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"INDEPENDENCE DAY"
(1996) (Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Minor Minor Moderate *Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
None Mild Mild Minor Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Minor Mild Moderate Mild *Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Sci-Fi: Aliens attack Earth and a rag tag group fights back.
PLOT:
Alien ships approach and encircle the Earth and technician David Levinson (JEFF GOLDBLUM) has figured out what they want: They're going to destroy every city and take over the planet. It just so happens that his estranged wife works for President Whitmore (BILL PULLMAN) so he goes to rescue her and inform the President of the alien's plans. They all get out of town just as the alien ships begin destroying D.C., New York, and L.A. From there, Whitmore orders a counter strike which is led by Capt. Steven Hiller (WILL SMITH), a cocky marine pilot who turns out to be the only survivor of the strike. There are subplots concerning Hiller and Whitmore's significant others' survival and of Russ (RANDY QUAID), an alcoholic and recovering alien kidnap victim. From then on, they all must figure out how to stop the aliens before they kill everyone on Earth.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Yes, the plot and the special effects will make them beg to see this one.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For sci-fi destruction and violence.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • WILL SMITH plays a cocky Marine pilot who lives with his girlfriend and is the big hero of the story.
  • BILL PULLMAN plays a very young President who cares for his family and finally loses his wishy-washy demeanor toward the end of the film.
  • JEFF GOLDBLUM plays a technician who discovers what the aliens are going to do and how to defeat them.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Russ is an alcoholic and is seen drinking beer, or hard liquor from a flask, and often appears drunk.
  • A bum on the street has a bottle of liquor.
  • David drinks whiskey from a bottle, and later appears to be drunk.
  • BLOOD/ GORE
  • For all of the death and destruction, there is very little blood and only a few dead bodies are seen.
  • Scientists cut a gooey, slime-covered spacesuit off an alien with a scalpel, and then cut through a similarly gooey flesh like sheath revealing the alien.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Obviously the aliens have a major case of bad attitude.
  • FRIGHTENING/TENSE SCENES
  • The slow approach of the alien's ships throughout the first 30 or 40 minutes might be scary or tense to smaller kids (especially if they're afraid of UFO's, etc...).
  • When the ships finally arrive, they are preceded by fire churning, thunderstorm clouds that some kids might find scary looking. Also, they produce earthquake like shaking of buildings as they approach.
  • The fact that there is full panic on the streets, with everyone looking scared and running around screaming might be upsetting to kids.
  • There is a long sequence where the alien ships shoot destructive energy beams into New York, Washington, and Los Angeles. Buildings are blown apart, cars tossed through the air, and people vaporized. It's very reminiscent of film scenes that show nuclear war.
  • Steven's girlfriend runs from a fireball that is racing toward her through a tunnel. She barely manages to get herself, her son and her dog to safety and avoid being incinerated.
  • The appearance of several dead aliens in liquid storage might be scary to kids.
  • There is sequence where scientists cut open an alien's space suit. The alien then pops out and appears menacing with tentacles flailing around, and everyone inside the room is terrified. One of the scientists grabs his head in pain as the alien sends out harmful brain waves.
  • Steven and David are stuck inside the mother ship and have to make their way out before it blows up or the smaller alien ships shoot them down.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • The "heavy" rating comes about since this is a story about aliens attacking Earth and our military fighting back, and thus there are many weapons of destruction used by both parties. They fire huge laser beams and their smaller ships fire smaller laser beams. Our guys fight back with jet fighters that use machine guns, missiles and nuclear weapons. Other than that, here are the other gun scenes:
  • Shotgun: David's father answers the door with it, fearing looters that may be on the loose.
  • There is a TV report telling people not to fire their guns up at the spaceships.
  • Handguns: Used to shoot, and later kill an alien.
  • Handgun: Aimed by a guard at David as he "borrows" a helicopter, but David convinces him not to shoot.
  • Handgun: Fired twice during a demonstration of the space ship's force field.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "All screwed up," "Idiot," "Shut up," "Loser," and "Wuss."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • As scientists cut off an alien's space suit, it suddenly pops open and everyone jumps.
  • As officials look through a glass wall into a smoke filled room, a body is suddenly flung against the glass.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • There are a few scenes with ominous music but it's relatively mild. Most of the other music is just heavily dramatic.
  • There's a little bit of scary stuff during an alien autopsy scene.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • 3 "s" words, 17 hells, 5 "ass" words, 5 damns, 3 SOB's, 2 craps, and 10 uses of "God," "My God," "Oh God," or "Good God," 5 uses of "God damn," and 3 uses of "Jesus" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Some locals make fun of Russ' reputation of having been abducted by aliens. They talk about or are seen asking him about "any sexual things" the aliens did to him.
  • A teenage boy tells a teenage girl "...this could be our last night on Earth" as they sit in a parked truck. He's obviously trying to use the impending doom of Earth as a way to have sex with her.
  • Steven and his girlfriend live together with her son but aren't married.
  • Steven's girlfriend is "an exotic dancer" and is seen in a bikini outfit on stage.
  • SMOKING
  • David's father smokes a cigar.
  • Several military men have unlit cigars in their mouths.
  • Steven always wants a "victory" cigar with him to smoke after successful combat.
  • A foreign soldier is seen smoking.
  • Steven and David smoke cigars after fighting the aliens and when asked whether it's healthy, David says, "It's not so bad...you get used to it."
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Loss of a parent: The First Lady dies of internal bleeding after everyone knew she was going to die. The daughter asks Whitmore, "Is mommy sleeping now?"
  • Loss of a parent: Russ makes a kamikaze run into one of the spaceships just after telling someone to tell his kids that he loves them.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Aliens visiting Earth, and if they did, whether they'd be friendly or not.
  • The massive destruction of the cities.
  • Losing loved ones (many of the supporting characters are killed).
  • VIOLENCE
  • A plane is destroyed as it approaches one of the ships and a fireball races back through it, burning the people inside.
  • Three helicopters are destroyed by the alien ship.
  • Before the actual attack, there are scenes of panic induced mayhem that most notably includes many cars crashing into each other.
  • The alien ships let loose on New York, Washington, and Los Angeles. Buildings are torn apart, cars tossed through the air and many, many people killed in a sequence that reminds one of what nuclear destruction would be like.
  • There is talk that David got into a fight with Whitmore before he was President because he thought that Whitmore was having an affair with his wife.
  • There are many air combat scenes where both U.S. and alien ships are destroyed.
  • Steven punches and then kicks an alien that he's captured.
  • An alien jumps out of its space suit and attacks scientists in an operating room. It holds one of them around the neck with a tentacle until the military guys open fire and kill the alien.
  • Russ rams his fighter jet into one of the ships on a suicide mission to blow it up.
  • There's a big final fight sequence where the alien ships are destroyed.



  • Reviewed July 2, 1996

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