Independence Day (1996) - Rotten Tomatoes

Independence Day (1996)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: The plot is thin and so is character development, but as a thrilling, spectacle-filled summer movie, Independence Day delivers.

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Movie Info

A group of intrepid humans attempts to save the Earth from vicious extraterrestrials in this extremely popular science-fiction adventure. Borrowing liberally from War of the Worlds, Aliens, and every sci-fi invasion film inbetween, director Roland Emmerich and producer and co-writer Dean Devlin present a visually slick, fast-paced adventure filled with expensive special effects and large-scale action sequences. The story begins with the approach of a series of massive spaceships, which many on Earth greet with open arms, looking forward to the first contact with alien life. Unfortunately, these extraterrestrials have not come in peace, and they unleash powerful weapons that destroy most of the world's major cities. Thrown into chaos, the survivors struggle to band together and put up a last-ditch resistance in order to save the human race. As this is a Hollywood film, this effort is led by a group of scrappy Americans, including a computer genius who had foreseen the alien's evil intent (Jeff Goldblum), a hot-shot jet pilot (Will Smith), and the President of the United States (Bill Pullman). While some critics objected to the film's lack of originality and lapses in logic, the combination of grand visual spectacle and crowd-pleasing storytelling proved irresistible to audiences, resulting in an international smash hit. ~ Judd Blaise, Rovi
Rating:
PG-13 (for sci-fi destruction and violence)
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Mystery & Suspense , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

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Cast

Will Smith
as Capt. Steven Hiller
Bill Pullman
as President Thomas J. Whitmore
Jeff Goldblum
as David Levinson
Mary McDonnell
as Marilyn Whitmore
Judd Hirsch
as Julius Levinson
Margaret Colin
as Constance Spano
Randy Quaid
as Russell Casse
Robert Loggia
as Gen. William Grey
James Rebhorn
as Albert Nimziki
Harvey Fierstein
as Marty Gilbert
Adam Baldwin
as Major Mitchell
Brent Spiner
as Dr. Brakish Okun
James Duval
as Miguel
Vivica A. Fox
as Jasmine Dubrow
Lisa Jakub
as Alicia
Ross Bagley
as Dylan
Mae Whitman
as Patricia Whitmore
Bill Smitrovich
as Captain Watson
John Storey
as Dr. Isaacs
Frank Novak
as Teddy
Leland Orser
as Tech/Med. Asst. No. 1
Ross Lacy
as Aide
David Pressman
as Whitmore's Aide
Vivian Palermo
as Tech/Med. Asst. No. 2
Raphael Sbarge
as Commander/Tech
Bobby Hosea
as Commanding Officer
Dan Lauria
as Commanding Officer
Steve Giannell
as Radar Tech
Eric Paskel
as Radar Tech
Carlos La Camara
as Radar Operator
John Bennett Perry
as Secret Serviceman
Troy Willis
as Secret Serviceman
Tim Kelleher
as Technician
Wayne Wilderson
as Area 51 Technician
Jay Acovone
as Area 51 Guard
James Wong
as SETI Tech One
Thom Barry
as SETI Tech Two
Jana Marie Hupp
as SETI Tech Three
Matt Pashkow
as Second Officer
Robert Pine
as Chief of Staff
Marisa Morell
as Co-Worker No. 2
Michael Winther
as Co-Worker No. 3
Dexter Warren
as Co-Worker No. 4
Paul LeClair
as Co-Worker No. 5
David Chanel
as Secret Service Agent
Greg Collins
as Military Aide
Derek Webster
as Sky Crane Pilot
Mark Fite
as Pilot
Levani
as Russian Pilot
Malcom Danare
as Intellectual on Roof
Kristof Konrad
as Russian Pilot
Kevin Sifuentes
as Tank Commander
Elston Ridgle
as Soldier
Randy Oglesby
as Mechanic
Jack Moore
as Mechanic
Barry Del Sherman
as Street Preacher
Lyman Ward
as Secret Service Guy
Barbara Beck
as Monica Soloway
Joe Fowler
as Reporter
Andrew Warne
as Reporter
Sharon Tay
as Reporter
Peter Jozef Lucas
as Russian Reporter
Yelena Danova
as Russian Newscaster
Derek Kim
as Korean Newscaster
Deenie Dakota
as Boomer
Vanessa J. Wells
as Newscaster
Jessika Cardinahl
as German Video Newscaster
Steve Giannelli
as Radar Technician
Gary W. Cruz
as Video Newscaster
Ron Pitts
as Video Newscaster
Wendy Walsh
as Video Newscaster
Christine Devine
as Video Newscaster
Mark Thompson
as Video Newscaster
Jack Germond
as Video Newscaster
Jon Mathews
as Thomson
Morton Kondracke
as Video Newscaster
Ernie Anastos
as Rex Black/NY Newscaster
Cinckevin Cooney
as Atlantic Air
Rance Howard
as Chaplain
Nelson Mashita
as Japanese Tech
Jeff Phillips
as B-2 Pilot
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News & Interviews for Independence Day

Critic Reviews for Independence Day

All Critics (63) | Top Critics (18)

Splendidly cheesy entertainment.

Full Review… | March 5, 2008
CNN.com
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | March 5, 2008
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

If I were a 10-year-old boy, I'd probably think it was the coolest movie going.

Full Review… | March 5, 2008
Newsweek
Top Critic

As unavoidably entertaining as it is hopelessly cornball.

Full Review… | March 5, 2008
Variety
Top Critic

Maybe the moviemakers' mission was to boldly go where everyone in Hollywood has gone before: the bank.

Full Review… | March 5, 2008
Washington Post
Top Critic

The earnestness, the effects, and the notion of a whole world forgetting its differences to defeat a common foe carry a certain charm.

Full Review… | March 5, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Independence Day

Good film. A bit too unrealistic for my taste but good enough.

Wildaly M
Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

Will Smith and hostile aliens???
What more can I say about one of the best action flicks of 1996.

Mister Caple
Mister Caple

Super Reviewer

½

Devlin and Emmerich are hardly known for their sophistication and subtlety, and this big budget B-movie certainly won't change any minds on that score. It follows the summer blockbuster formula to the letter, but it is done with enough tongue in cheek humour to make it a hugely enjoyable experience. The action is all very gung-ho and flag waving (I'm still not sure if the president's "Independence Day" speech is meant to be taken seriously, but it always raises a laugh from me!) but thrillingly done; the dogfight through a canyon is as exciting as Hollywood action gets, and you can't help but cheer for Randy Quaid's boozy abductee in the climactic battle. Jeff Goldblum is at his least irritating and has some fantastic banter with his crotchety Jewish father played to perfection by veteran comic Judd Hirsch. The characters are all walking cliches and the characterisation just a load of soapy melodrama but it's little more than mercifully brief window dressing for the rollercoaster ride of the alien invasion. The ground breaking effects still look good today and it's great entertainment if you don't take it too seriously; big, dumb and a lot of fun.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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