affect does watching a lot of violence have on kids, teens, and adults?

  • The movie presents a complicated relationship between the military and the police. Both John and the head commando Colonel Stewart make choices that deviate from their actual job descriptions. What is the difference between the two? What makes one right and one wrong?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 2, 1990
DVD release date:March 9, 1999
Cast:Bonnie Bedelia, Bruce Willis, William Atherton
Director:Renny Harlin
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Run time:124 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:Restricted

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  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written byquickbuild2345 February 29, 2012

Great action movie, but with lots of violence and language

This is a really great sequel to the incredible Die Hard. Violence: definitely worse than the first. Lots of shooting with bloody bullet holes and blood spray. A man is stabbed graphically in the eye with an icicle and we see a close up of it in his gory eye socket. A man has his throat slit and blood pours. A man is sucked into a jet engine and blood splatters against the side of the plane. A man is crushed painfully in a conveyor belt. Two planes explode, killing everyone inside. Sex: we see a man's rear in a darkly lit room. Language: 70+ f-words and many uses of everything else, including but not limited to "s**t," "h**l," "d**n," "c**ksucker," and others.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Kid, 9 years old August 15, 2014

good cartoon but some violence

good movie but there are a lot of gun fights
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byelreader46 October 20, 2010

perfect mature action flick

This movie is really good. Most of my concerns are that there is a lot of violence. Close up shots of people getting killed. The language is from the famous " Yippie Ki Yay mf" .
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing


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