District 9 (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

District 9 (2009)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

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

District 9 Videos

District 9 Photos

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 as politicians and world leaders debated how to handle the situation. As the humans begin to grow wary of the unwelcome intruders, a private company called Multi-National United (MNU) is assigned the task of controlling the aliens. But MNU is less interested in the aliens' welfare than attempting to understand how their weaponry works. Should they manage to make that breakthrough, they will receive tremendous profits to fund their research. Unfortunately, the highly advanced weaponry requires alien DNA in order to be activated. When MNU field operative Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley) is exposed to biotechnology that causes his DNA to mutate, the tensions between the aliens and the humans intensifies. Wikus is the key to unlocking the alien's technology, and he quickly becomes the most wanted man on the planet. Ostracized and isolated, Wikus retreats to District 9 in a desperate bid to shake his dogged pursuers. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Watch it now

Cast

Sharlto Copley
as Wikus Van de Merwe
David James
as Koobus Venter
Vanessa Haywood
as Tania Van de Merwe
Mandla Gaduka
as Fundiswa Mhlanga
Louis Minnaar
as Piet Smit
William Allen Young
as Dirk Michaels
Nathalie Boltt
as Sarah Livingstone - Sociologist
Sylvaine Strike
as Dr. Katrina McKenzie
John Sumner
as Les Feldman - MIL Engineer
Greg Melvill-Smith
as Interviewer
Nick Blake
as Francois Moraneu - CIV Engineer Team
Jed Brophy
as James Hope - Police Officer
Marian Hooman
as Sandra Van de Merwe
Vittorio Leonardi
as Michael Bloemstein - MNU Alien Civil Affairs
Johan van Schoor
as Nicolas Van de Merwe
Stella Steenkamp
as Phyllis Sinderson - MNU Alien Relations
Tim Irwin Gordon
as Clive Henderson - Entomologist
Morne Erasmus
as MNU Medic
Anthony Bishop
as Paramedic
David Clatworthy
as MNU Doctor
Mike Huff
as MNU Doctor
Jonathan Taylor
as MNU Doctor
Jason Cope
as Grey Bradnam - UKNR Chief Correspondent/Christopher Johnson, Christopher Johnson
Anthony Fridjhon
as MNU Executive
Siyabonga Radebe
as Obesandjo's Lieutenant
Melt Sieberhagen
as Anton Grobler
Andre Odendaal
as Mike Van Kerland
John Ellis
as MNU Medical Scientist
Louise Saint Claire
as MNU Medical Scientist
Alan Glauber
as MNU Operating Room Doctor
Nicolas Herbstein
as MNU Biolab Technician
Norman Antsey
as MNU Lead Medical Technician
Norman Anstey
as MNU Lead Medical Technician
Nick Boraine
as Craig Weldon
Robert Hobbs (II)
as Ross Pienaar
Mahendra Raghunath
as SABC Anchor Person
Sibulele Gcilitshana
as U Günters Woman
Phillip Mathebula
as Meat Stall Seller
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for District 9

Critic Reviews for District 9

All Critics (296) | Top Critics (48)

The wonder is that despite its obvious roots, District 9 feels staggeringly original.

Full Review… | June 17, 2015
NPR
Top Critic

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
CNN.com
Top Critic

District 9 has too many gory vaporizations to qualify as a serious statement on race relations, but it does outclank Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen by a wide margin, and you thrill to the cleanly cut action sequences.

Full Review… | November 17, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

What the sci-fi action flick District 9 lacks in famous faces it makes up for with sheer imagination.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
Newsday
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

Audience Reviews for District 9

District 9 is a gritty, groundbreaking sci-fi thriller that highlights the sheer brilliance of Peter Jackson and Neil Blomkamp. From the stunning visuals to its emotionally gripping tale, the film keeps you on edge and provokes the graphic nature of survival. 5/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

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

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

½

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
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

District 9 Quotes

Discussion Forum

Discuss District 9 on our Movie forum!

News & Features