Die Hard is a classic action (Christmas?) movie for a good reason. It’s gritty, it’s full of badassery, and it’s simply a blast to watch. And while Die Hard is definitely a great movie, plenty of other films accomplish the high-octane fun, action, and story of the film. Here is our list of the best movies like Die Hard. Yippee-ki-yay!

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Best Movies Like Die Hard

Speed

Speed  •  Boarding the Bus 

Die Hard has held its place among the ranks of the best action films for its high octane fun and timely laughs. While the balance of great action and comedy is difficult to pull off, Speed does it as great as any other film. 

Starring Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock and Dennis Hopper, this 1994 film follows the action of a Los Angeles detective who must save the passengers of a public bus that has been remotely hijacked. The film is full of edge of your seat action fueled by a fun premise

Guide to the Best Movies Like Die Hard

Conclusion

What Speed lacks in charisma, it makes up for with adrenaline. Fun Fact: the film is directed by Jan de Bont, who was the cinematographer on Die Hard!

Guide to the Best Movies Like Die Hard

Olympus Has Fallen

Olympus Has Fallen Behind-the-Scenes Featurette

A more recent film that has found a modern plot within the Die Hard structure is Olympus Has Fallen. The film stars Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, and Aaron Eckhart. When the President of the United States is kidnapped and the White House is under terrorist control, the fate of the country if left to a disgraced former Secret Service guard, Mike Banning (Butler). 

A protagonist trapped in a building under terrorist control attempting to save the day? Sounds pretty Die Hard to us.  

Best Movies Like Die Hard

Conclusion

The plot is a bit derivative but the action is top shelf thanks to director Antoine Fuqua. If you wrote this one off, you should give it a shot.

Best Movies Like Die Hard

Air Force One

Opening Scene  •  Air Force One (1997)

Air Force One is a 1997 action-thriller film directed by Wolfgang Petersen, starring Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman. It is loosely based on the novel of the same name written by Andrew Wylie. 

The plot follows an aircraft hijacking that leads to an evacuation of the President of the United States (Harrison Ford) aboard Air Force One with no rules as to who can be rescued or how many people can survive.

This film has many similarities with Die Hard 2: both feature terrorists taking over an aircraft; both feature an unlikely hero who gets inside the terrorist stronghold. Both explore themes like family versus country. If you liked Die Hard, you’ll love Air Force One as well. 

Best Movies Like Die Hard

Conclusion

The casting alone should get you pumped for this one: Harrison Ford vs. Gary Oldman?! "Get off my plane" is still one of the best one-liners in an action film ever.

Movies Similar to Die Hard

Sudden Death

Sudden Death (1995)  •  The Best Kind of Lunatic Scene

If you wanna see the best movies like Die Hard, then look no further than Sudden Death. The film features action star Jean-Claude Van Damme as Roderick Johnson. Johnson, a retired hockey player, must return to duty when terrorists take over the stadium where he was supposed to be playing an exhibition game. 

The movie also stars Powers Boothe and Deborah Unger, who have both starred in multiple Die Hard knockoffs over the years. If you enjoy watching Bruce Willis battle some terrorists (and who doesn’t?) then surely you’ll enjoy Jean-Claude Van Damme do the same. 

Best Movies Like Die Hard

Conclusion

JCVD is a genre all to himself. He's one of the few leads on this list who was a bonafide action star to take on a Die Hard-esque role. And he brings a level of physical action the others don't quite have.

Die Hard Like Movies

The Rock

The Rock Behind the Scenes

If you're looking for a prison break movie with a star-studded cast, The Rock should be in your queue of must see films. This 1996 film stars Sean Connery as an ex-con working with Nicolas Cage to bust out of Alcatraz. The former island prison has been taken over by Ed Harris' Gen. Hummel.

Directed by Michael Bay, The Rock delivers 121 minutes of thrilling action comparable to Die Hard. Cage and Connery have exquisite chemistry here and I'm not the only one who wants a sequel just to see these two paired up again.

Best Movies Like Die Hard

Conclusion

Sandwiched between two other Michael Bay classics (Bad Boys and Armageddon), The Rock is spectacular in every sense of the word. It has everything you want from action movies like Die Hard.

