District 9

2009

District 9

Critics Consensus

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

90%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 309

82%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,178,222
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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

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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
Anthony Fridjhon
as MNU Executive
Jason Cope
as Christopher Johnson, Grey Bradnam - UKNR Chief Correspondent/Christopher Johnson
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
Nick Boraine
as Craig Weldon
Norman Anstey
as MNU Lead Medical Technician
Robert Hobbs (II)
as Ross Pienaar
Mahendra Raghunath
as SABC Anchor Person
Phillip Mathebula
as Meat Stall Seller
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News & Interviews for District 9

Critic Reviews for District 9

All Critics (309) | Top Critics (53) | Fresh (277) | Rotten (32)

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

    Jun 17, 2015 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Aug 25, 2014 | Full Review…

    Tom Charity

    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.

    Nov 17, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • What the sci-fi action flick District 9 lacks in famous faces it makes up for with sheer imagination.

    Jul 6, 2010 | Full Review…

    Rafer Guzman

    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.

    Sep 7, 2009 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Sep 4, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for District 9

  • Sep 29, 2016
    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 B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 26, 2016
    The debut film from Blomkamp, District 9 is about a stranded alien civilisation residing adjacent to Johannesburg as refugees where an executive for weaponry is exposed to a metamorphosing chemical as he tries to save the alien race. Filmed in a documentarian style, this is a refreshing Sci-Fi film that is so technically clever it will be deemed as a classic in later years, for sure. The problem for me was that I was not emotionally invested in any of the characters and the first act of the film dragged on for a very long time. Copley was good, but nothing outstanding. The segregation between humans and the "Prawns" is an obvious metaphor for diversity and whilst this drives the film, it perhaps forces this too much on the viewer. I can acknowledge that this is a very good film and can see why so many like it, it just didn't resonate with me as much.
    Luke A Super Reviewer
  • Jun 22, 2016
    Incredibly original idea by Blomkamp. Aliens come to Earth but their ship cannot leave. They are forced to live in slum-like conditions in Johannesburg, South Africa and are constantly monitored by the government. Very entertaining film as it shows Sharlto Copley's character get exposed to a substance that starts to change him in a way that the government wants to exploit. As I said before, this film is incredibly entertaining and original. Action sequences were well done and effects with the "Prawn" alien race were remarkable as far as how they interacted with the human characters/actors.
    Patrick W Super Reviewer
  • Dec 03, 2015
    Very good. Between a 4 and 4.5. I give it the higher rating for its originality and its attempt at unflinching honesty in its portrayal. There is no black and white here, only grey. Sci-fi needs more audacious films like this.
    Kyle M Super Reviewer

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