On July 2nd, communications systems worldwide are sent into chaos by a strange atmospheric interference. It is soon learned by the military that a number of enormous objects are on a collision course with Earth. At first thought to be meteors, they are later revealed to be gigantic spacecraft, piloted by a mysterious alien species. After attempts to communicate with the aliens go nowhere, David Levinson, an ex-scientist turned cable technician, discovers that the aliens are going to attack major points around the globe in less than a day. On July 3rd, the aliens all but obliterate New York, Los Angeles, and Washington. The survivors set out in convoys towards Area 51, a strange government testing ground where it is rumored the military has a captured alien spacecraft of their own. The survivors devise a plan to fight back against the enslaving aliens, and July 4th becomes the day humanity will fight for its freedom. July 4th is their Independence Day..
|nudity||3/10 The Special Edition has a scene where David's boss hugs and kisses him after learning from David a solution to the cable company's problems. There is a central theme of "exotic" dancing and in one scene, we see a stripper doing a routine in skimpy lingerie but it is brief. There is a brief scene when a teenager says " you don't want to die a virgin do you?" They are interrupted however before anything takes place. A couple of references to a man being abducted and abused "sexually" by aliens.|
|violence||6/10 A plane and its inhabitants are caught in a cloud of gas and fire, where all are killed in the ensuing explosion. Alien beams are fired at several helicopters, with their inhabitants onboard, and erupt into flames. The wreckage falls from the sky to the ground below in ruins. The alien ships fire large beams of energy on several famous landmarks and cities (Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington D.C.) which shows massive destruction on a large scale. People are incinerated (not directly shown), vehicles are thrown through buildings and are heavily smashed and crushed by falling objects. Buildings are blown to pieces, including the ESB, the White House, the Congress Building, etc. Structures are ripped to shreds by clouds of gas and fire. Very intense and very disturbing Two dead and bloodied corpses are shown lying on the ground, while a woman gasps at first sight the horror of one victim. Brief, but startling. A large scale aerial battle occurs between the humans and aliens each with aircraft of their own kind, that are shot down, burned, damaged or blown up, (especially the human's defense). Many people die in this sequence. Very intense. An alien creature awakens from unconsciousness while surgeons are performing autopsy on it, and apparently kills several of the surgeons. Very intense scene. A dead human body is slammed against a window, while an alien creature makes it "talk". Several guards open gunfire on an alien creature with several blows, including a couple to the head of the deity, which screams in pain. An attempt is made to counterattack an alien ship by destroying it with a nuclear missile, eventually failing but detonates anyway, destroying everything in its path, though the city was said to have been evacuated so human casualties would have been at a minimum. A second aerial battle occurs between the aliens and humans, with many resulting deaths of both sides' fighters, that are destroyed on a large scale, with endless explosions and beams fired upon opposing armies. A man sacrifices himself to save the human race by flying into an alien ship's beam, which causes a massive explosion of the ship that kills many of the aliens dwelling aboard. A chemical bomb/missile is implanted inside the alien mothership in space, that detonates and erupts in a fiery, destructive shockwave obliterating all alien life forms in the process. Later, debris falls from the sky to the earth.|
|profanity||(5/10) At least 26 uses of "hell," 8 of "damn," 6 of "oh my God," 5 of "Goddamn," 5 of "my God," 4 of "ass," 4 of "crap," 3 each of "shit," "Jesus" and "son of a bitch," 2 of "bastard," and 1 use each of "good God," "asshole," "bitch" and "holy God."|
|alcohol||4/10 Characters smoke cigars as a celebration for "victory." Cigars are featured continiously throughout the film; a character turns to alcohol to relieve his depression and appears severely intoxicated in a few scenes, and drinks liquor continuously throughout.|
|frightening||6/10 The simultaneous destruction scenes show major landmarks being destroyed on a massive scale, with many humans killed. Will easily disturb people who find death hard to watch. A few aerial fight scenes; an alien attacks human beings a few times, killing some. The scene in which the alien uses its tentacles to make a dead scientist 'talk' for it may frighten younger viewers. A scientist shows several cases of three dead alien bodies floating inside. Total Explicit Content: 22/50 Rated PG-13 for: Adult Language, Violence.(HBO advisory)|