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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

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District 9

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What others are saying (7)

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
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
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...
Memphis Flyer Exterminate the Brutes District 9 bludgeons visually, symbolically. by Addison Engelking 08/20/2009
Portland Mercury Alien Nation The extraordinary District 9 is unlike anything you've ever seen. by Erik Henriksen 08/13/2009
Colorado Springs Independent Opening this week (500) Days of Summer, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Julie & Julia and more. 08/06/2009
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

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