Rated R · 111 minutes · 2009

Science fiction
It has not been a great year for movies, so it may be faint praise to say that District 9 is easily one of the year’s best—but it’s way better than its 2009 pedigree. Director Neill Blomkamp expanded his short film Alive in Joburg into a feature-length exploration of apartheid, propaganda and the sort of cruelty that comes easily when we are capable of seeing others as nonhuman. The movie starts 20 years after a million space aliens have come to Johannesburg. They’ve been given refugee status and are kept in a filthy ghetto surrounded by “no aliens allowed” signs. When mousy bureaucrat Wikus Van De Merwe is accidentally infected with outer-space biofuel, he becomes a potential superweapon and gets to experience firsthand what it’s like to be an alien in a country that treats those who are different as a source of propaganda and body parts. Tense action (which slightly detracts from the political message) and a thoughtful ability to switch perspective mark this first feature from Blomkamp. I can’t wait for the crappy and dumbed-down sequel!

See our full review: Changing Perspectives

Changing Perspectives

This sci-fi mixture of action, political allegory and CGI is absolutely gripping »

Official Site: www.d-9.com
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Producer: Peter Jackson, Carolynne Cunningham, Ken Kamins and Bill Block
Cast: Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, David James, Vanessa Haywood, Mandla Gaduka, Kenneth Nkosi, Eugene Khumbanyiwa, Louis Minnaar, William Allen Young, Marian Hooman, Vittorio Leonardi, Tim Gordon, John Sumner and Nick Blake


District 9


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What others are saying (7)

Portland Mercury Alien Nation The extraordinary District 9 is unlike anything you've ever seen. by Erik Henriksen 08/13/2009
Memphis Flyer Exterminate the Brutes District 9 bludgeons visually, symbolically. by Addison Engelking 08/20/2009
Colorado Springs Independent Opening this week Bandslam; The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard; Ponyo; RiffTrax LIVE: Plan 9 from Outer Space and more. 08/13/2009
4 more reviews...
Colorado Springs Independent Alien apartheid D9 is simultaneously brilliantly innovative and profoundly indebted to the cinema that inspired it. by MaryAnn Johanson 08/13/2009
The Coast Halifax District 9: great premise, loads of explosions Action over ideas is this alien thriller's biggest flaw. by Hillary Titley 10/22/2009
Colorado Springs Independent Opening this week (500) Days of Summer, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Julie & Julia and more. 08/06/2009
Charleston City Paper The sci-fi allegory District 9 is surprisingly familiar It's worth noting that co-writer/director Neill Blomkamp sets District 9's pivotal event — the arrival of a derelict alien spacecraft over Johannesburg, South Africa, leaving more than a million extraterrestrial refugees — in the 1980s. Apparently, that's when the filmmaker learned everything he needed to know about allegorical/satirical science-fiction. by Scott Renshaw 08/12/2009

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