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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 398,438 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


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:



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 film was banned in Lebanon under pressure from Hezbollah, because it included scenes where Israeli and Iraqi soldiers joined forces, in the montage where militaries around the world signed onto the U.S. plan to counter-attack the alien forces. For the last few decades, Lebanon officially boycotts any form of entertainment that features Israelis. See more »


When Tiffany alerts the other alien believers of the ship opening up, there is an African-American woman standing right next to her. The woman, hearing Tiffany, looks up and points. But in the shot of the camera zooming down towards Tiffany as she looks up, the woman is gone. 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 Caroline in the City: Caroline and the Ultimatum (1999) See more »


Boom Boom Booty
Written by Richard Rudolph, Michael Sembello, Romany Malco
Performed by U.P.F. Featuring ROM
Courtesy of Dolp Songs & ROM Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of the better high-concept movies..
11 November 2006 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

As a rule, I don't like high-concept movies. However, Independence Day is one of the few with some merits. It is also the best film to-date by German sci-fi/action director Roland Emmerich. The greatest flaw of Indepence Day (aka ID4 due to initial copyright problems with the Independence Day title) is the excessive jingoism. Completely America centric, it seems that the rest of human civilization is helpless without the Yanks. The American President is not just the only world leader fighting for a free world, he even moonlights as a fighter pilot attacking the aliens.

However, its still a damn entertaining film. There is a large ensemble cast of good actors, some in career best roles. Will Smith was really launched as a movie star by this film and he has some very funny lines. Jeff Goldblum actually looks nerdy-cool as a scientist who likes to play chess in the park. And Bill Pullman is the clean-cut American President who proclaims that July 4 will no longer be an American holiday, but a world holiday! The rest of the ensemble cast includes small but meaty roles for Judd Hirsch, Randy Quaid and Vivica Fox. Harry Connick Jr. has a small part but blows it completely.

The things that make ID4 watching is that something is always going on. There are plenty of one-liners and the one-dimensional character all have their peculiar personality traits and quirks. The action scenes are impressive and in fact this film has the largest number of miniatures ever built. That record will probably never be broken because digital technology is limiting the use of miniatures. If you can let your hair loose and just want to enjoy a light movie without letting the America is Great propaganda get to you, ID4 is for you.

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