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District 9 (2009)

8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 449,481 users   Metascore: 81/100
Reviews: 1,240 user | 452 critic | 36 from Metacritic.com

An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly finds a kindred spirit in a government agent who is exposed to their biotechnology.

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Title: District 9 (2009)

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 22 wins & 79 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sylvaine Strike ...
Elizabeth Mkandawie ...
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Greg Melvill-Smith ...
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Morena Busa Sesatsa ...
Themba Nkosi ...
Mzwandile Nqoba ...
Barry Strydom ...
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Louis Minnaar ...
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Storyline

In 1982, a massive star ship bearing a bedraggled alien population, nicknamed "The Prawns," appeared over Johannesburg, South Africa. Twenty-eight years later, the initial welcome by the human population has faded. The refugee camp where the aliens were located has deteriorated into a militarized ghetto called District 9, where they are confined and exploited in squalor. In 2010, the munitions corporation, Multi-National United, is contracted to forcibly evict the population with operative Wikus van der Merwe in charge. In this operation, Wikus is exposed to a strange alien chemical and must rely on the help of his only two new 'Prawn' friends. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

MNU spreads lies. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for bloody violence and pervasive language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Release Date:

14 August 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sector 9  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£2,288,378 (UK) (4 September 2009)

Gross:

$115,646,235 (USA) (30 October 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The design for the aliens went through quite a few iterations before the final insectoid "prawn" concept was finalized. Originally, the aliens were conceived as hulking creatures with leathery skin and tentacled faces, and were intended to be performed by actors in creature suits. The "prawn" creatures were initially meant to be "masters" of the tentacle-faced creatures (keeping with the idea that the aliens were slaves). Eventually, the lumbering creatures were dispensed with, the "prawn" creature design was settled upon, and it was decided that the aliens would be realized via CGI. See more »

Goofs

When Wikus is first admitted to hospital and is having his arm checked, it is quite clear that he has a hairy chest under his vest. Afterwards, he is seen with his shirt off and is hairless. Because the surgeons are planning on opening his chest to remove his heart, it is likely that his chest was shaved in preparation for the procedure. Another reason may be, due to the changes his body is undertaking (fingernails falling off, etc.), his hair may have fallen out. See more »

Quotes

Wikus Van De Merwe: [Wikus sees the head restraint descend down in-front of him] Alright, that's very comfor...
[Wikus's head is suddenly shunted forward and we hear a whirring sound]
Wikus Van De Merwe: [Wikus shouts] *Argh* Foking Bliksem!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits are back to front, with the actors names on the left and character names on the right. As opposed to most films where its the other way round. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.153 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Hijack Stories
Performed by Zulu Mobb
Written by Rahman Du Plessis, Thato Mahlatsi and Desmond Mbuyiseni
Courtesy of Uthoht Music by arrangement with pigFACTORY USA LLC.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The first science fiction masterpiece in years
13 August 2009 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

I do not give out ratings of 10 lightly, but here it is - the first film in years that has been deserving of the rating.

Neill Blomkamp brings to screens a fantastic, gritty, realistic piece of science fiction with District 9. Not since Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner", John Carpenter's "The Thing", or James Cameron's "Aliens" have we seen a science fiction film with a vision of this caliber. After viewing District 9, it will be clear to one and all why Peter Jackson put so much faith in Blomkamp and took him under his wing as protégé.

Abandoning the usual settings of Hollywood sci-fi and placing us in the harsh slums of South Africa, we are given an original piece of work which takes risks in the way it tells its story. Not only does it go against the expectations of audiences who have been trained to expect mediocrity from their sci-fi, it goes above and beyond the call of duty to provide us with spectacle as well as something to ponder after we've downed our popcorn.

There is, thankfully, not an overused, overexposed celebrity in sight, and every unknown face in the film gives a solid performance. The aliens themselves, brilliantly realized with top notch CGI even manage to make us feel something, only rivaled by Gollum from "Lord of the Rings".

District 9 has so much to like. It's spectacular, darkly funny, entertaining and thoughtful all at the same time, and it's all done on a meager $30m budget. There is true talent on show here. If only there were more films like this, the world of cinema would be a more interesting place.


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