All 5 Die Hard Movies By Their Release Year

With the first Die Hard movie released in the summer of 1988, Die Hard has now become an iconic classic action movie franchise starring Bruce Willis. The movie uses Bruce Willis to his full potential, and the actor’s skills shine throughout all the installments. All the movies are filled to the brim with exciting action, sharp and witty humor, and a gripping storyline.

The movies follow the legendary detective John McClane as he is put into difficult situations against powerful enemies. Slowly but surely, using his wits, McClane outsmarts his opponents and the movie ends in a climactic final battle.

So if you’re looking to get into this exciting and action-filled movie franchise or if you want to re-watch it in the correct order, you have come to the right place. Everything you need to know about the Die Hard films may be found in this article, including how to watch the movies in the right order, and a brief summary of each.

Die Hard movies

All 5 Die Hard Movies in Order

  1. Die Hard

    Streaming On: Starz, Amazon Store, Apple TV, DIRECTV

    Director: John McTiernan

    Writer: Roderick Thorp

    Stars: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Alexander Godunov, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, Paul Gleason, De’voreaux White, William Atherton, Clarence Gilyard, Hart Bochner, James Shigeta

    Genres: Action, Thriller

    Die Hard (1988) on IMDb

    The movie that started the legacy, Die Hard (1988) is now considered an icon of late 80s cinema. In it, we follow John McClane, an NYPD detective whose life had taken a turn for the worse. When he gets a chance to make up with his wife, he gets wound up in a terrorist attack. Will he save the day or crumble under the pressure?

    Hoping to reconcile with his estranged wife Holly and two daughters, John McClane, an NYPD detective travels to Los Angeles. He is driven there by a limo Driver Argyle, who offers to wait for him.

    While McClane changes clothes, the Plaza is taken over by terrorists led by Hans Gruber. McClane slips away and goes unnoticed by the terrorist. Gurber steals $640 Million, and when he comes to know about McClane’s presence, Gurber sends Tony after him. McClane beats Tony, takes his gun, and uses his Radio to contact the LAPD for backup.

    After McClane takes the terrorists down one by one, he encounters Gruber who pretends to be a hostage but runs away when the terrorists intervene. Through a broadcast, Gruber realizes Holly is McClane’s wife and then uses her as a hostage.

    McClane deceives Gruber by acting like he gave up but uses a concealed weapon to defeat Gruber and his accomplice. When interviewers try to rush to McClane, Argyle rushes to his rescue and drives him and Holly away.

    Read: All Friday Movies

    Loaded with tons of action, humor, and fighting, Die Hard completely changed how action movies would be directed going forward. This movie single-handedly launched Bruce Willis’s career from a TV to a movie star.

  2. Die Hard 2 / Die Harder

    Streaming On: Starz, Amazon Store, Apple TV, DIRECTV

    Director: Renny Harlin

    Writers: Walter Wager, Roderick Thorp

    Stars: Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, William Atherton, Reginald VelJohnson, Franco Nero, William Sadler, John Amos, Dennis Franz, Art Evans, Fred Thompson, Tom Bower, Sheila McCarthy

    Genres: Action, Thriller

    Die Hard 2 (1990) on IMDb

    Like the former movie, Die Hard 2 takes place on Christmas too but the setting is changed from the Nakatomi Plaza to an airport now. As McClane starts investigating two suspicious men, he starts to uncover a much deeper conspiracy.

    At the airport, an airplane carrying an ex-army man turned drug smuggler, Ramon Esprenza. To receive him is disgraced former Colonel William Stuart, with a group of thugs.

    Waiting for her wife to arrive at the airport, McClane notices two suspicious men entering the baggage room. He follows them inside and a gunfight ensues. McClane kills one of them but the other escapes. Using the dead one’s fingerprint he identifies his to be an ex-army man who died 2 years ago.

    McClane warns the superiors to not let the plane land, but they let the landing go through. When there is retaliation against Stuart, he crashes a British airplane by imitating air support and giving the pilots a wrong reading. Stuart is able to successfully let the plane land and escapes with Esperanza.

    McClane teams up with Major Grant and a team of special forces, to raid a nearby church where Stuart and the others are hiding. When all of his bullets turn out to be blank, McClane realizes Grant is working with Stuart. He gets away from Grant and his team and tries to go solo. All the evil guys escape to a plane waiting for them.

    With the help of a news helicopter, McClane stops the plane from taking off. McClane shoots Grant dead and in a tussle with Stuart, opens the fuel valve of the plane. He throws a lit lighter into the valve killing everyone onboard.

