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District 9 (Nine)

Released on 28 December 2009

Featuring: Sharlto Copley, David James & Jason Cope

Format: DVD | Rating: 15 years & over

4.0 out of 5 (144 customer reviews) | Write a review

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From producer Peter Jackson and director Neill Blomkamp comes a stunningly original sci-fi thriller, throwing viewers headlong into an escalating conflict between alien refugees and Johannesburg locals. Only one man, hunted and hounded, will come to understand what it truly means to be an outsider.

1982, Johannesburg, South Africa: A large alien spaceship hovers above the city carrying hundreds of thousands of ailing extraterrestrial creatures that the population of the 'Joburg' would soon come to unaffectionately refer to as 'Prawns'.

Twenty-eight years later and tensions are mounting. The `Prawns' live in a militarized ghetto zone called District 9 where they are confined in squalor. Munitions company Multi-National United is contracted to remove the extraterrestrial element with force to a distant compound. Unexpectedly, bureaucrat Wikus van der Merwe supervises the military charge. However, when Wikus discovers an unknown substance and accidentally ingests it, he soon becomes the most hunted man in Johannesburg. Alone and stripped of his former life, Wikus' only allies are the creatures he once sought to banish.

Play.com Review

Taking elements from Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, David Cronenberg's The Fly, and cult eighties hit Alien Nation, District 9 is an expansion of director Neill Blomkamp's 2005 short film Alive In Joburg. Filmed in a gritty handheld documentary style, the movie thrusts viewers right into the heat of the action, capturing the full force of mounting tensions between the otherworldly immigrants and the bitter locals. Throw in some scathing social satire, remarkable - and sometimes grotesque - special effects (on a comparatively low budget), and some Hollywood-beating action scenes and you've got a movie that ticks all the boxes.

As for the cast, Sharlto Copley - soon to be seen as Captain `Howling Mad' Murdock in the A-Team Movie - is a revelation as Wikus; mixing pathos, naiveté and desperation to remarkable effect. And that's not forgetting the alien creatures themselves: veering from super strong, insatiable scavengers to thoughtful and intelligent freedom fighters, these CGI creations hold up remarkably well, and `Christopher', one of Wikus' only allies, is a wholly sympathetic and likeable character, in stark contrast to the majority of the nefarious individuals who prowl the slums in search of Wikus.

District 9 comes at a time when juggernauts such as Avatar, Terminator Salvation, Star Trek and Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen are on the scene, and it easily holds its own against the competition. More cerebral and exciting than the average sci-fi action flick, we urge you to take a trip to District 9 and experience one of the most exciting and original movies of the decade.


  • Director's Commentary
  • The Alien Agenda: A Filmmaker's Log Three-Part Documentary
  • Koobus Big Gun
  • The Alien Agenda: A Filmmaker's Log - Chapter 3: Refining District 9

customer Reviews

 Average rating (144 reviews)

 ILLEAGAL ALIENS.

| | See all SECTION8's reviews (1336)

Top 10  Reviewer Top 10 DVD Reviewer

After all the hype of the likes of the mega budget summer tentpole movies such as Transformers 2, and Terminator Salvation, District 9 came from under our radar and became one of the best movies of the year!
It might not have only a third of the budget of the pre-mentioned movies, but what it lacks in the budget it more than makes up for in smart, funny and intelligent script. Also it's a refreshing change to show that not all aliens invade America, with this stark South African shanti town setting. The C.G.I creations of the aliens are brilliant, making the most of the budget, but it's the smartness of the polital message that is so well handled, and never hammering home the message. For those who my criticise the movie by saying "I don't know all the fuss is about" I suggest that they go and be happy with the likes of Transformers, that although great entertainment does not offer much to challange the grey matter, but if you want a brilliantly entertaining film that is as intelligent as it it fun, this film cannot be missed, and is the only film that could challange the re-boot of the new Star Trek as the best Sci-Fi of the year.
This is a cult classic in the making, I only hope they don't mess up the possible sequels.

 ILLEAGAL ALIENS.

| | See all MovieAddict's reviews (1336)

Top 10  Reviewer Top 10 DVD Reviewer

After all the hype of the likes of the mega budget summer tentpole movies such as Transformers 2, and Terminator Salvation, District 9 came from under our radar and became one of the best movies of the year!
It might not have only a third of the budget of the pre-mentioned movies, but what it lacks in the budget it more than makes up for in smart, funny and intelligent script. Also it's a refreshing change to show that not all aliens invade America, with this stark South African shanti town setting. The C.G.I creations of the aliens are brilliant, making the most of the budget, but it's the smartness of the polital message that is so well handled, and never hammering home the message. For those who my criticise the movie by saying "I don't know all the fuss is about" I suggest that they go and be happy with the likes of Transformers, that although great entertainment does not offer much to challange the grey matter, but if you want a brilliantly entertaining film that is as intelligent as it it fun, this film cannot be missed, and is the only film that could challange the re-boot of the new Star Trek as the best Sci-Fi of the year.
This is a cult classic in the making, I only hope they don't mess up the possible sequels.

