Bruce Willis is undoubtedly one of America’s most successful actors – best known for his roles as various every-man heroes and action figures. Rising to stardom thanks to his appearance in the TV show ‘Moonlighting’ – performing with his co-star Cybill Shepherd, Willis then took on various movies and films and achieved much success on the big screen making Bruce Willis movies highly sought after. The movie reviews below include Willis’ greatest films such as Die Hard, Pulp Fiction, and The Sixth Sense.
Reviews of 15 Best Bruce Willis Movies
1. Die Hard Series (1988 – 2007)
A common thread throughout the Bruce Willis movies is a reluctant hero named John McClane who inadvertently gets himself into terrorist attacks forcing him to fight them to save his loved ones. The series has been a success and created a huge fandom of people from all over the world.
Die Hard (1988)
Die Hard is an American action film directed by John McTiernan and written by Jeb Stuart and Steven E. de Souza, based on a novel ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’ by Roderick Thorp. The film is about the life of a New York City police detective John McClane (Bruce Willis), who – while visiting his estranged wife, Holly – gets caught up in a terrorist attack. The man behind the terrorist scheme is a German radical, Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman).
|Stars||Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Reginald VelJohnson, Bonnie Bedelia…|
|Studio||20th Century Fox|
Die Hard 2: Die Harder (1990)
Die Hard 2 is a second sequel in the Die Hard film series, this time directed by Renny Harlin and written by Steven E. de Souza and Doug Richardson. The film is adapted from Walter Wager’s novel, ‘58 minutes’. In this film, McClane is an LA police officer waiting for his wife at Dulles International Airport when terrorists take over the air traffic control system.
|Stars||Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, William Atherton, Reginald VelJohnson…|
|Studio||20th Century Fox|
Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995)
This time McClane is back in New York City, recently separated from his wife, suspended from the police force, and never entirely sober. The city is under attack by a terrorist who calls himself Simon (Jeremy Irons) and threatens to blow up several locations across NYC unless McClane could solve his own version of ‘Simon Says’ including many riddles and challenges.
Teaming up with Zeus Carver (Samuel L. Jackson), a shopkeeper from Harlem – who saves McClane from his first challenge, McClane starts chasing after Simon and uncovers many secrets behind this mastermind.
|Stars||Bruce Willis, Jeremy Irons, Samuel L. Jackson, Graham Greene…|
|Studio||20th Century Fox|
Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
Also known as Die Hard 4.0, the film is a must-watch. The mission is to save the United States from cyber-terrorists who hack into government and commercial computers hoping to start a ‘fire sale’ i.e. disabling the entire nation’s infrastructure.
The NYC police detective John McClane saves Matthew Farrell (Justin Long) from being assassinated by Mai Linh, who works for the mastermind – Thomas Gabriel. The two teams up to work for the FBI to bring down Thomas’ gang. As the story unfolds, McClane’s daughter Lucy is put into danger.
|Stars||Bruce Willis, Timothy Olyphant, Justin Long, Maggie Q…|
|Studio||20th Century Fox|
2. Hudson Hawk (1991)
Hudson Hawk is an action comedy film directed by Michael Lehmann. Bruce Willis plays Eddie Hudson Hawk, a master thief who is about to enjoy his cup of cappuccino to celebrate his first day of parole. The attempt is cut short as he is blackmailed by various people (a parole officer, a Mafia family, and a CIA agent) into doing a heist.
Along with his partner in crime – Tommy Messina (Danny Aiello), Hawk is assigned to steal the crystals needed to assemble the machine invented by Leonardo da Vinci – La Macchina dell’Oro.
|Stars||Bruce Willis, Robert Kraft, Daniel Waters…|
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3. Death Becomes Her (1992)
Death Becomes Her is one of Bruce Willis movies belonging to the black comedy genre directed by Robert Zemeckis. The plot revolves around two women as they rival one another over a man’s affection, seek revenge, their attempt at drinking a potion promising eternal youth, and its ramifications.
Madeline Ashton (Meryl Streep) is an actress obsessed with looking young and pretty. When her friend Helen Sharp (Goldie Hawn) and Ernest Menville (Bruce Willis) – Helen’s fiancé who works as a plastic surgeon visit, Ernest gets smitten with Helen, breaks off the engagement and marries her instead.
