Tag: John McTiernan

December 15, 2015 / / Main Slate Archive

DIE HARD is perhaps one of, if not the most, critically lauded action films. Made during a glut of intense shoot-em-up action vehicles ranging from the excellent FIRST BLOOD (1982) to the considerably less excellent DEADLY PREY (1987), DIE HARD broke from the pack by being an incredibly compelling scrappy and tense action thriller. At a time when the dominant approach to action films was spectacle and scale, DIE HARD differentiated itself by being relatively low-key and deriving Hitchcockian suspense from intimate moments and normal situations.

December 24, 2013 / / Main Slate Archive


DIE HARD has somehow sneakily joined the ranks of Christmas films.  It has been embraced by many with open arms as a modern holiday classic, and defended vigilantly by others for its status as a yuletide treasure.  I have long been a fan of the film, but this pivot from adoring DIE HARD at face value to championing the film specifically as a seasonal offering gives me pause.  Rather than examining if this is the best Christmas film of all time (a debate that is well populated online), I am much more interested in exploring how DIE HARD functions within the subgenre.  In other words, what is it that makes DIE HARD a Christmas movie?