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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Promotes teamwork, collaboration between countries/cultures, and helping strangers, especially during a catastrophe.
Positive Role Models
Very close relationships between parents and adult children -- like Dr. Levinson and his dad or Patricia and her father. The scientists and military folks in the movie do their best to problem solve and find ways to defeat the new alien threat.
Violence & Scariness
Mass destruction of entire cities, presumably killing millions of people. Notable characters die, some in accidents and others by choice. A couple of the deaths are particularly upsetting: One character dies when she plunges to her death from a helicopter, and another as a sacrifice for the greater cause. People are shot at by alien weapons and/or die when buildings fall or during aerial battles between human and alien fighter pilots. A warlord knows how to kill the aliens with two blades.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kisses between an engaged couple, vague references to a professional colleague's past dalliances, a climactic kiss, and a guy's promise to make a girl fall in love with him.
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Occasional strong language includes "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," and several uses of exclamations like "Jesus Christ!," "Holy Christ!," "goddamn it!," "Christ almighty!," "oh sweet Moses!," and Yiddish insults like "putz" and "schmuck."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A ship's crew drinks nearly to drunkenness, until they must sober up to do a job.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Independence Day: Resurgence is the sequel to 1996's blockbuster alien-invasion thriller, Independence Day. Although a few actors reprise their roles (Jeff Goldbum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner), the movie mostly focuses on a younger generation of Americans who've grown up after the original movie's catastrophic events. When the aliens come back, angrier and in bigger ships than ever, there's another round of destructive, cataclysmic violence: Whole cities are destroyed, ships are blown up, and characters are killed in dire, war-like situations. Notable characters die, some in particularly upsetting ways: One plunges to her death from a helicopter, and another dies as a sacrifice for the greater cause. There's also some strong language ("s--t," "bitch," "a--hole," etc.), a little drinking, and a few kisses. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This mediocre alien-invasion sequel isn't going to wow anyone who's seen the original, which is a true summer popcorn-flick, with quotable lines and memorable action scenes. It's not that the first Independence Day is a masterpiece by any stretch, but it's fun and loud and audiences felt invested in the various characters and storylines. Independence Day: Resurgence brings back several of the players from the original, but -- except for Goldblum's Levinson -- they aren't the main characters. Instead a group of young pilots serve as the protagonists, with Hemsworth's Jake caught up in a Top Gun-style rivalry with Usher's Dylan, while Jake's fiancee, former First Daughter Patty, worries about her aging father, who -- like many others who survived the '96 alien war -- has a psychic connection to the aliens.
The computer-generated action sequences are big and portray the same sort of mass destruction as the first film, but a movie can't survive without compelling stories and characters. It's a problem when climactic deaths and close calls don't come close to pulling an emotional punch, and the dialogue is filled with trite "we can do it" speeches and "no man left behind"-style rally cries. Younger audiences who just care about the battle sequences may find it adequate, but overall this isn't a satisfying sequel.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.