    Filled to the brim with the same elements the audience loved from its prequel, Die Hard 2 was a huge success. The movie does a good job of hitting the same notes as its predecessors while providing a good twist to the formula.

  3. Die Hard with a Vengeance

    Streaming On: Starz, Amazon Store, Apple TV, DIRECTV

    Director: John McTiernan

    Writers: Roderick Thorp, Jonathan Hensleigh

    Stars: Bruce Willis, Jeremy Irons, Samuel L. Jackson, Graham Greene, Colleen Camp, Larry Bryggman, Anthony Peck, Nick Wyman, Sam Phillips, Stephen Pearlman, Kevin Chamberlin, Michael Cristofer, Richard Council, Mischa Hausserman, Phil Theis

    Genres: Action, Comedy, Thriller

    Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995) on IMDb

    Generally considered to be the best sequel to the series, this movie takes a completely different approach and implements it successfully. Die Hard with a Vengeance is a Buddy action comedy that is full of action and sharp humor. We follow McClane and Zeus, an electrician as they get caught in a game of Simon Says but the price for losing is human life.

    When a man named ‘Simon’ calls the NYPD to claim responsibility for the bombing earlier in the day, they start listening. Simon demands McClane be sent to Harlem or he will detonate another bomb. McClane complies and goes to Harlem, where he meets Zeus Craver, an electrician.

    Simon sets McClane and Craver to another task where they have to defuse a bomb. Craver reaches the bomb before McClane and throws it on it the train track before it explodes. The duo regroups with the FBI, who tells them that Simon is Peter Gruber, the brother of Hans Gruber.

    Simon gives the duo another mission by planting a bomb in an elementary school. While the NYPD searches all the elementary schools, Simon’s men steal $140 Billion in gold bullion using dump trucks. McClane follows the truck while Craver continues solving the challenges.

    McClane regroups with Craver and follows the trucks into a Tanker. Simon’s associates capture and tie them up. Simon reveals that he wants to destroy the gold to ruin the economy. McClane sees through this farce and escapes right after Simon leaves.

    After McClane realizes that Simon is trying to smuggle the gold to Canada, he informs the NYPD who apprehends Simon’s lackeys. As Simon tries to escape in a helicopter, McClane shoots a pole that crashes on the helicopter.

    A huge critical and commercial success, Die Hard with a Vengeance uses clever humor in between very serious and thrilling action scenes which keeps the movie from feeling too heavy while still being a true Die Hard sequel.

  4. Die Hard 4.0 / Live Free or Die Hard

    Streaming On: HBO Max, tru TV, DIRECTV

    Director: Len Wiseman

    Writers: Mark Bomback, David Marconi, Roderick Thorp

    Stars: Bruce Willis, Justin Long, Timothy Olyphant, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Maggie Q, Kevin Smith, Cliff Curtis, Jonathan Sadowski, Edoardo Costa, Cyril Raffaelli, Yorgo Constantine, Željko Ivanek, Christina Chang, Len Wiseman(Cameo)

    Genres: Action, Thriller

    Live Free or Die Hard (2007) on IMDb

    Released 12 years after the last movie, Die Hard 4 brings the franchise back to the theaters with a bang. In this movie, we follow John McClane as goes to make an arrest of a hacker but when he finds out that he is being trailed, the movie starts ramping up.

    During a mission, McClane saves a hacker, Matthew Farrell, who was being hunted by assassins sent by Mah Lin and Thomas Gabriel, a hacker and the leader of a terrorist group.

    Farrell tells McClane that he created a special algorithm. Gabriel launches a cyberattack which Farrell identifies as a ‘fire sale’ a cyberattack designed to disable the nation’s infrastructure.

    Desperate, McClane enlists the help of Farrell to fend Gabriel off. Farrell deduces that Gabriel would target the power grid, where McClane gets into a fight that ends up killing Lin.

    Enraged over Lin’s death, Gabriel tries to kill the duo but they safely escape. Farrell digs up info on Gabriel and they come to know that he was an FBI agent who specialized in Cyberwares.

    Farrell and McClane go to a super hacker named Warlock who identifies Farrell’s code which can be used to access data at Social Security Administration in Maryland. This facility acts as a backup for the nation’s data. Gabriel abducts Lucy, McClane’s daughter, to use her as a pawn.

    While trying to decrypt Gabriel’s Data, he is also abducted by Gabriel. McClane pursues Gabriel while dodging attacks from a helicopter. McClane contacts the FBI and tells them to storm their headquarters.

    With the help of Farell, McClane is able to beat Gabriel and save the day and Lucy takes a romantic interest in Farell.

