Metascore
60

Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. In 50 years, film lovers will look back on 9 as the debut feature of an original talent.
  2. 9 never adds up to much. It's a dark adult film that gives itself over to the chases and frights of a kiddie movie.
  3. 88
    Any optimism in 9, which is bound to try the fortitude of meeker children, feels hard-won. It actually ends in a bittersweet mystery.
  4. 75
    The best reason to see it is simply because of the creativity of its visuals. They're entrancing.
  5. 75
    IF you ask me, Shane Acker's post-apocalyp tic animated film 9 is better than the live-ac tion flick "District 9." Beyond their similar titles, these sci-fi social commentaries are both expanded from shorts under the sponsorship of a world-class director.
  6. Taking your very small child to this movie is only a slightly better idea than a trip to "The Final Destination." With that warning out of the way, this action adventure is a big treat for more mature animation and science-fiction fans and a triumph for the young director.
  7. 75
    This is post-apocalyptic adventure as imagined for a teen crowd, and what it lacks in depth it makes up for in action. With a slight running time of 80 minutes, 9 doesn't contain an ounce of fat on its animated bones.
  8. Watching 9 , we know how 8 feels. Sci-fi fans will find heaven in Shane Acker's feature-film debut.
  9. 75
    Not a perfect 10, but its imperfection is what makes it gripping and bewitching.
  10. 63
    I only wish this richly imaginative movie had stayed truer to the dark heart of its visuals.
  11. Something has gone slightly awry, however, en route from the 11-minute film to the 79-minute edition of 9.
  12. 63
    The film isn't particularly original, but its dark mood, end-of-times landscape and unique characters will seem fresher to the young audience for which it's aiming than to jaded sci-fi veterans.
  13. 9, though animated, isn't really a movie for kids. The problem is that, despite its strikingly original set-up and its cool steampunk visual vibe, it's not much of a movie for grown-ups, either.
  14. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    50
    Long on imaginative design but less substantial in narrative, this dreary story of fighting the power is more numbing than thought-provoking.
  15. Although it has a great look and offers a few thrills, the animated film 9 is one of this year's biggest disappointments.
  16. Shane Acker's underwritten but beautifully animated debut is both an ode to technology and a warning against it. Perhaps unintentionally, the film itself echoes those themes.
  17. Sobering stuff for an animated movie that pitches itself somewhere between cutesy children’s entertainment and hectoring Grimm’s fairy tale. The problem with 9, though, is that it lacks a consistent tone.
  18. Reviewed by: Nick Antosca
    40
    The nine characters aren’t machines, exactly, but they aren’t people or animals either. They’re little cloth pouches that can move, communicate, and make facial expressions that range from ornery to cute. At some point during the movie I began mentally referring to them as the Owlish Beanbags.
  19. 50
    This expanded version only suffers, albeit in grim visual splendor, from the extrapolation.
  20. Storyboarded with precision, and enhanced with a resonant score by Deborah Lurie, Acker’s handsome, feature-length 9 is, for all its visual flights of fancy, grounded in an apocalypse-proof message graspable by any schoolchild.
  21. 83
    At barely an-hour-and-a-quarter in length, it's one of those very rare feature films that you wish were longer.
  22. 70
    Every effort to expand the range of feature-length animation beyond the confines of cautious family fare is to be welcomed, and budding techno and fantasy geeks are likely to be intrigued and enthralled.
  23. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    60
    The result is never as gripping in narrative terms--a well-worn litany of dystopian-future chestnuts--as it is visually.
  24. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    60
    Design aspects are arresting and the filmmaker's abilities are obvious, but the basic survival story remains slight, just as the general setting, no matter how artfully imagined, is by now pretty familiar.
  25. Reviewed by: Michael Cavna
    60
    Does 9 rival last year's "Wall E" as the best post-apocalyptic "cartoon"? The short answer is Nein. 9 is, however, a visual stunner.
  26. 50
    Actually, the problem with wunderkind director Shane Acker's "stitchpunk" animated fantasy 9 isn't so much that it bears a sped-up, dumbed-down resemblance to "The Lord of the Rings," although it does. It's more that Acker's dark and whimsical creation, so clearly in the tradition of his mentor Tim Burton, is wondrous to behold but offers only an indifferent and generic mishmash of quest fantasy and post-apocalyptic science fiction when it comes to story.
  27. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    50
    Danny Elfman's swooping orchestral soundtrack only adds to the sense of by-the-numbers familiarity. Elfman's signature sound is so associated with Tim Burton movies that it overwhelms this film's chances of carving out an aesthetic space of its own.
  28. 50
    Shane Acker has expanded his Oscar-nominated short 9 into a full-length feature whose splendid visuals are dragged down by a tedious story.
  29. For all the Saturday-matinee heroics, the movie is dreary and monotonous, the vision junky in more ways than one.
  30. 75
    It’s a perfectly functional, fairly scary kids’ film, with plenty of craft and creativity to keep adults occupied. But with a story as sophisticated as its visuals, it could have been much more.
  31. 70
    And here's the strangest thing of all: it works. [September 14, 2009, pg.ll4]
User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 182 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 76
  2. Negative: 13 out of 76
  1. Sep 29, 2011
    7
    I can't give "9" a 9, but it still is a rewarding movie that portrays lovely, grim visuals.
  2. MoriahG.
    Sep 11, 2009
    10
    After a long, disappointing summer, filled with nothing but box-office driven, mindlessly name-brand, soullessly big budget spectacles, "9" stands out as painstakingly, hand crafted thing of beauty. The intricate detail, carefully placed in each frame, provides a consistently flawless and gratifying visual experience. It deftly manages mature themes, without resorting to vulgarity, while maintaining an unrelenting barrage of heart-pounding action sequences. The overall flow of the narrative does suffer from rushed storytelling, but it more than makes up for it with an endearing array of unique and believable characters. This film is the perfect example of why I, as an adult, still find value in animated feature films. This film is a perfect example of why it is unnecessary to dumb-down a narrative in order to facilitate a younger demographic, just because it is animated. Full Review »
  3. Dec 10, 2012
    6
    It was very nice animation, the characters were average nothing special, and a story that came out of nowhere, this last part might be the best part of the movie, an original story but predictable at the same time. Full Review »