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Independence Day

  • Drama
  • 1996
  • Roland Emmerich
  • 138 mins
  • 12


Sci-fi adventure starring Will Smith, Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum. The Earth faces its greatest challenge when alien spaceships take up positions above major cities. While world leaders speculate on the intentions of the visitors, cable-TV boffin David Levinson discovers that a signal emanating from the alien vessels is in fact a sinister countdown and the future of the human race hangs in the balance.



A star rating of 4 out of 5.

No film had presented the destruction of the Earth on such an epic scale before this preposterously successful smash-hit sci-fi adventure came along. Of course, when we say Earth we really mean the USA - the rest of the world barely gets a look in. The story is simple: gigantic alien spacecraft take up positions above major cities and then set about destroying everything below. Those plucky Yanks, however, won't go down without a fight. There are subplots focusing on the fate of ordinary folk, but most of the effort goes on the mind-boggling set pieces. Such scenes of digital mayhem are now commonplace, but this provided the template, and the levelling of Washington here is still impressive. Will Smith's charismatic performance as a wisecracking fighter pilot helped make him one of the biggest box-office draws in the western world, while Jeff Goldblum delivers a variation on his boffin role in Jurassic Park. Bill Pullman, meanwhile, manfully keeps a straight face as the beleaguered American President. Of the females, Vivica A Fox fares the best, although the likes of Mary McDonnell and Margaret Colin are largely wasted in supporting roles. But this is, after all, a special effects, not an acting, showcase, and a very entertaining one at that.

How to watch





Captain Steve HillerWill Smith
President Thomas J WhitmoreBill Pullman
David LevinsonJeff Goldblum
Marilyn WhitmoreMary McDonnell
Julius LevinsonJudd Hirsch
General William GreyRobert Loggia
Russell CasseRandy Quaid
Constance SpanoMargaret Colin
Albert NimzikiJames Rebhorn
Marty GilbertHarvey Fierstein
Major MitchellAdam Baldwin
Dr Brakish OkunBrent Spiner
MiguelJames Duval
Jasmine DubrowVivica A Fox
Captain Jimmy WilderHarry Connick Jr


DirectorRoland Emmerich


Edited for violence and language.
Available on
video, DVD and Blu-ray

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