Die Hard: With a Vengeance

Movie review by
Kelly Kessler, Common Sense Media
Die Hard: With a Vengeance Movie Poster Image
Less hand-to-hand combat, but still a very violent sequel.
  • R
  • 1995
  • 131 minutes
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 22 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

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 & Representations

The film includes individuals who risk their lives for those of strangers and more problematic characters who live to risk others' lives. As in all of the Die Hard films, the police appear wholly inept. The villains appear as stereotypical evil Germans. McClane actually seems to put fewer innocent people in jeopardy in this version. This movie is the first in the series to include a woman in an active role (aside from Molly McClane). She is, though, a ruthless killer.

Violence

Exploding city block, lots of gunplay, knife fight, throat slitting, physical violence by a gang of African American men, chain fight, explosion of a NYC subway system, bank robbery, lots of blood, near drowning, bomb planted in a school.

Sex

Brief moments of rough foreplay between two of the villains.

Language

Racial slurs, constant use of "f--k," plus frequent swearing by both good guys and bad guys that includes "s--t," "pr--k," "ass," "Goddamn" and more.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

John is hung over when the film starts.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Die Hard with a Vengeance includes constant violent episodes and a series of threats of violence. (This installment in the Die Hard franchise does, however, have less hand-to-hand combat and individual violence. Instead, it includes larger explosions that target an increased number of innocent citizens.) Both good guys and bad guys use vulgar language and physical violence to get their points across. McClane drives recklessly when in pursuit of the villains. Parents may seriously want to consider the effects of watching this film in post-9/11 America. The bad guys blow up city blocks, plant bombs in parks, and target the subway system. It may be a little too close to real life for comfort. In addition, as with all of the Die Hard films, the protagonist John seeks justice through his own means (and contrary to rules of law).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byChris LP April 9, 2008

Good movie, but not intended for kids

This is the 3rd movie in the Die Hard franchise and one of my favorites. As always, John McClane is stuck in bad situation and has to save the day, this time a... Continue reading
Adult Written bySuperChuckles1401 March 13, 2015

Violent third movie in the series.

This a great movie! There's some intense violence (nothing to gory.) The R rating comes a ton of language. If language bothers you than this an easy skip,... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bywowiamcool108 April 9, 2008

More Excellence

Incredibly entertaining. Funny and violent. Samuel L Jackson is perfect partner for Bruce Willis. Plot revolves around terrorist/bomb threat in New York City.... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old September 1, 2013

Language is Problem

Amazing plot, loved it! Although language might be a problem, but it is good for mature children 12+.

What's the story?

It's round three for John McClane (Bruce Willis). His wife has left him. He has been suspended from the NYPD. Nonetheless, trouble finds him. A mysterious man calling himself Simon (Jeremy Irons) wants to make McClane pay for his past sins. (If you've seen Die Hard, you'll understand why.) He must either jump through Simon's hoops or risk a series of explosions around the city. McCane must find Simon and save the city, but this time he has a partner. Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson), a Harlem shopkeeper with less than friendly feelings toward white society, finds himself paired with John's wing nut style of justice. Will they find Simon before he says "boom?"

Is it any good?

One might consider Die Hard with a Vengeance a kinder and gentler Die Hard. Straying from its traditional shoot 'em up scenarios, this film balances action with ruminations on race relations and an individual's responsibility to the greater good. (And is the first time McClane isn't trying to save his wife.) The presence of a buddy also allows for the "real" John McClane to come through in dialogue. There are some excellent explosions, yet the third installment lacks the excitement of the first two films.

Parents may seriously want to consider the effects of watching this film in post-9/11 America. The villains blow up city blocks, plant bombs in parks, and target the subway system. It may be a little too close to real life for comfort. Families that have experienced the lost of love ones in such attacks might find the movie traumatizing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about issues regarding race and public knowledge. What drives Zeus's feelings regarding race? How do his actions adhere to or deviate from the opinions he expresses early on? How can individuals work though such feelings?

  • 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?

  • During the film, the police know of a threat on a public school. They withhold this information in an attempt to avoid a citywide panic. Should the police have shared this kind of information with the public or keep it a secret in to attempt to maintain public safety?

Movie details

For kids who love action and adventure

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