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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.


140 ( 36)
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


THESE extraterrestrials don't want to phone home...They want OUR home. 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
See  »

Did You Know?


The main helicopter used during the "Welcome Wagon" operation was a Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane which was outfitted with an array of flashing lights. In the DVD commentary, producer Dean Devlin said that when they first test-flew the helicopter with the lights on, over 150 calls were received in Orange County from callers who spotted the helicopter and, unsure of what it was, reported it as a "UFO sighting". See more »


When Julius and David pull up beside the White House gate, David places the device on the Plymouth's hood to triangulate Connie's position inside. The device's position on the car's hood differs between the close-up and wide shot - note the car door. 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 Nostalgia Critic: Wild Wild West (2016) See more »


Live It Cool
Written by Junior Vasquez & Lydia Rhodes
Performed by Lydia Rhodes
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Independence Day - outstanding work of the cinematic art
22 November 2006 | by (Southern California) – See all my reviews

Personally I think this is the best movie of the 90's.

But then I think South Park is the best TV show of the 20th century. Followed by Twilight Zone and Star Trek tying for second and third place.

While there's no accounting for taste in art, I can make reasoned arguments for my choices.

The people here on IMDb who hate this movie and provide negative comments probably have their reasons too, but mostly they say stupid things. For example, the one vituperous reviewer who lambasted the film's "less-than-impressive CGI effects". Well, duh, they didn't use very much CGI as far as I know. They did special effects the old-fashioned way. This schmuck is complaining about reality not being very realistic?

And if box office is any indication of excellence, then the stats are on my side and prove the nay-sayers are tasteless boobs. Make that witless, tasteless boobs. Independence Day is one of the highest grossing movies in history, worldwide sales topping a billion.

Admittedly ID4 is one of those semi-rare movies that people either love or hate. And in this case hate with a passion. Why? I'm still trying to figure that one out, but so far I believe the whiniest critics are just your stereotypical jaded art critics: self-centered pseudo-intellectuals with attitude who pounce on any flaws in anything they personally don't like just to show off their own vapid superiority. What do they want? Yes, the movie has flaws, but it also has a lot of plot, a lot of heart, and a lot of action. Dialog? I make fun of the dialog myself... so what? The worst criticism I can lay against the writers is that a lot of the dialog is inane... just like real people talk! That just makes it more realistic. Have any of these critics on here ever listened to how real people talk? In some cases the dialog is sooo frigging inane in ID4 that I marvel at it's brilliance. Or chutzpah.

"What happened, mommy?"

"I don't know, baby"

As for the Apple-alien hook-up... my god, have we become so inured to the miracles of science that we calmly overlook or accept miracles like anti-gravity and kvetch instead about mundane technicalities? Yes, the Apple-alien computer hook-up is a plot hole... so what? I can easily explain that away a billion times easier than I can explain anti-gravity. I happen to know a bit about both.

Again. Are there stupid things that happen in ID4? Sure. Checked reality lately? Stupid things happen all the time. But so do heroic things. As well as evil. Typical fare for the ancient tragedies. I believe ID4 carries on that ancient and honorable tradition: entertainment. And viewing it as a work of art, I must say that I was impressed over and over again while watching this film: where most of the studios would have wussed out or flinched, these film makers didn't. They stepped up to the plate and tried to beat the ball to death over and over again with their bat.

And you know what? These film makers did it with a hint of humor. Not bad at all.

177 of 319 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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