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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
1,095 ( 114)
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 »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

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 MNU headquarter buildings shown in numerous scenes throughout the film are, in reality, the Carlton Centre complex belonging to South African state transport company Transnet. The shorter of the two buildings (shaped as an upside down Y) is actually the former Carlton Hotel which was mothballed in 1997 due to low occupancy. The taller structure with the CGI helicopter landing pads and MNU logo on the roof is the primary fifty-storey building of the Carlton Centre complex and is known as Carlton Centre, which is the tallest building in Africa. See more »

Goofs

When the officers and Wikus' family and friends were talking, their titles and names were placed on the screen. When one of the MNU officers were talking, they misspelled LIAISONS, spelling it LIASONS. See more »

Quotes

Wikus Van De Merwe: We need your signature on this eviction notice.
Angry Alien: Fuck off!
[smacks the pad away]
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

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Sci-Fi Weapons (2013) 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

 
The first science fiction masterpiece in years
13 August 2009 | by NonSequiturLSee 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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