Independence Day (1996) Movie Review


Independence Day (1996)

1996 | PG-13 | Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure
145 minutes /

User Score: 78/100

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Independence Day Review


The aliens are coming and their goal is to invade and destroy Earth. Fighting superior technology, mankind's best weapon is the will to survive.

Independence Day (1996) is a 2h 25-min American science-fiction action adventure film that exceeded my expectations and blew me away. The movie was shot in several locations across the world and grossed over $817 million at the box office with an estimated budget of $75 million. Director and co-writer Roland Emmerich (The Day After Tomorrow (2004), Godzilla (1998), 2012 (2009)) did an excellent job conveying the panics in the streets, alien attacks, and the extraterrestrial vehicles. Some of the scenes were graphic, disturbing, unsettling, and convinced the heck out of me.

Independence Day revolves around a group of humans in the Nevada desert after a powerful extraterrestrial race attacked. We see atmospheric interference tampering with the communication systems on July 2, 1996, creating chaos. The military discovered that several large objects are heading to Earth, and each (about 36) object is about 15 miles wide. They soon positioned themselves over the main cities and military bases. The massive objects turned out to be alien spaceships driven by aliens. David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum - Jurassic Park (1993), The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)) who is an MIT-trained satellite technician decoded a signal and discovered that the aliens are going to attack. David warns the president the aliens will harm the humans and a large-scale evacuation of New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. was ordered, but there was not enough time, and millions were killed.

On July 3rd - we see the survivors heading toward Area 51 which is a testing facility and is believed to be housing an alien spacecraft. The international military leaders ordered individual attacks on the alien spacecraft, but they could not harm the ships because they were protected by force fields. They manage to capture one alien and what happens next was nicely captured.  July 4th is the day that the humans fight for their freedoms and the day David Levinson figured out they have to deactivate the alien force fields to defeat them. Who will win this battle and how many will die or get injured?

Independence Day had a thin plot, weak character development, poor dialogue, witty script, contemporary characteristics, but was thrilling and was one one of the best disaster films of all time, so it delivered. Although the movie appears to take bits and pieces from another alien movie, it is still more enjoyable than any other alien invasion films I have seen recently. There were a few cheesy shots that did not have much quality to it, but there was not much and did not take away from me enjoying the film back in the 90s and now.

I thought the filming locations were interesting and hoped you find them interesting as well.

  • Quartzsite, Arizona, USA - RV camping grounds
  • Mojave Desert, Arizona, USA
  • Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • 4th Street Viaduct, Los Angeles, California, USA - Los Angeles street scenes
  • 6033 W 74th Street, Los Angeles, California, USA - Jasmine Dubrow’s House
  • U.S. Bank Tower - 633 W. Fifth Street, Downtown, Los Angeles, California,
  • USA - Library Tower
  • Downtown, Los Angeles, California, USA
  • 2nd Street Tunnel between Hill and Figueroa, Los Angeles, California, USA
  • Fontana, California, USA
  • Windsor, California, USA
  • Kaiser Steel Mill, Fontana, California, USA
  • Los Angeles, California, USA
  • Santa Fe Avenue, Downtown, Los Angeles, California, USA - destruction street scenes
  • Santa Clarita, California, USA
  • 4th Street, Downtown, Los Angeles, California, USA
  • Biltmore Hotel - 506 S. Grand Avenue, Downtown, Los Angeles, California, USA
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
  • Washington, District of Columbia, USA
  • K Street Northwest & N Capitol Street Northwest, Washington, District of Columbia, USA
  • The Great Pyramids, Giza Plateau, Giza, Egypt
  • Blue Ridge, Georgia, USA
  • Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Michigan City, Indiana, USA
  • Mount Kilimanjaro, Kenya
  • Rachel, Nevada, USA - Trailer Park Scene
  • Donnelly Memorial Park, West New York, New Jersey, USA - David plays chess with his father
  • 36 64th Street, West New York, New Jersey, USA - Julius Levinson’s House
  • White Sands, New Mexico, USA
  • Very Large Array, Socorro, New Mexico, USA
  • Greene Street & Grand Street, Soho, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
  • South Street & Pike Slip, Lower East Side, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
  • Wall Street & William Street, Financial District, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
  • Church Street & Leonard Street, Tribeca, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
  • Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
  • New York City, New York, USA
  • Grants Pass, Oregon, USA
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Stockholm, Stockholms län, Sweden
  • Dallas, Texas, USA
  • Skull Valley, Utah, USA
  • Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, USA - Alien Crash, RV Caravan
  • Wendover Airport - 345 S. Airport Apron, Wendover, Utah, USA - Area 51
  • Tooele, Utah, USA
  • Lakepoint, Utah, USA - trailor park
  • Washington, USA

About Independence Day 1996

Title: Independence Day
Original Title: ID4, Independence Day 3D
Year: 1996
Runtime: 145 minutes
Type: Movie
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure
Score: 4.5 / 5 stars
Avg. Rating: 3.85/5 stars from 9 users.
Total Avg. Votes: 9
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Starring: Frank Welker, Greg Bronson, Bill Pullman, Gary A. Hecker, Rance Howard, Vivica A. Fox, Tracey Walter, Will Smith, Pat Skipper, Leland Orser, Kimberly Beck, Bill Smitrovich, James Duval, Frank Novak, Thomas F. Duffy, Jeff Goldblum, John Storey, Robert Loggia, Erick Avari, James Rebhorn, Jack Moore, Michael Winther, Levan Uchaneyshvili, Mark Thompson, Greg Collins, Adam Baldwin, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, Lyman Ward, Levan Uchaneishvili
Writers: Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich
Director: Roland Emmerich

Independence Day Cover Poster Art