Die Hard: With a Vengeance Movie Poster Image

Die Hard: With a Vengeance



Less hand-to-hand combat, but still a very violent sequel.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

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 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.


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.


Brief moments of rough foreplay between two of the villains.


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.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

John is hung over when the film starts.

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).

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:May 18, 1995
DVD/Streaming release date:March 9, 1999
Cast:Bruce Willis, Jeremy Irons, Samuel L. Jackson
Director:John McTiernan
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Run time:131 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong violence and pervasive strong language

This review of Die Hard: With a Vengeance 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

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

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.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Smug and violent caper movie isn't for kids.
  • Big WWII drama about honor, courage and sacrifice.
  • Giant-sized end-of-the-world scenario too scary for tweens.

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

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. Bombs blow up city blocks and kill innocent people; many more are placed around the city and in a school filled with small children. Sporatic violence: gunshots produce spurts of blood, an innocent man's neck is slashed multiple times causing blood to spray out all over walls, a man's head is pushed barely offscreen and shot point blank resulting in lots of blood and brains splattering over walls and people, a man is cut in half by a wire (at a distance but clearly visable onscreen), villan kills innocent people with no remorse, and as usual McLane is soaked in blood most of the movie. Constant strong language: almost every sentence contains explicit language, around 100 uses of f--- alone, with just as much with other foul words, constant use of the N-word by and against black people, McLane is forced to walk into Harlem with a sign saying "I HATE N******" (not censored in film). Racism is a very big topic here, and is suprisingly thoughtful. McLane drinks and is addicted to painkillers.
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 alongside a racist black man from NYC. Violence is extreme with lots of blood. There are 98 uses of f--k and drug use.
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 other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing