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District 9 (2009)

tomatometer

90

Average Rating: 7.8/10
Reviews Counted: 276
Fresh: 248 | Rotten: 28

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

87

Average Rating: 7.4/10
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: 1,173,112

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 (276) | Top Critics (46) | Fresh (248) | Rotten (28) | DVD (17)

It's a brashly confident debut, full of sharp, inventive detail (the prawns are crazy for cat food) and rooted in a couple of Big Ideas. Well worth the time, if not all of it.

August 25, 2014 Full Review Source: CNN.com
CNN.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

For a movie rife with violence and disturbing imagery, District 9 has a guiding spirit that's surprisingly sweet and even hokey. But that's part of its charm.

August 25, 2014 Full Review Source: Seven Days
Seven Days

Phone home, E.T., and while you're at it, you might ask for extraterrestrial help for the persecuted aliens being evacuated from District 9.

August 25, 2014 Full Review Source: The Virginian-Pilot
The Virginian-Pilot

A smart sci-fi about a group of alien refugees who come to Earth and are imprisoned in an internment camp.

August 25, 2014 Full Review Source: Toledo Blade
Toledo Blade

District 9 made me think, and it made me jump. This cool science-fiction thriller pumps up the tension to wow-factor levels.

August 25, 2014 Full Review Source: Tulsa World
Tulsa World

It's too uneven and juvenile to deliver on its ambitions, and could easily be 20 minutes shorter (a dozen fewer shots of CGI goo hitting the lens would have sufficed), but it's ultimately too blazingly unique to not recommend.

August 25, 2014 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

This extraordinary science-fiction thriller doesn't settle into a standard Tinseltown orbit. Instead, it sets its astonishing thrills and action in South Africa.

August 25, 2014 Full Review Source: Daily Star
Daily Star

District 9 is a brave attempt by first-time director Blomkamp and well worth a look.

August 25, 2014 Full Review Source: Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post

Blomkamp seems to want to invoke the memory of South African apartheid into the confusion, but he doesn't know how. Thus it remains largely a noisy action picture, barely different from all the stuff Hollywood keeps churning out.

August 25, 2014 Full Review Source: MLive.com
MLive.com

I applauded the splattergore moments and felt oddly touched by the emotional connection created to the prawns. Go see this movie.

August 25, 2014 Full Review Source: Film School Rejects
Film School Rejects

It's remarkable for a first-time feature film director to keep a tight rein on all these elements and meld them with such dynamism and style.

August 25, 2014 Full Review Source: Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo

This remains a textbook example of fantasy cinema's ability to tackle thorny moral issues while splattering the screen with gloopy creature effects.

August 25, 2014 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

District 9 has so much potential and seems ready to engage with so many ideas that it's disappointing when it turns out to be nothing more than a decent action movie.

August 25, 2014 Full Review Source: NOW Toronto
NOW Toronto

One of the sharpest pieces of sci-fi since Star Trek kicked off the season.

August 25, 2014 Full Review Source: Canada.com
Canada.com

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

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 (9 months ago)
    1. Wikus van der Merwe: Fuck off! No, fuck off, man!
    – Submitted by Prattay S (10 months ago)
    1. Wikus van der Merwe: Hello, little guy! It's the sweetie man coming!
    – Submitted by Nick S (13 months ago)
    1. Wikus van der Merwe: Hey, you! Don't urinate on your fucking clothing!
    – Submitted by Cameron D (14 months ago)
    1. Christopher Johnson: [subtitled] Three years. I promise.
    – Submitted by Cameron D (22 months ago)
    1. Christopher Johnson: [subtitled] Keep the fuck away from my child!
    – Submitted by Cameron D (22 months ago)
View all quotes (23)

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