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District 9 (2009)


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

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

Average Rating: 7.4/10
Reviews Counted: 46
Fresh: 40
Rotten: 6

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


Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 1,173,275


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 … More

R (for bloody violence and pervasive language)
Drama , Action & Adventure , Art House & International , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
Neill Blomkamp , Terri Tatchell
In Theaters:
Dec 22, 2009
Box Office:
Sony Pictures/Screen Gems - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for District 9

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.

Full Review… | August 25, 2014
Top 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.

Full Review… | September 7, 2009
New Yorker
Top 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.

Full Review… | September 4, 2009
Time Out
Top 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.

Full Review… | August 17, 2009
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

This is a great movie.

Full Review… | August 17, 2009
At the Movies
Top Critic

What an achievement in filmmaking.

Full Review… | August 17, 2009
At the Movies
Top 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.

Full Review… | August 25, 2014
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.

Full Review… | August 25, 2014
The Virginian-Pilot

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

Full Review… | August 25, 2014
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.

Full Review… | August 25, 2014
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.

Full Review… | August 25, 2014
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.

Full Review… | August 25, 2014
Daily Star

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

Full Review… | August 25, 2014
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.

Full Review… | August 25, 2014

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

Full Review… | August 25, 2014
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.

Full Review… | August 25, 2014
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.

Full Review… | August 25, 2014
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.

Full Review… | August 25, 2014
NOW Toronto

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

Full Review… | August 25, 2014

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

Full Review… | August 4, 2013
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.

Full Review… | August 4, 2013
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.

Full Review… | August 4, 2013
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.

Full Review… | August 4, 2013
TV Guide's Movie Guide

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

Full Review… | June 29, 2013

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

Full Review… | June 22, 2013

Audience Reviews for District 9

A gory sci fi smorgasbord with an amazing message.

John Manard

Super Reviewer


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.

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.

Carlos Magalhães

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!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

District 9 Quotes

Koobus Venter:
Listen to me, you fuck! Get that fucking camera out of my face!
– Submitted by Cameron D (10 months ago)
Wikus van der Merwe:
Fuck off! No, fuck off, man!
– Submitted by Prattay S (11 months ago)
Wikus van der Merwe:
Hello, little guy! It's the sweetie man coming!
– Submitted by Nick S (14 months ago)
Wikus van der Merwe:
Hey, you! Don't urinate on your fucking clothing!
– Submitted by Cameron D (15 months ago)
Christopher Johnson:
[subtitled] Three years. I promise.
– Submitted by Cameron D (23 months ago)
Christopher Johnson:
[subtitled] Keep the fuck away from my child!
– Submitted by Cameron D (23 months ago)

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