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Live Free or Die Hard

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Live Free or Die Hard, the thrilling new Die Hard movie starring Bruce Willis, fulfills all the action expectations viewers might have for it. Despite a 10-year absence from the character of NYPD Detective John McClane, Willis jumps right back into that well-worn T-shirt and commands the screen from the beginning. He is ably supported by Justin Long, Timothy Olyphant, Maggie Q, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Although the story has strong moral, patriotic and heroic elements, they are spoiled by some tough, edgy violence and plenty of foul language, especially many strong profanities.

The movie starts its story at the beginning of the Fourth of July holiday. NYPD Detective John McClane has just had a late-night argument with his college-age daughter, Lucy. Despite the late hour, he gets a seemingly routine assignment to pick up a young computer hacker, Matt Farrell, wanted for questioning by the FBI in Washington, D.C.

When he gets to Farrell’s apartment, he is greeted by a hail of machine-gun fire from a group of professional thugs trying to kill Farrell. McClane and Farrell barely survive this onslaught. When they finally get to D.C., the whole country is engulfed in a massive technological breakdown engineered by disgruntled government employee Thomas Gabriel. From there, it’s a race to keep each other alive as McClane and Farrell try to guess Gabriel’s next move and stop his plans. Complicating matters is Gabriel’s ability to use the country’s computer system to kidnap McClane’s daughter and even commandeer military aircraft.

For pure edge-of-your-seat action, it’s hard to beat this movie. The action sequences in Live Free or Die Hard are stunning, impressive, suspenseful, and exciting. Furthermore, while the story is not quite as incisive or elegantly crafted as the first Die Hard, the script has enough heart in it to satisfy all but the most jaded moviegoer. Also, the movie’s villain is not as menacing as Alan Rickman was in the first movie, though he is perhaps even meaner.

The movie’s moral and political sentiments are partly summed up by the first half of its title, Live Free, but they also include John McClane’s no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners approach to defending the innocent, including his family, and protecting his country and its social order. These positive qualities are spoiled by some tough, edgy violence, especially when McClane encounters the villain’s tough, kung-fu-fighting girlfriend, Mai. The movie’s violence also includes some point blank shootings. Also spoiling the fun is plenty of foul language, including many strong profanities. Thus, MovieGuide® advises extreme caution.

NOTE from Dr. Ted Baehr, publisher of Movieguide Magazine. For more information from a Christian perspective, order the latest Movieguide Magazine by visiting

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MOVIEGUIDE® was founded in 1985 by Dr. Ted Baehr, past president of the Episcopal Radio & Television Foundation and former director of the Television Center at the City University of New York. MOVIEGUIDE® is affiliated with the Christian Film & Television Commission® ministry (CFTVC). Both MOVIEGUIDE® and CFTVC are dedicated to redeeming the values of the entertainment industry, according to biblical principles, by influencing industry executives and artists and by informing and educating the public about the influence of the entertainment media and about how to train their families to become