Universal acclaim - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. 88
    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.
  2. 88
    This baby has the stuff to end the movie summer on a note of dazzle and distinction.
  3. Madly original, cheekily political, altogether exciting District 9.
  4. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    With its clever faux documentary style, this is the most imaginative science-fiction movie to come along in years.
  5. 89
    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.
  6. 88
    Attention all geeks (and geeks at heart): Get ready for two hours of serious awesome.
  7. The ad campaign for the sci-fi thriller District 9, with mysterious billboards touting aliens among us, is highly creative and amusing. So, in patches, is the movie, which is a thinking man's, or man-boy's, "Transformers."
  8. 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.
  9. 83
    District 9 fuses science fiction mayhem and biting social commentary as well as any film since "Starship Troopers." It’s the rare alien invasion story that has the aliens running scared.
  10. 91
    This is a delicious premise, and Blomkamp, who first played with it in a 2005 short called "Alive in Joburg," has magnified and improved it with ferocious energy, wit and style.
  11. 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.
  12. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    District 9 proves that genre films, besides being a hell of a lot of fun, can say things you hadn't considered and show stuff you haven't seen.
  13. The reason District 9 reverberates so loudly is because its moral indignation is cranked to 11.
  14. To his credit, however, the often-playful Blomkamp never bludgeons his audience with any specific message. He's too busy letting 'er rip with his edge-of-your-seat, and unapologetically violent, sci-fi adventure.
  15. Reviewed 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.
  16. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Grabs you by the eyeballs from the very first frame.
  17. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Every now and then, a film comes along that both defies and compels description. District 9 is one such movie: a science-fiction action vehicle so brilliantly and fully imagined that real life, when it resumes after the credits, arrives with a new sense of dread.
  18. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    A great-looking and smart film. It has enough action, wonder, depth, and action to keep any fan of the genre happy. The sociological undertones here are fascinating as well.
  19. Reviewed by: Matthew Sorrento
    The humanity of District 9 adds another dimension to this multilayered, rewarding work -- one of the best of the summer, and undoubtedly the most inventive from the multiplex this year.
  20. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    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. . . .
  21. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    A sci-fi-fueled indictment of man's inhumanity to man -- and the non-human -- District 9 is all horribly familiar, and transfixing.
  22. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    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."
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1150 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Mar 18, 2012
    This isn't just some action movie. This strange sci-fi movie is completely scary, dark, raw, and suspenseful. Sharlto Copley should have at least been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor. He completely nailed his part, and helps us to feel the emotion and horror. Full Review »
  2. Sep 23, 2011
    This bizarre SF movie, appropriately structured using documentary styled filming, is simply one of the year's best movies that effectively acknowledges the audience of racial discrimination. Full Review »
  3. May 11, 2011
    What a waste of a great premise! This movie starts out with a really interesting concept and procedes to digress into just another stupid action movie. It makes me very sad, this movie could have really unique and interesting but as the movie progresses it gets less and less unique and interesting and gets more and more cliche action movie explosions. Kudos for a great concept, and shake of the head for failing to do anything with it. Full Review »