Feeling betrayed, Helen plots revenge on Madeline. As the three meet again at Helen’s party, Madeline notices that Helen looks much younger than her age and attempts to be the same. As the story unfolds, the characters realize there is more to the potion than ever-lasting beauty.
|Stars||Meryl Streep, Bruce Willis, Goldie Hawn, Isabella Rossellini|
4. Pulp Fiction (1994)
Pulp Fiction is a neo-noir black comedy crime film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. The film tells three main interrelated crime stories that take place in Los Angeles. The first crime is about Vincent Vega – a mob contract killer. The second story is about a prize-boxer Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis), and the last story stars Samuel L. Jackson as the protagonist, playing Jules Winnfield, a hit man and Vincent’s partner.
The conversations between the characters are heavily invested, and the script written by Tarantino and Roger Avary won an Oscar. The combination of violence, time-twisting plot, and eclectic dialogues makes for one of the most influential American movies of the 1990s.
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|Stars||John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Harvey Keitel…|
5. Twelve Monkeys (1995)
Twelve Monkeys is one of Bruce Willis movies that is of sci-fi genre directed by Terry Gilliam. James Cole (Bruce Willis) is a prisoner of the state living in the year 2035. He is offered parole on the condition that he travels back in time to prevent a devastating plague that wiped out most of the Earth’s population causing the rest to live underground.
Cole is first wrongly sent to the year 1990 (6 years prior to the virus outspread) and sent to a psychiatric hospital for his bizarre warnings. There he meets Dr. Kathryn Railly (a psychiatrist, played by Madeline Stowe) and Jeffrey Goines (Brad Pitt) – a patient who is an avid environmentalist and anti-corporatist. As it turns out, Goines has something to do with the ‘Twelve Monkeys’ and the virus.
The film had such a widespread impact that the relationship between Cole and the psychiatrist was mentioned and further explored in an article published in Psychiatric Bulletin journal.
|Stars||Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, Madeline Stowe, Christopher Plummer…|
6. The Siege (1998)
The Siege is an action thriller directed by Edward Zwick centered on terrorist attacks taking place in New York City. The FBI Terrorism Task Force takes charge of Chief Anthony Hubbard (Denzel Washington) in the lead. After several bombings occur leaving many civilians injured and killed, the President of the United States orders a martial law allowing Major General William Devereaux (Bruce Willis) to seal off Brooklyn and detain young Arab men in Downing Stadium.
The movie deals with a sensitive subject at the time – the local hostility towards Arabic Americans and its ramifications on the efforts of capturing the actual culprits.
|Stars||Denzel Washington, Annette Bening, Bruce Willis, Tony Shalhoub, Sami Bouajila…|
|Studio||20th Century Fox|
7. Mercury Rising (1998)
Mercury Rising is one of Bruce Willis movies that is an action thriller directed by Harold Becker based on Ryne Douglas Pearson’s novel – Simple Simon. It all starts when Simon Lynch – a 9-year-old autistic boy – cracks a top-secret government code. Deeming him as a national security threat, the government sends assassins to track down and kill him.
When an undercover FBI agent Art Jeffries (Bruce Willis) arrives at Simon’s house finding his parents dead in a staged murder-suicide and Simon hiding in his bedroom closet, Jeffries intuitively knows what’s going on and sets to protect the boy.
|Stars||Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin, Chi McBride, Kim Dickens|
8. The Sixth Sense (1999)
The Sixth Sense is a supernatural psychological thriller film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Malcolm Cole is a child psychologist in Philadelphia. One night a former patient visits him, saying that he fails him and then shoots Malcolm and himself.
Fast forward, now Malcolm is trying to help Cole Sear – a young boy who claims he’s able to see and communicate with ghosts. Initially skeptical, Malcolm later hears the taped voices himself and believes that the boy is telling the truth. The duo then sets out to help out these ghosts with their unfinished business and realizes new things about themselves.
|Director||M. Night Shyamalan|
|Stars||Bruce Willis, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams, Haley Joel Osment|
|Studio||Buena Vista Pictures|
9. Armageddon (1998)
Armageddon is a disaster sci-fi film produced and directed by Michael Bay. With an asteroid the size of Texas approaching Earth threatening destruction of the entire planet, a team of hard-core drillers are sent by NASA to space. Their mission is to drill a deep shaft into the asteroid and plant a nuclear bomb into it. If things go as planned, upon detonation, the asteroid will split in halves and fly past Earth.
The team includes Harry Stamper (Bruce Willis) as team leader, and the other members – Chick, Rockhound, Max, Oscar, Bear, Noonan, and A.J.
|Stars||Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Liv Tyler, Ben Affleck, Will Patton…|
10. Unbreakable (2000)
Unbreakable is a superhero thriller film written, produced, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan – it is the first installment in the Unbreakable series. In the film, Bruce Willis plays David Dunn – a security guard who survives a horrific train crash that claims 130 deaths. David realizes he may have superhuman powers. This is further confirmed as he meets Elijah Price – a comic-book art dealer who sits in a wheelchair and theorizes that David may indeed be a real-life superhero.
