The Radio Times logo

Independence Day

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

Summary

A fleet of huge flying saucers launches a devastating and unprovoked attack on Earth. As survivors try to flee the seemingly unstoppable alien invaders, the courageous US president, an ace pilot and a computer genius come up with a plan to take the fight to the enemy and save the human race. Roland Emmerich's sci-fi adventure, starring Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell, Randy Quaid, Robert Loggia and Harry Connick Jr.

Advertisement
Recommended

Review

Rating: 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

Loading

Streaming

Credits

Cast

rolename
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

Crew

rolename
DirectorRoland Emmerich

Details

Language
English
Guidance
Edited for violence and language.
Available on
video, DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
Advertisement

RadioTimes.com is getting better. Fresh new look, redesigned programme hub, richer content…

FIND OUT MORE
Advertisement

Sponsored content