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District 9 (2009)

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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.

Director:

Neill Blomkamp
Popularity
937 ( 118)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 30 wins & 110 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sharlto Copley ... Wikus Van De Merwe
Jason Cope ... Grey Bradnam - UKNR Chief Correspondent / Christopher Johnson
Nathalie Boltt ... Sarah Livingstone - Sociologist
Sylvaine Strike Sylvaine Strike ... Dr Katrina McKenzie
Elizabeth Mkandawie Elizabeth Mkandawie ... Interviewee
John Sumner ... Les Feldman - MIL Engineer
William Allen Young ... Dirk Michaels
Greg Melvill-Smith Greg Melvill-Smith ... Interviewer
Nick Blake Nick Blake ... Francois Moraneu - CIV Engineer Team
Morena Busa Sesatsa Morena Busa Sesatsa ... Interviewee
Themba Nkosi Themba Nkosi ... Interviewee
Mzwandile Nqoba Mzwandile Nqoba ... Interviewee
Barry Strydom Barry Strydom ... Interviewee
Jed Brophy ... James Hope - Police Officer
Louis Minnaar ... Piet Smit
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Release Date:

14 August 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sector 9 See more »

Filming Locations:

South Africa See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$37,354,308, 16 August 2009, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$115,646,235

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$210,819,611
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The language used by the aliens (clicking sounds) was created by rubbing a pumpkin. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where the MNU workers first walk up to Christopher Johnson's shack in order to evict him, the radio operator identifies the shack as "Yankee Foxtrot Five Three Zero," or YF530. However the number on the shack itself is FY530. See more »

Quotes

Wikus Van De Merwe: [Points out Alien graffiti] This is basically a guy, and there's 3 humans here, basically trying to make a warning, you know, saying "I kill 3 humans, watch out for me."
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 Movie Nights: Hell Comes to Frogtown (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Birthday
(uncredited)
Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Gritty, real, and very entertaining.
31 August 2009 | by JayFX75See all my reviews

I have never been a huge supporter of South African based movies (this one written & directed by Neill Blomkamp) as I tend to find them a bit cheesy, but this movie was definitely the exception to the rule. Initially, the first 5 to 10 minutes were a bit difficult as my Hollywood brainwashed brain, battled to get past the thick "Souf Afrikan" accents and the really gritty & realistic local setting. But my efforts were well rewarded with a fine performance from a truly brilliant cast, and a direction equivalent to even better than what Hollywood can churn out. Neill Blomkamp can a be very, very proud man.

At it's core, I would classify District 9 as a Science Fiction Action/Drama. And without spoiling to much, the movie takes place in a slum in Johannesburg, where a group of aliens (often referred to as prawns!) have been segregated from the rest of the populous after their mother ship breaks down and leaves them stranded on earth. 20 years later the story picks up where Wikus vd Merwe, a field agent for the MSU, is tasked with relocating the aliens to a "better" place - 200km's away from Joburg - where they can live in peace and without fear of conflict, confrontation and intimidation by the rather hostile locals. Thats the basic premise, however there is far more to the story than that and I definitely am not going to spoil it.

Wikus vd Merwe, the main protagonist, was brilliantly played by Sharlto Copely. Really, I was most impressed. His character was rich and complex and was played out with sincerity and passion. However, just when you think you have him all figured out, he goes and says (or does) something that changes your perception of him altogether as he alters his behaviored pattern based on the current situation. This depth in character is not often seen in movies, and came as a welcome surprise. Hats off to Mr. Blomkamp for focusing on this through his filming and writing.

Visually, the movie is a real treat as well. The setting is gritty, grimy & dirty and really showcased slum life realistically. The special effects present was also exceptional but never over used. The first part (or half?) of the movie was done in the style of a documentary, with interviews and news pieces glued together to enable the viewer to catch up on what has transpired, and with some liberal use of the "shaky cam" style. This really adds to the realism but is only prevalent in the first half as the second half tends to settle down on a more stable style of filming.

The movie has a 16 age restriction, and justly so. There is plenty of swearing, and enough gory splats that i found myself going "yuck" on one or two occasions. So you have been warned. But if you can handle this kind of thing, you are in for a treat as it's never really gratuitous, but justified most of the time because of the reality that the movie portrays.

After leaving the movie, I was still chewing over the whole concept which clearly indicates this is not the kind of in-one-ear-out-the-other kind of movie. I wouldn't go as far as to say its a thinking man's science fiction, but it definitely does leave some food for thought. Another great thing is that you don't have to be a Science Fiction fan to enjoy it, as my wife who is more into drama's, thoroughly enjoyed as well (she gave it a 10!).

So does it deserve your money for a ticket? Most definitely yes. Niell Blomkamp hit a home run with this movie, and we need to show our support. Go out and see it as soon as you can. I give it a strong 9.


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