Patriotic plot: What could be more patriotic than Americans defending their homeland on the Fourth of July? Of course it isn't foreign invaders, but otherworldly envoys attacking this time. The movie kicks off July 2 when an alien mothership deploys 36 saucers to hover menacingly above the world's most populated cities. Heroes emerge as the extraterrestrials attack, including President Thomas J. Whitmore (Bill Pullman) and Marine Corps Capt. Steven Hiller (Will Smith, pictured). Whitmore dodges the massacre by jetting off in Air Force One, while Hiller takes the aliens head on and even manages to trick one into crashing in the Grand Canyon. By July 4, the unlikely pair and their fellow survivors are ready to launch an attack of their own.
Claudette Barius / 20th Century Fox