If you think that I'm just using this article premise as an excuse to talk about "Die Hard," you are correct. That's also why I've volunteered to discuss my favorite Christmas movie, my favorite family comedy, my favorite emergency training film, and my favorite ad for zippos.
Die Hard is genuinely a heist movie, for the record. It's just not a heist movie where the heist is being carried out by the protagonist. Don't believe me? Consider the following:
A heist movie could be described as a movie where the plot centers around a heist. If you wanted to get more specific you could even define a 'heist' in this context as a complicated robbery. This may not be your personal definition of a heist movie, but surely you admit that it's a reasonable definition for someone to use.
By that very reasonable definition, "Die Hard" is absolutely a heist movie. Hans Gruber's plan is to steal millions of dollars in the form of bearer bonds, pretend to be a terrorist, then cover his escape with an explosion in front of news cameras.
Not only is this a heist movie, it's a great heist movie. It's a tragedy for Hans that sees the protagonist of that version of the story realizing that his pursuit of money has doomed him only as he begins to plummet to his demise, still clutching onto a symbol of the wealth he lost everything chasing.