District 9 (2009)

Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Sharlto Copley, David James, Jason Cope, Nathalie Boltt
An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly finds a kindred spirit in a government agent who is exposed to their biotechnology.
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Technically brilliant and emotionally wrenching, District 9 has action, imagination, and all the elements of a thoroughly entertaining science-fiction classic.
  • Sony Pictures/Screen Gems Company:
  • TV-MA Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 14 Aug 2009 Released:
  • 22 Dec 2009 DVD Release:
  • $115.6M Box office:

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Trailer:

This should not be missed!10/10
Just got home from a preview of District 9. We had seen the previews and were intrigued to see just what the film would be like.

The film style was very much documentary like with lots of sound byte style comments settings the scenes and giving commentary all through the film. These in my opinion took it from being what could have been just another "aliens vs humans" film and elevated into the realms of social commentary. The aliens are presented almost as animals yet you rapidly start to sympathize with them and tune into their desperation.

If it wasn't for the alien space ship in the background and the poor being alien in every sense, you would think this was a movie about any slum and the people who prey on the inhabitants.

Like other films which cover the worst that humans can do, there is a brutal violence present and the directory has not shied away from depicting it. This is not a film you want to watch after a big meal. Just ask my girlfriend. She thought she would have to leave half way through.

In all, this is a film we worth every cent to see. Right up until the end you are never sure what's going to happen next. The characters are believable and the style of the film just adds to it. This could have happened, and in fact may happen.

For a first effort, Neill Blomkamp has created one of the best SciFi for a while, his future work will be well worth paying attention to.
Wow10/10
I caught an early screening of this movie last night. I went into it with high expectations considering the high ratings it has been getting already. My expectations were not high enough however because this film exceeded my them in every way possible.

I will not go far into detail because I would prefer to not spoil anything. This is unlike any sci-fi we have seen in years. Forget Terminator 3 and 4, forget the AVP movies, forget all those laughable sci-fi movies, this film is what we have been waiting for. An original idea, an original concept, brilliantly executed, great CGI, good acting, it just has it all. We have seen many aliens come to earth movies, but this is different, I will not say why though. That is for you to find out when you see it, which I HIGHLY recommend you do.

This movie, quality-wise, matches up with the popular Sci-Fi films we love. The original Alien, the original Predator, The Matrix, Star Wars, etc. While I enjoyed those ones more because they are classics, this one clearly meets the standards we expect today when it comes to quality. A big driving force behind this, in my opinion, is the fact that high esteemed Peter Jackson is behind this project as the producer. After seeing his masterful Lord of the Rings saga, anyone can see that he knows what he is doing.

As far as movies for this year, this is definitely top 5 so far on my list (Up, Star Trek, 500 Days of Summer, HP6, and District 9). Thank you Jackson and Hollywood for finally producing the best Sci-Fi in years. If this movie does not make its way to IMDb top 250 then I will be in awe.

See this movie!
The first science fiction masterpiece in years10/10
I do not give out ratings of 10 lightly, but here it is - the first film in years that has been deserving of the rating.

Neill Blomkamp brings to screens a fantastic, gritty, realistic piece of science fiction with District 9. Not since Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner", John Carpenter's "The Thing", or James Cameron's "Aliens" have we seen a science fiction film with a vision of this caliber. After viewing District 9, it will be clear to one and all why Peter Jackson put so much faith in Blomkamp and took him under his wing as protege.

Abandoning the usual settings of Hollywood sci-fi and placing us in the harsh slums of South Africa, we are given an original piece of work which takes risks in the way it tells its story. Not only does it go against the expectations of audiences who have been trained to expect mediocrity from their sci-fi, it goes above and beyond the call of duty to provide us with spectacle as well as something to ponder after we've downed our popcorn.

There is, thankfully, not an overused, overexposed celebrity in sight, and every unknown face in the film gives a solid performance. The aliens themselves, brilliantly realized with top notch CGI even manage to make us feel something, only rivaled by Gollum from "Lord of the Rings".

District 9 has so much to like. It's spectacular, darkly funny, entertaining and thoughtful all at the same time, and it's all done on a meager $30m budget. There is true talent on show here. If only there were more films like this, the world of cinema would be a more interesting place.
Expect the unexpected9/10
Everyone's seen the trailer that kick-started one very fishy-looking viral campaign, interviewing several humans and an alien in quick succession. That marks many people's first exposure to Neill Blomkamp's District 9, and the trailer - which had a decently executed "mockumentary" feel to it, which only served to make its sci-fi content seem even more surprising. This same element of surprise is still present throughout the film proper, and it is quite a cinematic treat.

District 9 takes place in an alternate timeline where, twenty years ago, an alien spaceship came to a halt above the city of Johannesburg. The inhabitants of the ship are unable to operate the ship anymore, so they end up being segregrated to their own slum within the city below. Eventually, the government calls for the eviction of the aliens (nicknamed "prawns" due to their appearance) from the slum. The film's ostensible protagonist is Wikus (Sharlto Copley), who through a series of events too complicated to recount in a synopsis, ends up undergoing some rather dramatic changes and before long he's thrust into the middle of something far too big for him to handle...

The best thing about District 9 is that it always manages to stay fresh and surprising throughout. As the trailers indicate, it starts off as a mockumentary in order to expose the gist of the story. The film gradually crosses over to being a more conventional film, although still filmed with a very documentarian look and interspersed with occasional news footage or interviews. Despite the unexpected change in presentation, you don't really notice because you're so wrapped up in the ingenious premise. Then you're presented with the plight of Wikus, whose story is one I don't really want to expose too much because watching it all unfold was just amazing to watch. He's a perfect example of the Everyman, trying to survive as best he can in the face of everything that the world throws at him over the course of the film. His development, along with that Chris, the prawn he befriends (who is surprisingly well-rounded for a CGI character) raises this above your average science-fiction film. Even when the film's final third act becomes incredibly action-packed, it still doesn't jar with the mood of the film and doesn't forsake its characters and intelligence for the sake of cheap action sequences.

On that subject, the action sequences are far from "cheap". Given that Blomkamp and collaborator Peter Jackson were originally aiming to make a film adaptation of Halo before changing to this, there's still plenty of moments that feel quite reminiscent of Bungie's game, from the alien technology to the frantic battles. The effects work looks great in even the simplest of situations, to say nothing of the bombastic finale. There's just something about the way it all comes together, especially when it is combined with one very uncompromising storyline and subject.

District 9 is a rare find nowadays. It doesn't sacrifice the intelligence or raw power that its story affords it for the sake of appeasing your "typical" blockbuster crowd with a lighter rating and less focus on the story. It's a damned fine thriller that is not without its flaws, but is still several cuts above your average summer film and is well worth watching - but only if you can handle the heat. And it does get quite hot.
Not what I expected5/10
I attended a promotional screening for this with a pretty good attitude towards all the hype that surrounded it. It was not what I expected, it was much better.

Not only were the CGI top notch, but the narrative is driven through a believable plot. Watching this film made me believe that a situation as such had occurred on Earth, and therefore the far fetched notion of an extra terrestrial race visiting us becomes so close to a reality through a story that is so realistically depicted.

District 9 is a beautifully crafted film which shows signs of great promise for being around for a while, a subject talked about by many people. Can't wait to watch this again with my friends = )