Independence Day parents guide

Independence Day Parent Guide

Certainly "Independence Day" will provide thrills, even if the story is old. However, parents may want to sit close to the remote control if they choose to share this film with children.

Overall C+

Independence Day is everything any audience would demand from a classic flying saucer attack flic, even if it demands you turn off your sense of reason in a few places.

Release date July 3, 1996

Violence C
Sexual Content B
Profanity B-
Substance Use C

Why is Independence Day rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Independence Day PG-13 for sci-fi destruction and violence.

Run Time: 145 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

Independence Day is everything any 1950’s audience would demand from a good flying saucer attack flic. What’s amazing is this thing still flies in the sophisticated 1990’s. In an era where my PC usually can’t connect with a Mac, it’s amazing that Captain Hiller (played by Will Smith) can upload a file into an alien mainframe at light speed.

This movie demands you turn off your sense of reason in s few places, including the casting choices. It is hard to see Bill Pullman (Mr. Wrong) as U.S. Presidential material, and picturing the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (Will Smith’s best known role) in charge of saving the planet is just frightening. Yikes!

That aside, this alien shoot ‘em-up has the same key component of others in this genre—violence. Although the President does try to negotiate, he only receives a reply of “no peace,” which the alien utters through someone else’s vocal chords. Fortunately, with the exception of this scene, most of the other action is not particularly explicit.

Another thing this movie borrows from its predecessors is the black and white demarcation line between the good and bad guys. Here all the creatures look and smell identical, so it’s assumed the aggressive one the President attempts to communicate with represents the entire colony. Because he is such a dark and faceless monster, it is easy to justify retaliation as self-defense.

Other concerns for parents include Hiller’s girlfriend, who is a stripper (a sample of her work is the only sexual content in the film), and the cigar the main character uses as a “reward.” Insisting he and his partner must smoke it when the battle is over may prove motivational, but it’s a sad example for the many young people who are likely to be attracted to this production.

Certainly Independence Day will provide thrills, even if the story is old. However, parents may want to sit close to the remote control if they choose to share this film with their older children.

Directed by Roland Emmerich . Starring Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum. Running time: 145 minutes. Theatrical release July 3, 1996. Updated

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Independence Day movie is May 3, 2016. Here are some details…

Home Video Notes: Independence Day: 20th Anniversary Edition
Release Date: 3 May 2016
Independence Day releases in a 20th Anniversary Edition to home video (2-Disc Blu-ray/Digital Copy). Bonus features include:
- Newly Restored Extended (154 minutes) and Original Theatrical (145 minutes) Cuts
- 30-Minute Documentary: Independence Day: A Legacy Surging Forward

Home Video Notes: 11 March 2008
Take on the aliens one more time with this Blu-ray release of Independence Day. Along for the ride are audio commentaries by director Roland Emerich, producer Dean Devlin and FX supervisors Volker Engel and Doug Smith, theatrical trailers, interactive games and a trivia track. Audio tracks are available in DTS 5.1 HD (English) and Dolby Digital 5.1 (Spanish and French) with subtitles in English, French and Spanish.

Related home video titles:

A sequel to this 1996 movie is releasing 20 years after Independence Day first appeared in theaters! See our review of Independence Day:Resurgence.

Alien pictures abound on the silver screen. Look for everything from the invading kind War of the Worlds (1953)  and the remake in 2005) to the cute and friendly E.T. The Extra Terrestrial .

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