District 9

District 9

(2009)

Produced by Peter Jackson and directed by newcomer Neil Blomkamp, this sci-fi action-adventure follows alien refugees, stranded in South Africa, who become the subject of human intolerance.
 
Almost thirty years ago, aliens arrived in Johannesburg. Their ship had broken down and they became the world's refugees. Their pesky presence made them despised by humans – referred to as 'prawns' for their disgusting features – and their makeshift home quickly became a slum. And now, as tensions rise between species, dorkish government official Wikus van der Merwe accidently discovers a highly lucrative alien secret. He becomes the object of a vicious government manhunt and, with nowhere else to go, he hides in the only place left: District 9.

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Flicks Review

First-time director Neil Blomkamp smashes onto the filmmaking scene with his sharply original debut movie, delivering a fast-paced thriller packed full of gags and guts in the manner of his mentor, producer Peter Jackson.... More

D9 is more than just a Close Encounters for the YouTube age. Unlike the single handy-cam approach in Cloverfield, this is an engrossing mash-up of corporate video, talking heads, security tapes and archival footage. Even as the film moves into more a conventional storytelling mode, the camerawork is suitably ‘unrehearsed’ enough to look like something we might see on the six o’clock news.

The relatively low-budget flick turns sci-fi conventions on their head. These aliens look repulsive, like the mutant offspring of a grasshopper and a crayfish, and they’re pretty useless against humans. The setting isn’t a glossy New York or London either; it’s a dusty slum on the outskirts of Johannesburg – a derelict shantytown of junk and jetsam – and the apartheid parallels are rife. Most surprising is the tone, which veers much further towards straight comedy than expected (much like Korean monster flick The Host). The lead character, Wikus Van De Merwe (played by Blomkamp’s high school friend Sharlto Copley), is a buffoon right to the end.

Try not to examine the story too closely – some of the finer details are a bit dubious. But this clever, fun, savvy filmmaking debut bears the mark of a fresh pair of eyes bringing originality into the world of the blockbuster.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 33 ratings, 36 reviews
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Neil Blomkamp has been the greatest new director who never made a movie for years. His ad's for Nike and his Halo game videos have been circulating for years and I was desperate to see this guy get a movie - even if it wasn't to be the long gestating HALO live action epic I was hoping for. DISTRICT 9 does not disappoint. A movie with a message ("Love your Prawns"?), a heart and humour. The first post BLAIR WITCH wobbly camera movie to work. A great cast of newbies deliver dialogue... More that feels genuine. The South African setting is superb and the Orwellian sci-fi fable works. The CGI delivers - it looks real enough to suck you in - and the human wormth and humour hit home. Neil Blomkamp proves why we've been waiting so long for him to make full-length movies - 'cos he's an exciting storyteller who knows have to use film to entertain, amuse, stimulate and thrill. Encore!Hide


BY TTWhaiti lister

very creative and interesting story line. got hooked and freaky in a way. worth watching


District 9, having been produced on the peripheral of the Hollywood system rather then from within it's epicenter, is a good 20 minutes shorter than any such American production of the same material would probably have been. That's the best thing I can say about it.

The first half-hour finds enough novelty and humour to keep things moving along nicely, then takes a briefly interesting turn into body-horror territory after that... then what? It turns into a freaking video-game, jettisoning any... More story, character, or "ideas" it originally had in favour of gratuitous digital effects and "cool" action. So what if there's barely any sense to what's going on - look how big these guns are, dude! Wank wank wank - grow up!

So, y'know, if you cream for Dragonball Z reruns, or can't think of anything more fun than playing Halo for hours on end, go see this movie. You'll love it. Otherwise, beware...Hide


mate, that was such a crap movie it was actually funny, it looked so great in the adds, but then as i went to see it, it just got dragged on and just turned into a silly dramatic movie that was absoulutly crap!


As a South African this movie made me extremely proud of the South African cast in the movie!!! Was a great social commentary on everything from the Soweto uprizing to the Sophia town relocations; the xenophobia in 2008 to the gouvernmental corruption in the previous and current regime... The action was brilliant and as a local the movie hit as close to home as Tsotsi. Loved the action and it is great to see that the local actors got to play in a real action movie, I think they did '"blerrie"... More goodHide


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The Press Reviews

90% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Despite its creativity, the movie remains space opera and avoids the higher realms of science-fiction. Full Review

  • A genuinely original science fiction film that grabs you immediately, not letting go until the final shot. Full Review

  • District 9 is very smart sci-fi, but that's just the beginning; it's also a scathing social satire hidden inside a terrific action thriller teeming with gross aliens and regrettable inter-species conflict. And it's a blast... Full Review

  • In the best B-movie tradition, the filmmakers embed their ideas in an ingenious, propulsive and suspenseful genre entertainment, one that respects your intelligence even as it makes your eyes pop (and, once in a while, your stomach turn). Full Review

  • This grossly engrossing speculative fiction bears Jackson's blood-splattered fingerprints but also heralds first-time feature director Neill Blomkamp as a nimble talent to watch. Full Review