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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 397,989 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


The day we'll fight back! 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 the First Lady calls the President from Los Angeles at the beginning of the movie, she tells him it's 2:45 a.m., which would make it 5:45 a.m. in Washington, DC. When their daughter wakes up and turns on the TV, The McLaughlin Group is on. This show never came on in the Washington, DC area until 11:00 a.m., and only on Sunday mornings - which also means they couldn't have seen The Late Show with David Letterman the night before (it's only on Monday-Friday nights). 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 »


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

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User Reviews

Still a great flick
21 August 2008 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This movie is TRULY one of the best and names itself the Science Fiction version of "Top Gun". The actors were great. Will Smith got "jiggy with it" as a hotshot F/A-18 pilot in the movie; Randy Quaid (the older brother of Dennis Quaid) proved to be the comic relief; Bill Pullman's character transformed from a President with the problem of a nation into a reborn veteran; and Jeff Goldblum became more brilliant than ever! The only difference between "Independence Day" and "Top Gun" is that the 2 adversaries were humans and aliens instead of Americans and Soviet pilots. Independence Day is really just patriotic drivel in means of plot and adventure. But the film comes into its best moments when the action sequences hit the screen. Buildings explode and men die in beautifully choreographed fashions that raise the bar for many modern action films today.

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