 A different kind of alien movie

| | See all Thorney2's reviews (6)

There's always a risk when you make a film like this. It could so easily go wrong, however District 9 hits the nail on the head with it's aims and targets. 95% of all alien films tell the story of stereotypical looking aliens coming to earth in round spaceships and attacking us. District 9 is quite the contrast to the repetitive alien films we see so often.

A great story which really makes you connect to the aliens. Lets just say that it's amazing how much a film can make you hate your own human race.

 A terrific science fiction masterpiece

| | See all equilibruim's reviews (40)

This is a rare thing... "District 9" is original, brilliantly directed sci-fi and documentary-style mixed together. When I saw the trailer, I didn't think it would quite work, but having the "prawns" living with us and showing oppression and discrimination towards them is something that goes on in the real world. This film, like all great science fiction, is about the human condition and how we push away other races and cultures because we don't understand them. The film has great meaningful sentiment because of this, and me being British and married to an Indian Muslim woman, I have seen the discrimination in this country to my wife, so, I understand what the film is trying to say- why can't we all get along and respect each other's cultures. The film is also and mainly, extremely entertaining with great action sequences and a brilliantly dark sense of humour. The special effects and prosthetic make-up effects by Weta Studios( the guys who did "Lord of The Rings" trilogy) are incredibly life-like and make you care for the "prawns" particularly the father and son prawn. December is a great month then, with this and "The Hurt Locker" being my favourite two films of the year... This film is like marmite though, as you can see from mixed reviews- you either will get it or not, in my opinion, awesome though.

 Best sci-fi this side of 2000. 'Nuff said.

| | See all Spartan20's reviews (24)

District 9 is a masterpiece. There, that's all. Now click Buy. Seriously. This film is a poignant allegory for Apartheid, for sociological prejudice that is simply seeking another outlet, and has not been erased from our nature. The alien, or 'prawn', becomes the new maligned minority, marginalised and segregated, and regarded as nothing more than a nuisance, potential threat, and a drain on valuable resources. This is how our lens on this affair, Wikus, a subscriber to the story told on the television, and printed on the page, sees these unfortunate immigrants, and it is on that foundation he interacts with them, as per him job as an inter-special official. But this small-minded, unsympathetic little man in a white shirt and tie with a clipboard has his world incontrovertibly merged with that of the aliens, and the conflict with it's conventional boundaries and clear sense of right and wrong spillls into his reality, and he's forced to see it from the side of the victims. This is sci-fi with something on its mind, it wants to show you something, and many elements of the narrative bear haunting similarities to Apartheid Africa. The film unfolds in documentary-style for the most part, only deviating in moments of intense personal drama. Wikus is slowly transformed before our eyes--literally and figuratively--from a cowardly blue-collar bigot into an incidental revolutionary awakening to a greater cause, his eventual heroism all the more affecting because of the journey to it. Humdrum Q & A, and celebrating a promotion turns into horrified persecution and brutally instantaneous blood-letting, all granted higher impact by the more intimate and naturalistic filming method. The film invests us, then blows us away with a quite frankly jaw-dropping closing act, that at once works as resolution and catharsis. The actor playing Wikus is truly wondrous in the role, particularly when you realise the majority of his lines are ENTIRELY IMPROVISED, and the unpolished cinematography and scripting grant the film a more realistic style that's been much attempted, seldom accomplished. Also, for a relatively low-budget sci-fi, the special effects are incredible, and are all pulled off with intense believability, though the film never relies on CGI to carry it through; it complements the narrative, as opposed to the modern sci-fi storytelling method where narrative is nothing more than garnish to computer wizardry. The ending sticks in your mind, even as the adrenaline peters out of your system, and, if you're anything like me, you'll watch the credits to the end, in awe of what you've just seen. Make no mistake, this film stands up there with Blade Runner, Alien, 2001 and The Terminator. It's intelligent, raw, profound, brutal and superbly-acted. You'll love it!

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ActorsSharlto Copley, David James, Jason Cope, Mandla Gaduka, Vanessa Haywood, Kenneth Nkosi, Louis Minaar & William Allen Young
DirectorNeill Blomkamp
Certificate15 years and over
Year2009
ScreenWidescreen 1.85:1 Anamorphic
LanguagesEnglish - Dolby Digital (5.1)
Additional LanguagesRussian
SubtitlesEnglish (UK) ; Estonian ; Hindi ; Lithuanian ; Russian
Closed CaptionsYes
Duration1 hour and 48 minutes (approx)
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.