Die Hard isn’t just an action movie—it’s the action movie. Very few films have the clout to speak for an entire genre, but Die Hard is one of them. On the film’s thirtieth anniversary, let’s take a look at its legacy, and understand just why it is regularly quoted and referenced throughout pop culture. From its everyman protagonist and perfectly crafted villain, to its cinematography, editing, and elegant narrative simplicity, this film has everything a quintessential action movie needs, and what so many others sorely lack.
Die Hard has stood the test of time (and a number of less-than-stellar sequels) and continues to spark debates every holiday season over whether or not it’s a Christmas movie. The next time you have the chance, be sure to catch it, if only for a few scenes, and pay homage to this genre-defining classic.