Box art for District 9

District 9

sci-fi & fantasy, thrillers

From producer Peter Jackson and director Neill Blomkamp comes a startlingly original science-fiction thriller where alien refugees, stranded on Earth, are exiled to a slum on the fringes of Johannesburg.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
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common sense

PAUSE for kids age 15
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
5 out of 5
Positive messages
1 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
4 out of 5

Sci-fi stunner is smart but gory; way too violent for kids.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this gritty, buzzworthy sci-fi epic filmed in South Africa (and produced by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson) is full of extremely realistic, bloody violence, including severed limbs, lots of bodies, piles of high-tech weapons, and even torture. The movie's aliens aren't cute or appealing in any way -- they're scary-looking, insectoid creations with complex biologies and lives. Expect constant strong language (especially "f--k"), as well as some drinking, smoking, and discussion of sex.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the movie's extreme violence. Is it meant to be realistic (in that, yes, high-tech alien weaponry could be this horrible) or is it just eye candy for action fans? Does it have more or less impact than the violence in a movie like G.I. Joe?
  • How does the movie's news footage/documentary-like style compare to that of other large-scale sci-fi films? Does it seem more realistic? Does that make it scarier?
  • How does the movie's setting echo the real-life conditions of poverty and prejudice during South Africa's apartheid era? Even though it's a sci-fi film, what messages does the movie send about that period?
  • Can you think of other sci-fi movies (or other types of media) that have tackled tough political ideas through metaphor and fantasy?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 1
    see all District 9 reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: You don't feel bamboozled, fooled, or patronized by District 9, as you did by most of the summer blockbusters. You feel winded, shaken, and shamed.

- Anthony Lane, New Yorker, Monday, September 7, 2009

Audience Reviews

4 stars

A gory sci fi smorgasbord with an amazing message.

- jmanard52, Friday, December 25, 2009

4 stars

The first 10 minutes seemed laughably ridiculous. Endure the initial "wtf" and find action, imagination, and all the elements of an entertaining science-fiction classic, while its deeper notions touch segregation, racism and conflicts of power. Creatively intelligent.

- jagfire, Saturday, November 13, 2010

3 stars

An original science fiction movie! A bunch of aliens are stranded on earth and forced to live in a slum in Johannesburg. An accident happens and a government agent starts to turn into an alien. Since the alien weapon technology is much better than earth's, a dustup occurs between the bad guys and our government agent hero half earthling/half alien.

- Redlats, Friday, November 5, 2010