A potent reminder that not all shorts, even ones as brilliant as Acker's, will necessarily work well as a feature.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Acker's originality pretty much ends at his visuals.
A perfect example of a thin idea stuffed and stuffed with filler until it loses much of its charm.
| Original Score: 2/5
I admire Acker's craftsmanship to the same degree I'm frustrated by what's missing or overstressed here, amid all the rough-textured details and the grim machine-ruled aesthetic.
Much of the action in 9 becomes repetitive, and the storyline takes an odd turn toward the metaphysical in the final act.
| Original Score: C+
A nagging sense of incompletion haunts 9.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
While 9 boasts gorgeous images, it runs out of story all too quickly.
If you're gonna be so downbeat, yah gotta be good. This ain't good. Paul Chambers, CNN.
| Original Score: D+
What's lost in Acker's showdown between diminutive ragdolls and a soul-eating, scarlet-eyed spider-machine is any hint of grandeur, the overarching sense of something of inestimable value at risk.
It certainly is a valuable introduction to an exciting new talent, but by expanding the film's length, characters and otherworldly environment things are strangely diminished.
Grown from a superb 10-minute animation, this feature length version runs out of steam despite its stunning visual design.
Rarely has so much imagination been poured into one facet of a film at the expense of another.
Visually stunning and marginally intriguing, but often drags, lacks palpable thrills, and leaves you feeling underwhelmed and unimpressed by the dull story.
| Original Score: 5.0/10
Acker is so busy making sure every animated clock and piece of fabric is just right that he loses sight of the need to tell a story.
| Original Score: 2/4
9 is a grey and grim thrill ride packed full of kiddie morality lessons and creepy frightenings, as though Steven Spielberg had induced the Brothers Quay to create a summer blockbuster.
| Original Score: 4/10
Pamela Pettler's screenplay sucks out the very soul of Acker's original creations, leaving little behind but a ghost-like shell, pretty to look at, but free from any substance
Beautifully designed but short on depth or novelty.
This film will surely be remembered as an intriguing failure: a triumph of ambition over ability, of ideas over emotional resonance - just another grim fairy tale for these troubled times.
One wonders, in fact, if 9 should have stuck with its original short format.
9 is The Terminator on ritalin. It is loaded with adult themes but really aimed at kids. And %u2014 ironically %u2014 it is the perfect flick for a nine-year old boy.