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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 393,771 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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Won 1 Oscar. Another 30 wins & 32 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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


On July 2, 1996, the aliens came. On July 3, 1996, the aliens saw and struck. On Independence Day 1996, the human race will CONQUER! 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?


The smoky effects of the alien spacecraft as it moves into position above New York City (starts about 22 minutes 44 seconds into the movie) was created by a double exposure on the film. The effect comes from recording water in a tank turning murky after a clod of dirt was dropped into it. See more »


When the ship approaches New York, the shadow hits the World Trade Center and is curved, yet the ship is still inside a cloud which is not. As the ship moves, it changes direction, crossing the river, approaching the WTC, which was in Lower Manhattan, then moving in over the Empire State Building, which is far from both. 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 »


Stand By
Written by Sophie Edkvist & Lars Halapi
Performed by Sophie Zelmani
Courtesy of Columbia Records by arrangement with Sony Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Great Blockbuster!
7 August 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

What's the fuss about this movie? Why does everyone think so poorly of this? Well, in my opinion they compare this film to the Best Picture movies. This is not a Best Picture film, but a very entertaining popcorn film. This tells the tale of aliens attacking Earth and a group of survivors must unite together to destroy the invading aliens. The acting is decent. Will Smith, with a movie career underway, is excellent. Bill Pullman is great as the President. The effects were amazing especially when the buildings were blown up. David Arnold's music score is just fantastic. The theme is still stuck in my head. Overall, this is an excellent film. I rate this film a 10/10.

102 of 146 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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How Can Anyone Dislike This Movie? bigmacdan
I don't know why no one has said this before. dmaboyer
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My one nagging pet peeve about the movie..... calorioles
Why wasn't the President saluted? Angie_MJ
The death of the President's wife dazfiddy
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