I saw Die Hard for the first time only about five years ago so I was a little late to the party, so to speak. That said, I immediately adored it. I’ve loved Bruce Willis since his Moonlighting days, so it was easy to appreciate his humor and grit in Die Hard, not to mention the always amazing Alan Rickman. 

But, is Die Hard a Christmas movie? This is a question that’s been asked for YEARS and people are pretty vehemently divided. Let’s dive in.

What is Die Hard?

John McClane from Die Hard on walkie talkie

Surely if you’re reading this article, you’ve already seen the movie. Still, if you need a refresher, the plot is basically about how a New York City cop (John McClane) comes to LA to visit his estranged wife and kids for Christmas. He goes to meet his wife (Holly) at her office Christmas party, being held in Nakatomi Plaza, a massive skyscraper that’s still being worked on.

Unfortunately, a heist, led by Hans Gruber, slams right into the festivities as the workers are held hostage, including Holly. John, however, gives them the slip and the rest of the film is spent with him trying to take down the bad guys, save his wife, and make a big, violent mess as he does so. 

Is Die Hard Actually Christmas-y? 

Hans Gruber and henchmen from Die Hard

I’m going to show my hand here in this rather controversial topic. Yes. It absolutely is. And…it also isn’t. That’s what makes it so great! You can watch it any time of the year! Still, I do consider it in the category of Christmas movies. Let’s get into why:

  1. The setting: It takes place at a Christmas party. John is coming to LA to see his family AT CHRISTMAS. Pretty strong evidence already. 
  2. There are snippets of Christmas music in the soundtrack, including Let it Snow and Winter Wonderland. 
  3. They currently sell Die Hard Christmas sweaters, including ones with the famous line, “Now I have a machine gun, Ho-Ho-Ho.” Clearly I’m not the only one who gets that holiday feeling when watching this movie. 
  4. The theme of the film, in spite of all the shooting, one liners and explosions, is John reconciling with his wife and getting his family back. What could be a more fitting theme for Christmas than that? 
  5. The fact that it’s Christmas is integral to the story. The party. The puns. The music. The whole reason for John being there in the first place. Christmas is like its own character throughout the movie. Yes, it’s a minor one, but it is still very much present. 
  6. John’s wife is literally named Holly. That’s pretty dang festive…

To Those Who disagree

John McClane in vent

If you don’t think Die Hard is a Christmas movie, you’re in good company. Bruce Willis himself has declared emphatically that it’s not. That doesn’t make him right, but at least you can say you’re on the same side!

Still, whether you think it is or not, you can surely enjoy a viewing of this beloved classic action flick at any time of the year. That’s one of the things that makes it so awesome. There is simply no wrong time to watch it. It’s Willis at his very best. Considering his unfortunate current health, we’re very lucky to have his talent and charisma captured for all time.

Same also goes for the wonderful Alan Rickman, who was taken far too soon. It’s both incredible and heart breaking all at once, to have these performances and characters preserved even as life marches cruelly on. So no matter what time of year you prefer to watch, Die Hard is truly a timeless gift to its fans. That’s something we can all agree on.

Want more Die Hard reviews? Here’s ranking Die Hard movies from worst to best!

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