District 9

Out Now On-Demand

Produced by Peter Jackson and directed by newcomer Neil Blomkamp, this sci-fi action-adventure follows alien refugees, stranded in South Africa, who become the subject of human intolerance.
 
Almost thirty years ago, aliens arrived in Johannesburg. Their ship had broken down and they became the world's refugees. Their pesky presence made them despised by humans – referred to as 'prawns' for their disgusting features – and their makeshift home quickly became a slum. And now, as tensions rise between species, dorkish government official Wikus van der Merwe accidently discovers a highly lucrative alien secret. He becomes the object of a vicious government manhunt and, with nowhere else to go, he hides in the only place left: District 9.

Trailers

Directed by

Producers

  • Peter Jackson('Lord of the Rings' trilogy, 'King Kong', 'The Hobbit' trilogy)

Action, Science Fiction

112mins

South Africa, New Zealand

Official Site

First-time director Neil Blomkamp smashes onto the filmmaking scene with his sharply original debut movie, delivering a fast-paced thriller packed full of gags and guts in the manner of his mentor, producer Peter Jackson.

D9 is more than just a Close Encounters for the YouTube age. Unlike the single handy-cam approach in Cloverfield, this is an engrossing mash-up of corporate video, talking heads, security tapes and archival footage. Even as the film moves into more a conventional storytelling mode, the camerawork is suitably ‘unrehearsed’ enough to look like something we might see on the six o’clock news.

The relatively low-budget flick turns sci-fi conventions on their head. These aliens look repulsive, like the mutant offspring of a grasshopper and a crayfish, and they’re pretty useless against humans. The setting isn’t a glossy New York or London either; it’s a dusty slum on the outskirts of Johannesburg – a derelict shantytown of junk and jetsam – and the apartheid parallels are rife. Most surprising is the tone, which veers much further towards straight comedy than expected (much like Korean monster flick The Host). The lead character, Wikus Van De Merwe (played by Blomkamp’s high school friend Sharlto Copley), is a buffoon right to the end.

Try not to examine the story too closely – some of the finer details are a bit dubious. But this clever, fun, savvy filmmaking debut bears the mark of a fresh pair of eyes bringing originality into the world of the blockbuster.

Chicago Sun-Times (Roger Ebert)

press

Despite its creativity, the movie remains space opera and avoids the higher realms of science-fiction.

Hollywood Reporter

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A genuinely original science fiction film that grabs you immediately, not letting go until the final shot.

Los Angeles Times

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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...

New York Times

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In the best B-movie tradition, the filmmakers embed their ideas in an ingenious, propulsive and suspenseful genre entertainment, one that respects your intelligence even as it makes your eyes pop (and, once in a while, your stomach turn).

NZ Herald (Russell Baillie)

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Just the best alien flick for eons.

Rolling Stone (USA)

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This baby has the stuff to end the movie summer on a note of dazzle and distinction.

The Dominion Post (Graeme Tuckett)

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It is a smart, satirical, raucous and glorious pile of a film. It hits the ground running, and barely pauses for breath until the credits roll.

Variety (USA)

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This grossly engrossing speculative fiction bears Jackson's blood-splattered fingerprints but also heralds first-time feature director Neill Blomkamp as a nimble talent to watch.

Blomkamp delivers x9

Neil Blomkamp has been the greatest new director who never made a movie for years. His ad's for Nike and his Halo game videos have been circulating for years and I was desperate to see this guy get a movie - even if it wasn't to be the long gestating HALO live action epic I was hoping for. DISTRICT 9 does not disappoint. A movie with a message ("Love your Prawns"?), a heart and humour. The first post BLAIR WITCH wobbly camera movie to work. A great cast of newbies deliver dialogue that feels genuine. The South African setting is superb and the Orwellian sci-fi fable works. The CGI delivers - it looks real enough to suck you in - and the human wormth and humour hit home. Neil Blomkamp proves why we've been waiting so long for him to make full-length movies - 'cos he's an exciting storyteller who knows have to use film to entertain, amuse, stimulate and thrill. Encore!


far out there

very creative and interesting story line. got hooked and freaky in a way. worth watching

Review

user


Review

District 9, having been produced on the peripheral of the Hollywood system rather then from within it's epicenter, is a good 20 minutes shorter than any such American production of the same material would probably have been. That's the best thing I can say about it.

The first half-hour finds enough novelty and humour to keep things moving along nicely, then takes a briefly interesting turn into body-horror territory after that... then what? It turns into a freaking video-game, jettisoning any story, character, or "ideas" it originally had in favour of gratuitous digital effects and "cool" action. So what if there's barely any sense to what's going on - look how big these guns are, dude! Wank wank wank - grow up!

So, y'know, if you cream for Dragonball Z reruns, or can't think of anything more fun than playing Halo for hours on end, go see this movie. You'll love it. Otherwise, beware...

peter jackson what where you tihnking?!?!? giving nz a bad name?

user


peter jackson what where you tihnking?!?!? giving nz a bad name?

mate, that was such a crap movie it was actually funny, it looked so great in the adds, but then as i went to see it, it just got dragged on and just turned into a silly dramatic movie that was absoulutly crap!

First Good South African Casted Action Movie Ever!!!

user


First Good South African Casted Action Movie Ever!!!

As a South African this movie made me extremely proud of the South African cast in the movie!!! Was a great social commentary on everything from the Soweto uprizing to the Sophia town relocations; the xenophobia in 2008 to the gouvernmental corruption in the previous and current regime... The action was brilliant and as a local the movie hit as close to home as Tsotsi. Loved the action and it is great to see that the local actors got to play in a real action movie, I think they did '"blerrie" good

So Bad I nearly Cried

user


So Bad I nearly Cried

Absolutely the worst movie ever! It was so bad it was funny, but no one except for me was laughing! It can not be taken seriously...but people did? Real bad movie. Don't bother watching

Better Than Basterds

user


Better Than Basterds

Im always amazed by the phenomenon of excellent and poor reviews for cutting edge movies. It happened to Scarface in the 80's and more recently Borat. Yes it is a very obvious social commentary, and the fact that it is based in South Africa makes puts an ironic twist on it. There are so many implications set up in this movie. The plight of a refugee. The plight of Black South Africans and the possibility of aliens coming to our planet. These aside, this movie is all action in a grainy, real feeling way. Great fun for humans and Prawns alike. For real.

Disturbing!

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Disturbing!

I came out of the theater feeling a bit dazed and not sure what the time was. Last time I felt like that was when I watched Jurasic Park.

District 9 is quite disturbing - there are no real good guys - each character has their bad points - just like in real life.

I felt the storyline could have had some more detail in parts. But definately original. Some people say it has elements of other stories but I think only to a vague extent.

Main actor is blimming good! Graphics are excellent! Love the weapon effects! :)

Never seen a movie that mixes comedy, scifi, political message, action and horror all in one.

Much more humour in it than I expected - appealing to different tastes. Different people and groups of people in the theater reacted to different parts they found humerous. At one stage my friend and I got the giggles and couldn't shut-up laughing over something which noone else seemed to find funny - difficult to explain why without writing an essay about it.

Go see it - its definately something you have to see. The full effect on the big screen will be best - you have to feel it!

poor prawns

user


poor prawns

new fresh and well done top movie funny lots of splatter. a great take on the old sth Africa worth a watch.

love!

user


love!

Just awesome... its not often that a movie with a genre like this that makes you sit back and really think about whats going on in this world... its actually thought provoking!!!! I found myself saying "my god how could they" a few times, and even felt pretty sad a few times as well!!!

Just great!!! even the girl liked it!!! best film so far this year