Film Analysis: Die Hard


This film is about how a group of German men try to overtake a business building in a heist, but a NY police officer helps put a stop to it.

Film Analysis

Film TitleDie Hard
DirectorJohn McTiernan
If you could work on this film (change it), what would you change and why?The graphics

Film information can be found at

As you view films, consider how the cuts, camera angles, shots, and movement work to create particular meanings. Think about how they establish space, privilege certain characters, suggest relationships, and emphasize themes. In addition to shot distances, angles, editing, and camera movement, note details of the narrative, setting, characters, lighting, props, costume, tone, and sound.

Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Who is the protagonist?John
2. Who is the antagonist?Hans
3. What is the conflict?Hans and his crew try and overtake a business building
4. What is the theme or central, unifying concept? (summarize in one or two words)A heist for money
5. How is the story told (linear, non-linear, with flashbacksflash-forwards, at regular intervals)Regular Intervals
6. What “happens” in the plot (Brief description)?Hans and his crew try and take over a building but John, a NY cop, puts a stop to it
7. How does the film influence particular reactions on the part of viewers (sound, editing,
characterization, camera movement, etc.)? Why does the film encourage such
There is a lot of screaming, showing fear in the characters
8. Is the setting realistic or stylized? What atmosphere does the setting suggest? Do particular objects or settings serve symbolic functions?It is realistic because it is based in a normal business building
9. How are the characters costumed and made-up? What does their clothing or makeup reveal about their social standing, ethnicity, nationality, gender, or age? How do costume and makeup convey character?They are dressed in work apparel, suits and dresses
10. How does the lighting design shape our perception of character, space, or mood?It is a pretty dark scenery, the lighting is not the best.
11. How do camera angles and camera movements shape our view of characters or spaces? What do you see cinematically?They angle the camera from a top view so you can see everyone’s reaction
12. What is the music’s purpose in the film? How does it direct our attention within the image? How does it shape our interpretation of the image? What stands out about the music?The purpose is to create suspense.
13. How might industrial, social, and economic factors have influenced the film? Describe how this film influences or connects to a culture?The layout of the building is pretty weird because it is old
14. Give an example of what a film critic had to say about this film. Use credible sources and cite sources.Example: “The Shawshank Redemption Movie Review (1994) | Roger Ebert.” All Content. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 June 2015.It is given a 94% audience score on rotten tomatoes
15. Select one scene no longer than 5 minutes that represents well the whole film and shows relevant cinematic elements. Write a one-sentence description of the scene and record the time of the scene.Example: from 1:05:00 to 1:10:00.Explain why you chose this scene. We no longer have the movie anymore because my mom deleted it but it was about 30-40 minutes into the movie. Its when Hans and his crew drive into the parking lot and jump out and take over the building.
16. In the selected scenewrite a sentence for each of the elements below to justify why this scene best represents the film:
a. Screenwriting:The script had a lot of explcit language
b. Sound Design:The sound quality wasn’t great but it is also an old movie
c. Camera Movements/Angles:The angles were not ideal. They came from random places
d. Light Setup:The lighting was very dark and it was a weird setting
e. Soundtrack/Score:The music made it very suspenseful
18. What’s the socio-cultural context of this film?A heist

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