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Independence Day (1996)

PG-13 | | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 3 July 1996 (USA)
2:27 | Trailer

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The aliens are coming and their goal is to invade and destroy Earth. Fighting superior technology, mankind's best weapon is the will to survive.


176 ( 17)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 32 wins & 34 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:


On July 2nd, communications systems worldwide are sent into chaos by a strange atmospheric interference. It is soon learned by the military that a number of enormous objects are on a collision course with Earth. At first thought to be meteors, they are later revealed to be gigantic spacecraft, piloted by a mysterious alien species. After attempts to communicate with the aliens go nowhere, David Levinson, an ex-scientist turned cable technician, discovers that the aliens are going to attack major points around the globe in less than a day. On July 3rd, the aliens all but obliterate New York, Los Angeles and Washington, as well as Paris, London, Houston and Moscow. The survivors set out in convoys towards Area 51, a strange government testing ground where it is rumored the military has a captured alien spacecraft of their own. The survivors devise a plan to fight back against the enslaving aliens, and July 4th becomes the day humanity will fight for its freedom. July 4th is their ... Written by Gustaf Molin <gumo@hem2.passagen.se>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


EARTH Take a good look. It could be your last. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sci-fi destruction and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 July 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

ID4  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$50,200,000 (USA) (5 July 1996)


$306,124,059 (USA) (13 December 1996)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm print)| (35 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to a back-story established by the cast and crew, Dr. Okun was recruited by the military out of Berkeley in the 1960s, and due to the top-secret nature of his work, has been isolated at Area 51 since. Although never revealed in the film, his first name was established as Brackish, a word meaning "unappealing" or "repulsive". See more »


Supposedly set in July, a weather map in the "USA Today" paper shows a mid-winter thermograph. See more »


[first lines]
SETI Chief: [answering telephone] If this isn't an insanely beautiful woman, I'm hangin' up.
SETI technician: Sir, I - I- I think you should listen to this.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"Animal action was monitored by the American Humane Association. No animals or aliens were harmed in the making of this film." See more »


Referenced in Caroline in the City: Caroline and the Letter (1996) See more »


Boom Boom Booty
Written by Richard Rudolph, Michael Sembello, Romany Malco
Performed by U.P.F. Featuring ROM
Courtesy of Dolp Songs & ROM Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Suspenseful Feel Good Fun!

I am just shocked at all the negative reviews by pseudo-intellectuals saying the film was heavily flawed, incomprehensible, devoid of any merit, and "lame", to quote a few. What were they expecting? A remake of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Sure, I am not going to pretend the film does not has many glaring weaknesses. The plot is hardly original; its execution is even less inspiring. Roland Emmerich goes out of his way to use every cliche in the book, over-sentimentality, weak, flat characterizations, incredible jumps in logic and reasoning made on the viewer, and the use of special effects to overcome these shortcomings. But what some of the reviewers seemed to have missed, and its there as substantiated by the huge popularity of the film, is heart. The film has a lot of heart. It makes you feel good after watching it. And although that quality does not make it a great film, it certainly makes it a good film in my book. The film is vastly entertaining, very suspenseful, a delight for the eyes with dazzling special effects, and even has some dialogue that does just rise above its hackneyed origins. The acting is adequate all around with no one pulling off a great performance, but a few doing marvelous jobs with what they have to work with. Judd Hirsch easily out acts his fellow colleagues as a Jewish father with a gift for common sense and lack of tact. Jeff Goldblum also gives a pretty good performance as his son. Yeah, Will Smith is just Will Smith..lots of one liners and little meat so to speak. But he is bearable. Watch for Brent Spiner in an outrageous role as a hippie scientist. His performance is a real hoot! If you are looking for philosophical science fiction, this is not it. See Starship Troopers(a great film). This is just good old Americans against the universe stuff, lots of action but little substance. But whatever it may have as its faults, it is a fun, happy, sad, charming, engrossing film to watch...time and time again.

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