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District 9 (2009)

tomatometer

90

Average Rating: 7.8/10
Reviews Counted: 262
Fresh: 235 | Rotten: 27

Technically brilliant and emotionally wrenching, District 9 has action, imagination, and all the elements of a thoroughly entertaining science-fiction classic.

87

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 46
Fresh: 40 | Rotten: 6

Technically brilliant and emotionally wrenching, District 9 has action, imagination, and all the elements of a thoroughly entertaining science-fiction classic.

audience

82

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 1,172,819

My Rating

Movie Info

Director Neill Blomkamp teams with producer Peter Jackson for this tale of extraterrestrial refugees stuck in contemporary South Africa. It's been 28 years since the aliens made first contact, but there was never any attack from the skies, nor any profound technological revelation capable of advancing our society. Instead, the aliens were treated as refugees. They were the last of their kind, and in order to accommodate them, the government of South Africa set up a makeshift home in District 9

Dec 22, 2009

$115.6M

Sony Pictures/Screen Gems - Official Site External Icon

Watch It Now

Cast

Latest News on District 9

July 9, 2013:
Dev Patel in Talks for Chappie
The "Slumdog Millionaire" star could join the cast of Neill Blomkamp's next sci-fi opus.
April 9, 2013:
Neill Blomkamp Talks District 10, Halo, and More
"I actually still really like the universe and the world of Halo and the mythology of Halo."

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All Critics (262) | Top Critics (46) | Fresh (235) | Rotten (27) | DVD (17)

You don't feel bamboozled, fooled, or patronized by District 9, as you did by most of the summer blockbusters. You feel winded, shaken, and shamed.

September 7, 2009 Full Review Source: New Yorker | Comments (19)
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Perhaps we're witnessing a new dawn for politically engaged sci-fi and horror, with Blomkamp as a latter-day George Romero. Either way, this is a stunningly impressive debut.

September 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out | Comments (4)
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

To call this the best shrimp-from-outer-space South African apartheid allegory ever made does not begin to do it justice. But it's a start.

August 17, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is a great movie.

August 17, 2009 Full Review Source: At the Movies | Comments (4)
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What an achievement in filmmaking.

August 17, 2009 Full Review Source: At the Movies | Comments (11)
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The backstory beats the hell out of the present-tense plot, a routine affair in which a well-meaning doofus working for the Man is infected with a virus, starts turning into an alien himself, and falls in with the oppressed creatures.

August 14, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (126)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If the basic idea is provocative, District 9 never lives up to the promise of its allegorical freight.

August 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Time Out Chicago
Time Out Chicago

District 9's skid into rote convention is matched by a retreat from the documentary conceit that so expertly delivered us into this strange world in the first place.

August 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Willamette Week
Willamette Week

This stunning mindbender of a movie attempts to prove that science fiction can handle the heftiest allegorical payloads, even the appalling shame of apartheid.

August 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

Every once in a great while -- perhaps only a handful of times each decade -- that rare film comes completely out of left field to let us know that there are still some original ideas out there, and that cinema can still be fresh and exciting.

August 4, 2013 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Ghee whiz, how abusive can you get with a movie camera?

June 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinemaphile.org
Cinemaphile.org

This is an excellent idea searching for a film worthy of it. This ain't it.

June 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin
Deadspin

Smart, funny, touching, thought-provoking and utterly insane in the action department, District 9 is 2009's most entertaining movie by a light year.

September 29, 2012 Full Review Source: TheShiznit.co.uk
TheShiznit.co.uk

Despite its shortcomings, District 9 is an engaging sci-fi romp that features solid CGI work.

February 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

A rocking, rolling action drama about alien castaways that just want to go home, an evil corporation that wants to capitalize on them at any cost, and one man who freakishly gets caught in the middle.

September 29, 2011 Full Review Source: American Profile
American Profile

District 9 has the potential to satisfy two mutually exclusive groups of bottom-feeding moviegoers.

August 29, 2011 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

District 9 isn't without its rough edges. It's a bit obvious and doesn't take as full advantage of its premise as it could. But it's also a visually spectacular and cares mostly about its characters, and that's a rare thing in film today.

March 18, 2011 Full Review Source: ComingSoon.net
ComingSoon.net

Part alien invasion flick, part social commentary, Neill Blomkamp's chilling, thrilling District 9 is a wholly original work. And it features a star-making turn from Sharlto Copley.

