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
    90%
  • Audience Score
    82%

common sense

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

    90%
    reviews counted: 1
    see all District 9 reviews
  • Audience

    82%

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

5 stars

Very underrated. Very clever. Very,very good. 'District 9' has fantastic visuals,a strong story and plenty of jaw-dropping moments. At the same time, it contains some smart elements that link with some social/political matters of today. A must watch for any Sci-Fi fans.

- samoriley, Saturday, July 21, 2012

4 stars

District 9 is a brilliant film from director Neill Blomkamp and producer Peter Jackson. With great characters, great CGI aliens (or Prawns), a fantastic score, and a fascinating, original storyline, District 9 is one summer film not to be missed. Wikus van der Merwe is the main character here, and is so relatable in many ways, it's hard not to feel for him and connect with him almost right away. It's emotionally wrenching to watch what he goes through, but at the same time, we feel for the Prawns that are being so mistreated. We get both sides of the highly imaginative story, and don't feel like we've just sat through 2 hours of clashing metal and ear-splitting noise. It's quite the contrary actually; we feel breathless, shaken, and most of all (for me at least) shamed.

- fb701560354, Wednesday, April 18, 2012

4 stars

District 9 is a brilliant film from director Neill Blomkamp and producer Peter Jackson. With great characters, great CGI aliens (or Prawns), a fantastic score, and a fascinating, original storyline, District 9 is one summer film not to be missed. Wikus van der Merwe is the main character here, and is so relatable in many ways, it's hard not to feel for him and connect with him almost right away. It's emotionally wrenching to watch what he goes through, but at the same time, we feel for the Prawns that are being so mistreated. We get both sides of the highly imaginative story, and don't feel like we've just sat through 2 hours of clashing metal and ear-splitting noise. It's quite the contrary actually; we feel breathless, shaken, and most of all (for me at least) shamed.

- fb701560354, Wednesday, April 18, 2012