Box art for Independence Day

Independence Day

action & adventure, sci-fi & fantasy, thrillers

A disparate ensemble of heroes band together to defeat the alien invaders who are bent on exterminating mankind with formidable firepower.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 13
2 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Positive messages
2 out of 5
1 out of 5
Positive role models
3 out of 5
4 out of 5

Nonstop over-the-top fun for teens and up.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Independence Day is an action-packed science-fiction film filled with scenes of the fiery destruction of entire cities and the people who live in them, along with smaller scale personal fatalities and some pretty grisly aliens. The filmmakers take pains to introduce some very likeable characters, only to explode them soon afterward. This movie was the gold standard of sci-fi effects and air battles when it was released in 1996, and older kids and teens that have a firm understanding of the difference between fantasy and reality will enjoy the ride. There's some swearing (i.e. "hell," "schmuck," "ass," "s--t," "bastard," "goddamn"), and one short scene takes place in a strip club with scanty costumes.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about stereotypes associated with action-disaster movies, as well as how race, class, and gender are represented in Independence Day.
  • How does this film compare with other alien-invasion films?
  • Do you like the mix of comedy and scariness?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 16
    see all Independence Day reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Splendidly cheesy entertainment.

- Carol Buckland,, Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Fresh: The film has a genial it's-only-a-movie attitude that sets it apart, quite emphatically, from other blockbuster action movies.

- Caryn James, New York Times, Saturday, January 1, 2000

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

- David Ansen, Newsweek, Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Audience Reviews

3 stars

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.

- garyX, Wednesday, July 3, 2013

3 stars

"We've always believed we weren't alone. Pretty soon, we'll wish we were." The aliens are coming and their goal is to invade and destroy. Fighting superior technology, Man's best weapon is the will to survive. REVIEW This film is a blast to watch, plain and simple. Sure, there isn't a great deal of character development and the plot is very straight forward, but not every movie has to be that way to be awesome. The movie grabs your attention from beginning to end and is very enjoyable throughout. Sure there are some lulls, but the more tense scenes make up for everything and then some. Will Smith is in his classic character here, full of his usual pep and one liners. The others put in good efforts as well, I particularly like Goldblum's role as the cable repairman. The special effects are good, the music is great, and I absolutely adore Bill Pullman's "independence day" speech. That alone makes this movie worth watching.

- mrpopcorn, Saturday, July 11, 2009

3 stars

yeah it's pretty good. cheesy as they come though

- TomBowler, Friday, July 31, 2009