Independence Day

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +4

Content: -1

Close Encounters of the Lethal Kind is an apt description for this explosive and engaging science fiction thriller, one of this summer's most eagerly awaited blockbusters. On July 2nd, a monstrous spacecraft approaches Earth and dispatches a force of smaller ships, although small is a relative term. Each larger than a city, they hover menacingly over the world's largest metropolises. While the youthful U.S. President (Bill Pullman) contemplates what to do, a brilliant TV station technician (Jeff Goldblum) discovers that a mysterious radio signal is a countdown to alien attack. Each ship unleashes a beam of devastating force, annihilating Washington, D.C., and other strategic cities throughout the world. Missiles can't penetrate the spacecrafts' force field, and a squadron of fighter jets is destroyed by a swarm of agile alien vessels. One plucky pilot (Will Smith) escapes, however, and captures one of the creatures. While the aliens move for another attack, the heroes meet at a secret installation and combine their knowledge and courage to figure out a way to fight back. INDEPENDENCE DAY is spectacular summer fare, a cunningly crafted disaster movie with superb special effects. The alien assault on the cities is stunning, particularly the explosive destruction of the White House and other landmarks. Audience-pleasing drama, humor and thrills set the stage for a rousing finale.

This battle for survival does feature plenty of violence, although it's mostly limited to wide shots of cities and aircraft being obliterated by the alien firepower. While millions are killed in these attacks, only a few bodies are shown. A scene where scientists examine the captured alien is not for the squeamish. Subsequently the creature is shot when it fights back. Prior to a counterattack, patriotic fervor is raised to a high level with a rousing speech delivered by the President and there is a spirit of international cooperation in saving the planet. Language does make the film especially troublesome, unfortunately, with 41 instances of mild and moderate crude language, three obscenities and several profanities. There's plenty of excitement and adventure in INDEPENDENCE DAY, and this offensive language stains an otherwise enjoyable film.

Preview Reviewer: Mark Perry
Twentieth Century Fox, 10201 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (41) times - Mild 30, Moderate 11

Obscene Language: Few (3) times - S-word

Profanity: Many (22) times - Regular 6 (G-D 3, J 2, G 1), Exclamatory 16

Violence: Many times - Mild and Moderate (alien destruction of cities and aircraft, man punches alien, alien attacks man, alien shot)

Sex: None

Nudity: None; Near nudity (scantily clad woman dancing very briefly at strip club)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Once (unmarried couple wake up in bed together)

Drugs: Smoking, drinking


Running Time: Unknown
Intended Audience: Teens and adults

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