Best Movies Like Die Hard

John Wick

 How to Write Fight Scenes like John Wick  •  Subscribe on YouTube 

The films of John Wick are some of the finest examples of action filmmaking. The first film in the series was released in 2004 and went on to become a box office hit. The film stars Keanu Reeves as title character, an ex-hitman who comes out of self-imposed retirement after his puppy is killed by gangsters.

In this movie, Reeves’ character fights through New York City like he is on a mission from God himself — and it’s so good that you’ll forget about any other movie for days at a time. 

Best Movies Like Die Hard

Conclusion

A sympathetic anti-hero, balletic action choreography, and an action star like Reeves at the top of his game (at age 50!), what more do you need?

Best Movies Like Die Hard

The Raid

The Raid  •  Official US Trailer 

2011 gave us The Raid, an Indonesian action film starring Iko Uwais, who also starred in The Raid 2. It was directed by Gareth Evans and released in 2011. The story follows an undercover Jakarta cop who infiltrates the gang responsible for his brother’s death.

In Die Hard, McClane had an advantage of already being inside the building. On the other hand, Rama has to break into the building. As he works his way up their ranks, he discovers how far they will go to protect themselves and their business interests.

Best Movies Like Die Hard

Conclusion

No shade on Die Hard, but this film has some of the best action scenes ever. The choreography and stunt work will leave you speechless.

List of Die Hard Like Movies

Under Siege

Under Siege Movie Clip  •  Fighting Back 

A film about a terrorist takeover of an American battleship, Under Siege, a 1992 action movie staring Steven Seagal as Casey Ryback. While it’s no Die Hard, it does have the elements to make for similar fun: explosions, car chases, hand-to-hand combat, and a young Steven Seagal playing an ex-SEAL, not to mention the supporting cast of the excellent Gary Busey and Tommy Lee Jones. 

Best Movies Like Die Hard

Conclusion

Under Siege is more fun than it is good but it has its own charms. 

List of Die Hard Like Movies

Commando

He's Dead Tired  •  Commando

Commando, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rae Dawn Chong, follows a retired commando who gets kidnapped while attempting a civilian lifestyle with his wife and son. The 1987 film follows a similar structure to Die Hard and also touches on similar themes of morality, family, and the underdog. It’s also worth mentioning that the film was co-written by Steven E de Souza who also wrote Die Hard. Sold!

Best Movies Like Die Hard

Conclusion

Commando is a pre-cursor to Die Hard and follows the trend of '80s action flicks with swole icons like Schwarzenegger ripping through bad guys with brute force. In other words, it is a LOT of fun to watch. 

Great Die Hard Like Movies

Lethal Weapon

Lethal Weapon  •  Crazy Cop

If you're looking for a movie that has the same kind of action and thrills as Die Hard, Lethal Weapon is a great choice. The movie follows the story of a maverick cop named Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson), who teams up with Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) in order to stop a gangster who has been selling drugs in Los Angeles.

This film is part of the Lethal Weapon series, which has spawned four sequels and even an animated TV show. The first movie was released in 1987 and helped usher in the buddy cop comedy, a sub-genre that thrives even today.

Best Movies Like Die Hard

Conclusion

Director Richard Donner gives us a thrill ride while the chemistry between Riggs and Murtaugh is legendary. This is a must-watch for any action fan.

Action Movies Like Die Hard

The Terminator

Creating The Terminator 

The Terminator franchise has been on the decline ever since James Cameron stepped away from it following T2. But the original is still one of the best science fiction action films in cinema that should be on anyone’s must-watch list. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger as T-800 is sent from the future to kill Sarah Connor so that she cannot give birth to John Connor, humanity’s future savior against Skynet. While it leans more toward science fiction than Die Hard, The Terminator screenplay features some of the most memorable characters in action films. 

Best Movies Like Die Hard

Conclusion

You can't get much more high-concept than Cameron's Terminator. Granted, the sequel is much better overall but this is a slice of cinematic gold.

Up Next

Best Action Movies of All Time

Hopefully this list has given you plenty of films to choose from to scratch that Die Hard itch. And once you've run through all of these options, check out our full list of the best action movies of all time. 

Up Next: Best Action Movies →
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