Critic Reviews

59

Metascore

Based on 19 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
88
USA Today
A rousing state-of-the-art cartoon capped by an aerial-combat climax that, to its credit, isn't anti-climactic. [2 July 1996, p.D1]
83
Entertainment Weekly
It's the first futuristic disaster movie that's as cute as a button. Which, when all the special effects blow over, is what we Americans like in a monster hit.
80
The aliens, meanwhile, are a fabulously nasty lot of slimy, tentacled, malevolent telepaths, but all their superior technology is no match for our red, white and blue ingenuity. Take that, space bullies!
80
Two reasons it's impossible to resist "Independence Day": because of its pitch-perfect cartoonish dialogue ("Now you're never gonna get to fly the space shuttle if you marry a stripper!") and because the Captain, like Indiana Jones, is so unflappably tough.
80
Like 2001, Star Wars and Jurassic Park, it ups the special effects stakes and gets closer to putting on screen the images you've had in your mind while reading epic sci-fi.
80
Cities engulfed by rolling walls of flame, sinister aquamarine power blasts turning beloved national monuments to toast, even the roiling clouds the spaceships appear out of, they are all disturbing, unsettling and completely convincing.
63
Fans of sci-fi, special effects, big explosions, panicky crowd scenes and theater sound systems cranked up way beyond the capacity of the human ear to hear comfortably will love this movie. I am not among you.
50
Cruises to an upbeat ending but furnishes no more of the wicked thrills of the initial hour. Particularly disappointing is the human contrivance employed in the defeat of the vastly superior enemy.
50
Christian Science Monitor
The action is fast, furious, and loaded with explosive effects, but the theme is a regrettable return to the us-against-them paranoia that dominated much science fiction in the cold-war era.
40
Chicago Reader
Overlong but watchable.

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