Under Elijah’s guidance, David goes on to discover other superhero abilities he possesses, chases criminals, and even finds out more about his new partner’s past life.
|Director||M. Night Shyamalan|
|Stars||Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright Penn|
11. Sin City (2005)
Sin City (aka Frank Miller’s Sin City) is a neo-noir crime film based on Miller’s graphic novel of the same name. The movie interweaves multiple storylines from the series’ first, third, and fourth books – the stories take place in a fictional town full of thugs and gangsters.
Mickey Rourke plays a street thug – Marv, who is looking to revenge on whoever killed a prostitute named Goldie (Jaime King). His desperate search leads him to meet the hard-core citizens of the town: Dwight (Clive Owen) – a photographer, Gail (Rosario Dawson) and Jackie Boy (Benicio Del Toro) – who are in deep trouble, and Hartigan (Bruce Willis) – an ex-cop with some heart issue who is trying to protect a stripper named Nancy (Jessica Alba).
|Director||Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino, Frank Miller|
|Stars||Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Benicio del Toro, Brittany Murphy, Mickey Rourke, Elijah Wood|
12. Cop Out (2010)
Cop Out is an action-comedy film directed by Kevin Smith. Jimmy (Bruce Willis) and Paul (Tracy Morgan) are long-time partners at New York Police Department. After failing to capture a suspect, both are suspended without pay leaving Paul desperate as his daughter is about to get married. Wanting to help, Jimmy plans to sell his 1952 baseball card, but as he is at the shop – the store is robbed by Dave (Seann William Scott).
Well aware that they are still suspended, the pair chases after the thief and uncovers many secrets about the gang.
|Stars||Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan, Adam Brody, Kevin Pollack, Guillermo Diaz, Seann William Scott|
|Studio||Warner Bros. Pictures|
13. Red (2010)
Red is an action comedy film directed by Robert Schwentke – the title Red is an acronym for ‘Retired, Extremely Dangerous’. Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is a retired CIA agent – whose life turns upside down as an assassination squad breaks into his house trying to kill him. Frank escapes unharmed and sets out to get in touch with his old mates – Joe, Marvin, and Victoria – also CIA’s previous top agents, to figure out what is going on.
|Stars||Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Karl Urban, Mary-Louise Parker|
14. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Moonrise Kingdom is a coming-of-age comedy-drama film directed by Wes Anderson. Set in a fictional New England island of New Penzance, the story is about a boy scout named Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman) who runs away from the camp to meet his pen pal / girlfriend – Suzy (Kara Hayward). As the couple enjoys their time in the wilderness, the island’s police captain (Bruce Willis) along with a search party scavenges the area looking for the runaways.
|Stars||Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand|
15. Looper (2012)
Looper is a science fiction film directed by Rian Johnson. In the year 2044, Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) works for the Kansas City crime syndicate as a looper. As at the time, time travel is possible and yet illegal, loopers are contract hitmen who major in killing people assigned as the victims are sent back 30 years to the past so that the tracking system cannot detect.
Things are going well and Joe is getting good pay until one day when the mob decides to ‘close the loop’ meaning they send back Joe’s future self (Bruce Willis) for assassination.
|Stars||Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, Noah Segan, Piper Perabo, Jeff Daniels|
Bruce Willis Movies – FAQs
The most recent movie that Bruce Willis starred in was ’10 Minutes Gone’ – a crime thriller about a gang member who gets a terrible blow to his head while doing a bank heist. His consequent memory loss leaves him unable to remember who killed his brother.
The answer is no – he has never played Batman in any movie or TV show.
Bruce Willis movies where he dies in include: The Sixth Sense, The Jackal, Heart’s War, 12 Monkeys, and Sin City.
In most of his movies, Bruce Willis plays a hero who saves the day. The film that he portrays as a villain is The Prince (2014) – in which he stars as a crime lord.
Hank Schrader (Dean Norris) is considered the TV equivalent of Die Hard’s John McClane, but Bruce Willis hasn’t starred in the Breaking Bad series.
Conclusion: Bruce Willis Movies
We must admit that Bruce Willis is an all-around great actor – having done a bit of everything throughout his career: action, comedy, drama, science fiction, and thriller. He has starred as a hero and anti-hero and yet his performances at each role are equally convincing. Whether you’re a long-time fan or have only heard of Bruce Willis, we hope that the movies above will keep you hooked and entertained – and maybe then you’d consider calling yourself a Willis’ fan.