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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 397,964 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 823 user | 151 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

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 <gumo@hem2.passagen.se>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Enjoy The Superbowl. It May Be Your Last (Superbowl Promo) 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?


Roland Emmerich:  [44]  The number 44 is seen on the headrest in Russell's F18 cockpit, several TVs are tuned to channel 44. When the ship above Area 51 is destroyed, just as it's falling to Earth, 44 can be seen in the flames on the side of the ship. See more »


When Washington, D.C. is attacked, the space craft is positioned over the White House as it fires its destructive beam. During the following scenes of destruction, we see the explosion destroy the U.S. Capitol Building from the East Front. If the beam had been centered over the White House and spread outward, it would have hit the U.S. Capitol Building from the West Front first. 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 Roland Emmerich: Master of the Modern Epic (2010) See more »


It's the End of the World As We Know It
Written by Bill Berry (as William Berry), Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Michael Stipe
Performed by R.E.M.
Courtesy of IRS Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Fun summer blockbuster that some just took to seriously.
7 May 2003 | by See all my reviews

I enjoyed this movie, sure it isn't the most original movie ever made or the best, but it was what it set out to be...which is a combo alien attack movie of the 50's plus an all-star disaster movie of the 70's. A lot of critics don't like this one and a lot of people who think of themselves as critics don't care much for it either, but it still brought in over 300 million at the box office in the summer of 96. I thought it was an entertaining film with lots of action and a good dose of comedy as well. One complaint I have is that it runs a bit long and you feel the time pass not like other movies like "The Two Towers" where it doesn't feel like all that much time has passed. Another problem with this movie is that it is best seen in the theater. This movie has a score of only six at imdb, so a lot of people who saw it probably saw it on TV. Or if they did see it at the theaters, realized it just wasn't as good on the small screen when they saw it on TV. The movie also benefited from a great ad campaign that started with a super bowl spot that showed the White House being destroyed. The movie is basically an alien invasion movie and it is like a 50's science fiction movie. It also has a lot of stars, not the biggest names, just like a 70's disaster flick. If you don't care for either of these genres you probably won't like this movie, but if you like one or the other or both it is worth checking out. Just don't take it too seriously and have fun watching it.

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