[In Die Hard], just about every frame in the film is either (1) setting up or (2) paying off a specific piece of the story. Even everything that happens at the beginning that would normally be window dressing and character development and throat-clearing has a specific reason for being there. "Fists with your toes." Holly slamming down the family photo in her office. Her Rolex.
This essay made me appreciate Die Hard more. That is a difficult thing to accomplish. Kudos.