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
Deadspin
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
MLive.com
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.

Daniel Engber
Slate
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
CinePassion
September 4, 2009

Intriguing but ultimately jejune space-bug yarn

Clay Cane
BET.com
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
Filmcritic.com
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
NewsBlaze
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.

Kyle Smith
New York Post
Top Critic
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
Joanne Kaufman
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic
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
jackiekcooper.com
August 17, 2009

Has some original moments but overall it fails to impress.

Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
David Keyes
Cinemaphile.org
June 29, 2013

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

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
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
Compuserve
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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