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Independence Day (1996)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi  |  3 July 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 393,951 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 823 user | 151 critic | 19 from

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.


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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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


WARNING! Your next stop may not be there. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



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)


JPY 3,766,488,300 (Japan) (24 January 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (special edition)

Sound Mix:

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


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


To achieve the effect of flames traveling along the street, the crew placed a downward-facing high-speed camera above a miniature model of a street tilted at roughly 90 degrees. When explosives were set off on the ground, the flames would rise toward the camera while engulfing the model. When the film was then played at normal speed, it gave the illusion that the flames were traveling laterally at the speed seen in the film. See more »


At SETI in New Mexico, after the guy discovers the alien signal, the woman at the keyboard is not typing anything; her fingers are just moving over the keys. 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

Frank Bollinger, originally from the art department is credited as "Alien Supervisor" because he wasn't member of the union, so he wouldn't be allowed to work in that department. See more »


Featured in Nostalgia Critic: Top 11 Best Film Trailers (2014) See more »


Written by Link Wray and Milt Grant (as Milton Grant)
Performed by Link Wray
Courtesy of Barnaby Records Inc. by arrangement with
Celebrity Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

21 January 2000 | by (Karlstad, Sweden) – See all my reviews

Never mind the stereotypical characters. Never mind the non-existant logic. Never mind that the dialogue is inane and bordering on idiotic. THIS IS GREAT ACTION! And there's no point in denying it.

First of all: I love to watch destruction. Preferably in larger scales. You get fed an enormous amount of it here. Second: I love alien starships the size of New York. And you sure get that too. And third: I love dogfights. You get that too. Forth: I don't take it seriously.

This films is one of the best of the decade, not simply because it works so well in an all-over scheme, but it provides some kicks that no other film had up to then (1996). Aliens arrive in gigantic spaceships and blow up a bunch of major cities. That's all I need.

How to grapple with the fact that logic takes a backseat - please spare me. There are worse films than this one.

254 of 411 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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