It's the first futuristic disaster movie that's as cute as a button. Which, when all the special effects blow over, is what we Americans like in a monster hit.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
The film has a genial it's-only-a-movie attitude that sets it apart, quite emphatically, from other blockbuster action movies.
Caryn James - New York Times
Though the movie isn't too deep, it's certainly a rousing state-of-the-art cartoon capped by an aerial-combat climax that, to its credit, isn't anti-climactic.
Mike Clark - USA Today
Maybe the moviemakers' mission was to boldly go where everyone in Hollywood has gone before: the bank.
Rita Kempley - Washington Post
As for the human characters, they give merely adequate back-seat support to the special effects that drive this big-budget thriller.
Kevin McManus - Washington Post
You know going in that Independence Day will have terrific effects and loads of action. But the filmmakers have also carefully crafted appealing characters and several good relationships, which they develop as the story unfolds.
Louis B. Parks - Houston Chronicle
The aliens, when we finally see them, are a serious disappointment; couldn't they think of anything more interesting than octopus men?
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
The earnestness, the effects, and the notion of a whole world forgetting its differences to defeat a common foe carry a certain charm.
Jonathan Rosenbaum - Chicago Reader
Susan Stark - Detroit News
As unavoidably entertaining as it is hopelessly cornball.
Todd McCarthy - Variety
Dean Essner - Globe and Mail
There's precious little reward in plumbing the world-historical implications of the screenplay.
Scott Rosenberg - Salon.com
Unfortunately, and perhaps not unexpectedly, it doesn't live up to the hype.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
So much about ID4 is so old it's inevitable that homesick audiences, eager for familiar scenarios, will embrace it as if it's nothing but new.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
Spending a scant four weeks on script versus 13 months on physical production, as happened here, does have its drawbacks.
Dean Essner - Hollywood.com
Independence Day Restores Order to the Millennium.
Rob Nelson - City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Basically, this is almost perfect realization of the movie you eagerly anticipated when, as a kid, you saw some poster or coming attractions trailer for a 1950s-style alien invasion movie ...
Steve Biodrowski - ESplatter
If I were a 10-year-old boy, I'd probably think it was the coolest movie going.
David Ansen - Newsweek
No matter how ludicrous and coincidental the plot gets, it never takes itself seriously.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Splendidly cheesy entertainment.
Carol Buckland - CNN.com
Insanely pompous and brilliantly exhilarating in equal measure.
Dean Essner - Film4
Forget government conspiracies about aliens -- what about the entertainment media's conspiracy to persuade America that this movie doesn't suck?
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
No one who wants to see this movie needs me to recommend it to them, but if anyone wants to know, I say stay home and rent one of those other movies on video.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Everything feels anti-climactic after the fireworks, but the moral is clear: it's the end of the world as we know it. And we feel fine.
Dean Essner - Time Out
No brain, no pain, but a heck of a lot of fun.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
The most spectacular and intriguing sci-fi action film since the 'Star Wars' trilogy. (published 7-6-96)
Steve Crum - Kansas City Kansan
Dean Essner - Film Comment Magazine
Finally, science fiction the way it used to be: rousing, cosmically xenophobic and ferociously patriotic... Take that, space bullies!
Maitland McDonagh - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Susan Tavernetti - Palo Alto Weekly
One of the prime guilty pleasures of our time.
Dragan Antulov - rec.arts.movies.reviews
Big, dumb, glossy blockbuster designed for mass appeal is massively appalling.
James Rocchi - Netflix
It has the big budget and SFX of a 90s flick, but it still feels like a 1950 B-movie, and not even a good one. Now that's sad
Kevin N. Laforest - Montreal Film Journal
The ultimate special effects spectacular.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
The picture is ultimately fun, thanks mostly to the colorful characters and the mock-hero ic spirit that kicks in full-throttle after the world has almost been destroyed.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
In space, no one can hear a frying Houstonian scream.
Christopher Null - Filmcritic.com
Big, loud, shamelessly corny, and full of unapologetic sound of fury.
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
It's ambitious and competently put together, but with a little more ambition, it could have been truly great.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Like cotton candy it's a high caloric treat that's always fun for the taste buds but little else.
Brandon Judell - Critics Inc./America Online
The build up is terrific, with enormous spaceships emerging from the clouds to hover silently over the world's major cities.
Neil Smith - BBC
I don't care what the other critics that I respect say. This is a great film, and I am happy to be pushing it.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
It coulda been a contender.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
What's truly amazing about Independence Day is that it moves so quickly, has such a huge 'Wow!' factor in terms of special effects and is loaded with so much humor and so many amusing characters that even purists won't complain.
Chris Hicks - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
While the script is heavy on coincidence and melodrama it never fails to be fun.
Mark R. Leeper - rec.arts.movies.reviews
Independence Day is Hollywood's poster child for the design-by-committee blockbuster.
Rob Blackwelder - SPLICEDWire
Independence Day backs up the commonly-heard claim that movie success often has little to do with a good story and compelling characters and everything to do with big stars, big production values and good timing.
Brian Webster - Apollo Guide
Independence Day is woefully short on anything that rouses the imagination.
Scott Renshaw - rec.arts.movies.reviews
A gasping, bloated roller-coaster ride that veers from scenes of truly awesome destruction to stretches of numbingly bad melodrama and back again.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
...made up of bits and pieces of every sci-fi flick ever made. I loved it.
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
This one's short on batteries.
Ted Prigge - rec.arts.movies.reviews
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
Director Roland Emmerich has a knack for belaboring a point, explaining everything to us in dialogue and visuals often and repeatedly and over and over.
Barbara Shulgasser - San Francisco Examiner
Slightly derivative, but thoroughly crowd-pleasing.
Madeleine Williams - Cinematter
At least Mars Attacks tried to be funny.
Oz - eFilmCritic.com
Does the hype monster ID4 live up to its massive buildup? In a word, no.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
The movie is like an advertisement for more defense spending.
Cynthia Fuchs - Philadelphia City Paper
Independence Day is a throwback to traditional entertainment with an old-fashioned, gung-ho good time thrilled up by 90s-style state-of-the-art technology.
Angie Errigo - Empire Magazine
Switch your brain down and enjoy it. And take along a barf bag for those excruciating American patriotic scenes.
James O'Ehley - Sci-Fi Movie Page