Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 36 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1177 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Over twenty years ago, aliens made first contact with Earth. Humans waited for the hostile attack, or the giant advances in technology. Neither came. Instead, the aliens were refugees, the last survivors of their home world. The creatures were set up in a makeshift home in South Africa’s District 9 as the world’s nations argued over what to do with them.
    Now, patience over the alien situation has run out. The tension between the aliens and the humans comes to a head when a human field operative, Wikus van der Merwe, contracts a mysterious virus that begins changing his DNA. Wikus quickly becomes the most hunted man in the world, as well as the most valuable – he is the key to unlocking the secrets of alien technology. Ostracized and friendless, there is only one place left for him to hide: District 9. (Sony Pictures)
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. 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.
  2. Madly original, cheekily political, altogether exciting District 9.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. A memorable, monstrous fable that's consistently gripping.
  6. Some movies pack such a terrific central idea, even their flaws can’t stop the train. District 9 is one of them.
  7. 50
    Unfortunately, as in many such big-screen comic books, the backstory beats the hell out of the present-tense plot.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Sep 17, 2011
    10
    district 9 is the best movie i have seen up to this moment. i loved every bit of it. the action is brutal, the characters are believable, and there is a clear message. that's right: district 9 is about stuff! seriously, do not miss out on this movie! Expand
  2. Sep 13, 2011
    10
    Next Peter Jackson's movie and next amazing movie!
    This movie is other than all Action, Sci-Fi movies. It holds in tension and tells
    excellent story. Story is the best in this movie but all is really great. This is ones of my favorites movies and i advice District 9 every Sci-Fi fans. Expand
  3. Nov 12, 2011
    9
    At first, I was hesitant due to the overlong opening credits sequence but was blown away by the rest of the film. While I normally despise the overuse of CGI in modern cinema, this film is an example of how to use it both properly and effectively. The aliens look amazing and are nearly always perfectly in sync with the human characters. It is also a highly original concept; in most alien sci-fi films, the aliens come to Earth to destroy our planet, but here they want a peaceful co-existence with mankind, at least that is the basic premise of the plot. In other words, the cliche is reversed in that humans are seen as the main villains and not the aliens, due to the fact all the humans want to exploit the alien technology and make billions in profits. The film also sports some homages to earlier films of this genre, most notably Independence Day (1996), due to the huge mothership that is floating above the city of Johannes burg but never attacks or even moves, and of course the human-alien creature the main character gradually transforms into is a direct reference to The Fly, with similar make-up effects and scenes that show the phenomenon up close, without looking away. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the film as far as it went and I await a sequel with great anticipation. Expand
  4. Oct 25, 2013
    9
    An allegorical satire of Apartheid, represented by a sci-fi action film. Also comes into the film is its gritty violence, profane dialogue, and dystopian view of Johannesburg. The photography and CGI are stunning and astonishing. Sharlto Copley is under-exaggerated from his spellbinding performance. 'District 9' is a well crafted and wriiten political message of the horrid effects of segregation. Neill Blomkamp is a new breed of sci-fi filmmaker. Expand
  5. Jul 5, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Apartheid, political messages, action film, sci-fi, documentary....does this film balance it all well? I really don't know. What I do know is that this is definitely one of the best films I've seen this year. While watching it you are disturbed, you are disgusted, you are moved but ultimately you are most certainly entertained.
    At first you see the "prawns" as being almost primitive and barbaric. As if the film is trying to justify their confinement and seclusion. This is the "stereotype" (racist?) image of them, until you get to meet one. You cannot help but root for Christopher to succeed in his mission to go home. You see the aliens differently through Christopher's eyes.
    Sharlto Copley is AMAZING! His character Wikus is initially a slightly annoying, somewhat geeky everyman. Nothing special. As the film progresses, certain circumstances force him to become more understanding to what the aliens are going through, and his interaction with Christopher in particular makes him see things in a new light. He doesn't exactly become a "new man" (excuse the pun, to those who have seen the film), just more aware. This awareness leads him to do extraordinary acts, which in a way makes him more human than the rest.
    I can't explain it better without giving too much of the film away. Just go see it!
    Expand
  6. Aug 10, 2012
    7
    Talk about breathing new life into a genre that probably has the most DIE-HARD fans out there. While science fiction features have been entertaining us for decades, District 9 breaks the mold and goes against the grain in terms of showcasing a completely different backdrop in contrast to the norm. While this flick deserves high praise for its originality, it is sadly quite convoluted in many parts. However, once the picture builds up steam, you eventually make sense of it all. Having said that, I still can't help but feel the director left it too late in the film. Expand
  7. Sep 26, 2010
    0
    I'm a BIG sci-fi fan. I can watch a sci-fi movie, does not matter how bad it is. But this is the first one, I wasn't able to watch it trough. I would say that it is far the worst movie I've ever seen, but this is not even a movie, it's a 2 hours crap...terrible Expand

See all 579 User Reviews

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