    The fourth installment in the series goes back to the series’ root and imitates the same formula that made the first two movies successful. The movie is full of morals like bravery and how the weak are raised by the stronger.

  5. A Good Day to Die Hard

    Streaming On: Can be rented from – Apple TV, YouTube, DIRECTV

    Director: John Moore

    Writers: Skip Woods, Roderick Thorp

    Stars: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Yulia Snigir, Radivoje Bukvić, Sergei Kolesnikov, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Cole Hauser, Aldis Hodge, Amaury Nolasco, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Pasha D. Lychnikoff, Roman Luknár, Ganxsta Zolee

    Genres: Action, Thriller

    A Good Day to Die Hard (2013) on IMDb

    In the fifth and last installment in the franchise, we follow John McClane as he rescues his estranged son Jack and then teams up with him to take down their enemies who are trying to steal a very important document.

    Victor Chagarin, a corrupt Russian official is planning to kill a former billionaire Yuri Komarov for a secret file containing evidence against him. When McClane learns that his estranged son, Jack got into trouble, he flies out to Russia to help him.

    Also Check: Divergent Movies

    McClane saves Jack and Komarov from an explosion, the two bicker but their conversation is cut short by Alik, Chagrin’s right-hand man who starts chasing them through Moscow. In a safe house, Jack tells McClane that he has been on an undercover mission for the CIA for the last 3 years.

    After barely escaping Alik again, the trio is caught when they leave to meet Komarovs Daughter Irina, and Komarov is taken, hostage. Irina confesses that she is a traitor and leaves with Alik who takes Komarov with him.

    That night Jack and John drive to the location of the file only to find Alik already there. They are surprised to see that Men are loading boxes into a vehicle. The file was supposed to contain information about a secret vault with info on weapon-grade Uranium worth $1 Billion. They realize that Komarov wants to sell this on the black market. Komarov kills Alik and calls Chagrin to announce his death as he is shot.

    Jack decides to follow Komarov as John goes after Irina. After a grueling fight, Jack is able to kill Komarov. Irina tries to avenge her father by ramming her helicopter into the duo but they escape to safety while Irina crashes and dies.

    Full of modern action sequences and thrilling fights, A Good Day to Die Hard gives a special twist to the franchise and shows how McClane has grown through the movies and is a much more responsible man than he was.


Considered to be one of the best actions franchise there are, Die Hard still maintians its popularity to this day. Bruce Willis’ iconic John McClane portrayal is a major part in keeping the movies evergeen. Even though the sequels have never been able to match the timeless classic original, Die Hard with a Vengeance and Live Free or Die Hard are two fantastic flicks that brilliantly captured McClane’s trademark wisecracking demeanor. A Good Day to Die Hard, takes a different route as compared to the previous movies and implements it successfully. No matter which movie you watch, you are sure to get a good adrenaline rush from all the action in the film and a good laugh too.

All Die Hard Movies According To IMDb Ratings

  • Die Hard (1988) – 8.2 By 901K Votes
  • Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995) – 7.6 By 395K Votes
  • Die Hard 2 (1990) – 7.1 By 370K Votes
  • Live Free or Die Hard (2007) – 7.1 By 412K Votes
  • A Good Day to Die Hard (2013) – 5.2 By 211K Votes

All Die Hard Movies According To Box Office Collection

  • Live Free or Die Hard (2007) – $388 Million
  • Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995) – $366 Million 
  • A Good Day to Die Hard (2013) – $304 Million 
  • Die Hard 2 (1990) – $240 Million
  • Die Hard (1988) – $141.5 Million


What are the 5 Die Hard movies in order?

Release Order. The correct order to watch the Die Hard movies is the release order. It goes as follows – Die Hard (1988),  Die Hard 2 (1990), Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995),  Live Free or Die Hard (2007), A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)

Is there going to be Die Hard 6?

No, as it currently stands, the producers behind the movie have no plans to make another sequel to the franchise.

Why was Die Hard 6 canceled?

Die Hard 6 has been formally shelved. Unluckily, the next John McClane adventure was one among the projects that Disney shelved after purchasing 21st Century Fox. According to rumors, Disney intends to completely relaunch the franchise using a younger John McClane.

Who turned down Die Hard?

Many actors were considered for the character of John McClane, including Sylvester Stallone, Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson, James Caan, Richard Gere, and Arnold Schwarzenegger (who declined because he wanted to pursue comedy), as well as Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson, James Caan, and Richard Gere.

Kierra Rowsey
Kierra Rowsey

Kierra Rowsey is a freelance TV, Film and anime critic for over 12 years, living in Arkansas with her husband and three kids. She graduated from NYU College of Arts & Science in 2008.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *