9 Reviews

Top Critic
Tom Huddlestone
Time Out
October 30, 2009
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Scott Von Doviak
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
September 11, 2009
There's no denying that Acker has a knack for bleak landscapes and an inventive salvage-yard approach to character design, but his narrative skills are less developed.
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Mary F. Pols
TIME Magazine
September 11, 2009
In movies, our technology is so often the ruin of us. We got that message from Stanley Kubrick way back when, and we get it now. But couldn't filmmakers let something else ruin us for a change? Even the apocalypse needs variety.
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Dana Stevens
Slate
September 10, 2009
It's easy to see why Acker's gifts caught the attention of these directors; he's a visual craftsman of no little promise. Now if he can just stitch together a story with the same loving care that went into creating those digital burlap dolls...
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
September 10, 2009
[Its] splendid visuals are dragged down by a tedious story.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
September 9, 2009
The expanded cast of creatures looks great, dressed and animated in the homespun style Acker calls ''stitchpunk.''
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
September 9, 2009
It might have been an opportunity for the sort of challenging speculation sci-fi is best at, however, and the best reason to see it is simply because of the creativity of its visuals.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
September 9, 2009
The post-apocalyptic adventure 9 adds up to everything except an obvious audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
September 9, 2009
Acker, whose gifts for mood, design, and character design are impressive enough to have attracted Tim Burton as a producer, is more of an artist than a storyteller.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
September 9, 2009
It signals the arrival of Shane Acker as an audacious new talent to watch.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
September 9, 2009
9 is a captivating film with much to say about the human spirit -- even if humans are nowhere to be found.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Tasha Robinson
AV Club
September 9, 2009
It's a perfectly functional, fairly scary kids' film, with plenty of craft and creativity to keep adults occupied. But with a story as sophisticated as its visuals, it could have been much more.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Keith Uhlich
Time Out
September 9, 2009
Save the voice work, which is celebrity-heavy and mostly undistinguished, 9 is a marvel to take in, especially the individual character designs.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
September 8, 2009
Acker has created a fitful combination of beautiful, dreamlike images that never knit together forcefully enough to seem individual or convincing.
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Scott Foundas
Village Voice
September 8, 2009
The result is never as gripping in narrative terms -- a well-worn litany of dystopian-future chestnuts -- as it is visually, but Acker keeps things moving briskly for the movie's 70-odd minutes.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
September 8, 2009
It's too bad the thin story didn't match the stylishly haunting visuals.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
September 8, 2009
Exquisite visuals aside, 9 plays like a sock monkey version of Doom.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
September 8, 2009
Fans of sophisticated, adult-oriented animation may savor Acker's elaborate visuals. Younger children, however, might wonder why they sat through all the terror.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Sara Vilkomerson
New York Observer
September 8, 2009
One wonders, in fact, if 9 should have stuck with its original short format.
Top Critic
Kathleen Murphy
MSN Movies
September 8, 2009
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
September 8, 2009
Acker isn't taking us over the rainbow, but he has brought us someplace daring and new, and he makes you anxious to see what other destinations he has in mind.
Top Critic
Stephen Cole
Globe and Mail
September 8, 2009
It would be a shame if the most exciting and thoughtful CGI action movie of the year didn't find an audience because the film's heroes fail to pass the suspiciously high superhero-fitness test.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
September 8, 2009
While children still watching Tigger videos should stay away, older kids will enjoy the bloodless action and awesomeness infused into nearly every frame.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
September 8, 2009
Acker's strange little critters turn out to be oddly endearing, even if you get the feeling this battle has been fought before.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
September 8, 2009
A perfect example of a thin idea stuffed and stuffed with filler until it loses much of its charm.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
September 8, 2009
Comparing this to the summer's biggest, most bloated movie about malevolent robots, 9 is about twice as enjoyable with half the length.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
September 8, 2009
Character development is virtually nonexistent, and the action is so repetitive that 9 comes across as unworthy of its visual splendor.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
September 8, 2009
It's too scary for small kids and, frankly, too dreary for everyone else. The most intriguing question it asks is what Acker will do next.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
September 8, 2009
What I loved about 9 is how much evident care its makers have put into it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Tom Keogh
Seattle Times
September 8, 2009
9 reaches the tedium threshold quite quickly.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
September 8, 2009
As a late-summer treat for adults with a childlike sense of wonder -- or older children with a grown-up sense of adventure -- 9 is a definite 8 out of 10.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
September 8, 2009
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.
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
September 8, 2009
Every effort to expand the range of feature-length animation beyond the confines of cautious family fare is to be welcomed, and budding techno and fantasy geeks are likely to be intrigued and enthralled.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
September 7, 2009
Here's the strangest thing of all: it works.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
September 7, 2009
For all the Saturday-matinee heroics, the movie is dreary and monotonous, the vision junky in more ways than one.
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
August 18, 2009
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.
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
August 18, 2009
In the end, the picture's impact derives mostly from its design and assured execution.