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Bruce Willis' Highest-Rated Movie On Rotten Tomatoes Might Surprise You

Bruce Willis may be stepping down from acting in order to focus on his health, as his family recently disclosed (to much commotion in the film world). But the shadow cast by his figure over the landscape of pop cinema in the past three decades will never fade.

In his heyday, Willis was one of the last real movie stars, a presence of outsized magnetism and charisma who could just as well turn a popular genre movie into a bonafide classic or elevate a jangly B-movie just by being in it. It says something about the breadth and quality of his acting résume, and the connection he established with audiences through it, that, even after making a late-career choice to focus on low-budget DTV films that allowed many people — including the Razzie Awards organizers — to feel entitled to write him off as a joke, he is still remembered across the world for his best, most classic films.

But what is the best Bruce Willis movie of all? Or, at least, the most critically esteemed one? 

Die Hard sits atop Bruce Willis' filmography with a 94% RT score

John McTiernan's "Die Hard" wasn't just the movie that revealed Bruce Willis to the world. It wasn't just a shot of adrenaline to the heart of Hollywood tentpole cinema, one that changed American audiences' perception of what action movies could and should look like and altered the face of the genre for good. It wasn't just an offbeat yet inarguable instant holiday classic. It was all that, yes, while also being that rarest of beasts, in its genre or otherwise: a virtually wall-to-wall perfect film, with impeccable craft, clockwork storytelling, and a remarkably affecting human center.

To put it another way, if you were thinking the highest-rated film of Bruce Willis' career among critics would be one of the several dramas he did with acclaimed arthouse auteurs — more on those in a minute — think again. "Die Hard" may not fit the stereotypical bill of a prestigious critical favorite, but it is handily the highest-scoring film in Willis' oeuvre on Rotten Tomatoes, with a whopping score of 94%. It would seem that, on a pure filmmaking level, it really is borderline impossible to find fault with that movie.

Willis has many other critical hits to his name

Over the past decade or so, it has become a cliché of sorts to associate Bruce Willis with Z-grade, low-rent action schlock, culminating in the aforementioned mean-spirited, and later rescinded (via TheWrap), Razzie category of "Worst Performance by Bruce Willis in a 2021 Movie." But, out of all the top-shelf Hollywood action stars, Willis is actually one of the ones who most consistently proved, throughout his career, to have a knack for making interesting, artistically-minded choices as a movie star.

The many "Certified Fresh" films he has on Rotten Tomatoes offer ample proof of that. After "Die Hard," he still has four more films with RT scores in the 90s, all of which allowed him to showcase his great skill as a dramatic actor: Rian Johnson's "Looper" and Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" with 93%, Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction" with 92%, and the lesser-known but equally acclaimed Robert Benton drama "Nobody's Fool" with 91%. Also critically lauded are many of the other genre films he made after "Die Hard," including "12 Monkeys" (88%), "The Sixth Sense" (86%), "Grindhouse" (84%), and "Sin City" (77%) — all movies that played on his established iconicity in thoughtful, fascinating ways. Even lighter projects like "Over the Hedge" (75%) and "Red" (72%) have the "Certified Fresh" seal, further proving that, when Bruce Willis brought his A-game, he didn't miss. 

We all hope for the best for him going forward, but we sure will miss him in the movies.