District 9 Reviews

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Chris Stamm
Willamette Week
August 4, 2013
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.
Will Leitch
June 22, 2013
This is an excellent idea searching for a film worthy of it. This ain't it.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
John Serba
August 25, 2014
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.
Top Critic
August 14, 2009
As an allegory of racial conflict and mass immigration, District 9 never really goes anywhere: The appealing premise fades into the background before 20 minutes have elapsed.
Shaula Clark
Boston Phoenix
August 14, 2009
Bounds from one contrivance to the next.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Fernando F. Croce
September 4, 2009
Intriguing but ultimately jejune space-bug yarn
Clay Cane
August 13, 2009
Overall, with aliens that look like a crossbreed of roaches and lobsters, District 9 is a bad episode of Star Trek meets an insipid Apartheid mini-series. This was one disappointing sci-fi spectacle.
Full Review | Original Score: D
Chris Barsanti
August 13, 2009
The film threads enough thoughtful commentary into its whirligig media-fractured action plot to mostly make up for its lapses into cliché.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Gary Wolcott
Tri-City Herald
August 16, 2009
...A fascinating opening hooks you completely....And then, [director Neil] Blomkamp and his cohort[co-writer Terri Tatchel] run out of original ideas.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Prairie Miller
August 14, 2009
Artsy vertigo, racial profiling from outer space, black on prawn violence, Nigerian gangsters into cannibalistic health food diets, and inter-species creature sex for sale. And no, I did not have sex with that alien.
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
August 14, 2009
The movie falls into the same uneasy category as Eight Legged Freaks: too tongue-in-cheek to be thrilling, not funny enough to be a comedy.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
August 20, 2009
It has some terrific thrills and it's probably worth a video rental, but overall it's yet another case of action over ideas and messages over emotions.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Joanne Kaufman
Wall Street Journal
August 14, 2009
There's a wonderfully sly, farcical verve to these early moments, but it dissipates when the script, with its strains of E.T. and The Fly, moves into high sci-fi gear.
Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews
August 14, 2009
District 9's City of God meets War of the Worlds hybrid proves overbearing and under-convincing.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Jake Wilson
The Age (Australia)
August 14, 2009
As an action director, Blomkamp is no John Carpenter. Parts of the story are not dramatised but narrated direct-to-camera by supposed interview subjects -- a lazy device that reduces immediacy and momentum.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Jackie K. Cooper
August 17, 2009
Has some original moments but overall it fails to impress.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
David Keyes
June 29, 2013
Ghee whiz, how abusive can you get with a movie camera?
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
August 14, 2009
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.
Alastair McKay
This is London
September 4, 2009
This film has the enervating quality of a wet Tuesday in the arcade.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Harvey S. Karten
August 14, 2009
Is there anyone--prawn or human--that we in the audience are prompted to care about?
Full Review | Original Score: C
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