February 14, 2011 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Aliens clash with humans in combustible sci-fier.

January 3, 2011 Full Review Source: sbs.com.au
sbs.com.au

Although the film is dripping in satire, Blomkamp is more concerned with delivering a balls-to-the-wall action film. District 9 has more in common with Aliens than Babel.

October 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Quickflix
Quickflix

The most audacious, auspicious sci-fi debut in years, Neill Blomkamp's modest-budget "District 9" throws together xenophobic satire, political allegory and raucous action in a knockabout package reminiscent of Paul Verhoeven's finest work.

September 25, 2010 Full Review Source: Suite101.com
Suite101.com

District 9 is the most original, innovative and entertaining science-fiction film in years and contains the best mix of politics and spectacle since Starship Troopers.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinema Autopsy | Comments (5)
Cinema Autopsy

Best when it operates as yarn rather than as social commentary, even if it is filled with logical inconsistencies.

June 15, 2010 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Screw Avatar - this is what people will think of when they talk about science fiction at the end of the aughts.

March 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Projection Booth | Comments (14)
Projection Booth

While the ambitious narrative bites off far more than can be satisfactorily chewed and digested, the fantastic ride through what must be a completely fictional world (right?) is worth a view.

February 10, 2010 Full Review Source: JWR | Comments (2)

While Blomkamp's disturbing thriller does have a semi-revelatory ending, the real secret is that District 9, for all its pomp and circumstance, is no more than a decent but scrappy science fiction flick.

January 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Bangitout.com | Comments (7)
Bangitout.com

Audience Reviews for District 9

When a malfunctioning alien spaceship strands over a million of its inhabitants on Earth, they find an unlikely champion in the shape of a previously self serving weapons manufacturer exec who starts to metamorphose into one of them after exposure to an unknown chemical. District 9's plot takes a lot of cues from cult 80s sci-fi, most obviously the racism allegory of Alien Nation and the genetic mutation premise from Cronenberg's The Fly. However, unlike something like Doomsday which simply ripped off old films with no wit or subtlety, this film actually develops upon its ideas. The production design is fantastic and the action sequences extremely well done, particularly the brilliantly handled climactic battle and the film has a great deal of momentum that meant I enjoyed it more and more as it went on. But easily the strongest aspect of the film is Sharlto Copley's central performance who is quite brilliant as the selfish corporate bastard who unwillingly finds a cause to fight for. It would have been nice to learn more about what happened to the ship and the aliens in the first place and why these obviously technologically advanced creatures had degenerated into a bunch of filthy, scavenging animals but as a whole it is a hugely enjoyable piece of action sci-fi with an intelligent twist.
March 12, 2014
garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Besides the clichés, plot holes and the incoherent use of the camera, any allusion to Apartheid seems dishonest, since it is hard to believe that anyone could ever be tolerant if an alien spacecraft arrived on Earth carrying over a million of those repulsive giant lobsters uninvited.
August 12, 2013
blacksheepboy

Super Reviewer

"District 9" strays far away from formula in this greatly entertaining futuristic sci-fi feature. In the future, aliens have inhabited an area of the earth, their ship can not move and humans are stuck, preserving alien life forms and getting to know them. It has come time to take a stand and try to shift their living space to a more controlled environment. Once Wikus (the main character, who studies these life forms) is infected, he begins to become one of them and all hell breaks loose. The action in this film is off the charts, it has just the right amount of emotion, and the visual effects are great for it's lower scaled budget. I absolutely love every second of this film!
August 2, 2013
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

    1. Koobus Venter: Listen to me, you fuck! Get that fucking camera out of my face!
    – Submitted by Cameron D (8 months ago)
    1. Wikus van der Merwe: Fuck off! No, fuck off, man!
    – Submitted by Prattay S (9 months ago)
    1. Wikus van der Merwe: Hello, little guy! It's the sweetie man coming!
    – Submitted by Nick S (12 months ago)
    1. Wikus van der Merwe: Hey, you! Don't urinate on your fucking clothing!
    – Submitted by Cameron D (13 months ago)
    1. Christopher Johnson: [subtitled] Three years. I promise.
    – Submitted by Cameron D (21 months ago)
    1. Christopher Johnson: [subtitled] Keep the fuck away from my child!
    – Submitted by Cameron D (21 months ago)
View all quotes (23)

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