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District 9

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South Africa, United States, New Zealand · 2009
Rated R · 1h 52m
Director Neill Blomkamp
Starring Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, Nathalie Boltt, Sylvaine Strike
Genre Science Fiction

Aliens who fled to Earth as refugees are forced to live in dire conditions in District 9, an area of South Africa. The aliens’ situation seems hopeless until they join forces with a government agent who contracts a virus from their chemicals. This new alliance is the encouragement they need to fight for a better home.

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What are people saying?

Conner Dejecacion Profile picture for Conner Dejecacion

I think Neil Blomkamp might be a wizard. His expertise has always been in cinematography and SFX, and it shows in District 9. His alien future is a dump, but it's a supremely believable one. From the media circus surrounding the aliens to their treatment by humans and the mechanisms of military technology, District 9 feels real even if it's stretching the limits of what's possible to put on screen. Also, Sharlto Copley is a treasure.

What are critics saying?


Village Voice by

District 9 whizzes by with a resourcefulness and mordant wit nearly worthy of its obvious influences: "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," "Dawn of the Dead," and "Starship Troopers."


ReelViews by James Berardinelli

Anyone who watches District 9 and doesn't think of Apartheid, Nazis, and Josef Mengele needs to spend some time reading a few history books.


Variety by Justin Chang

Though compelling throughout, District 9 never becomes outright terrifying, largely because Blomkamp is less interested in exploiting his aliens for cheap scares than in holding up a mirror to our own bloodthirsty, xenophobic species.


The Hollywood Reporter by Kirk Honeycutt

No true fan of science fiction -- or, for that matter, cinema -- can help but thrill to the action, high stakes and suspense built around a very original chase movie.


Charlotte Observer by Lawrence Toppman

South African director Neill Blomkamp set and shot the film around his native Johannesburg, so parallels to apartheid leap to mind. Yet the script he wrote with Terri Tatchell applies to any culture that bluntly excludes another.


Austin Chronicle by Marc Savlov

Blomkamp and his entire cast and crew have created an instant genre classic that transcends the self-limiting ghetto implied by the term "science fiction" and instead, like precursors such as Robert Wise's "The Day the Earth Stood Still," engages not only the mind but the heart as well. It's magnificent.

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