LOS ANGELES "Die Hard," starring Bruce Willis as a tough cop battling terrorists, was named the best action film ever by Entertainment Weekly magazine -- two weeks before the series' fourth installment, "Live Free or Die Hard," hits theaters.
The magazine on Thursday unveiled a list of top 25 action movies picked by its writers and editors spanning a wide range of films: from 1938's "The Adventures of Robin Hood" to director Akira Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai" in 1954 (No. 6) and the 2004 computer-animated film, "The Incredibles" (No. 25).
Space adventure "Aliens" followed "Die Hard" in the No. 2 slot with "Raiders of the Lost Ark" at No. 3 and "The Road Warrior" and "The Matrix" at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively.
But it was 1988's "Die Hard," starring Willis as tough-as-nails New York cop John McClane who battles terrorists in a Los Angeles high-rise, that blew the biggest Hollywood fireball for the magazine's staff.
Back in summer 1988, "Die Hard" was notable mostly for its gun battles and explosions, including blowing up an L.A. high-rise. The movie raked in $138 million worldwide and made Willis a major movie star.
Two sequels, "Die Hard 2: Die Harder" and "Die Hard With a Vengeance," followed in 1990 and 1995, respectively.
The fourth film, "Live Free or Die Hard," lands in theaters on June 27, and this time McClane is saving the world from a mad genius mounting a digital attack on computer networks.
An Entertainment Weekly spokeswoman said the list was picked without any regard to "Live Free's" opening date or its interview with Willis that hits newsstands on Friday.
"After we finalized the list, we asked for interviews with key players in the movies we picked," the spokeswoman said. "'Die Hard'" was going to be No. 1 anyway."
Some of the more recent films making the top 25 included "Spider-Man 2" and "Kill Bill -- Vol. 1," while older titles ranged from 1964 James Bond movie "Goldfinger" to 1973's martial arts flick "Enter the Dragon," starring Bruce Lee.