District 9

August 14th, 2009


District 9

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Still of Sharlto Copley in District 9District 9Sharlto Copley at event of District 9Still of Neill Blomkamp and Sharlto Copley in District 9Still of Sharlto Copley in District 9Still of Sharlto Copley in District 9

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.

Release Year: 2009

Rating: 8.1/10 (246,219 voted)

Critic's Score: 81/100

Director: Neill Blomkamp

Stars: Sharlto Copley, David James, Jason Cope

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.

Writers: Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell

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

Taglines: For humans only. Non-humans banned!


Official Website: Official site | Official site [France] |

Release Date: 14 August 2009

Filming Locations: Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Box Office Details

Budget: $30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $37,354,308 (USA) (16 August 2009) (3049 Screens)

Gross: $115,502,313 (USA) (25 October 2009)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

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

Continuity: When Wikus is taken into hospital for the first time and sees his hand turning into a "prawn's arm", he freaks out and the doctor puts a mask over his mouth and nose to administer some oxygen and holds it with his hand. When the shot changes there is a rubber band holding the mask to his head, but there is no way that the doctor could have managed to put it that way.

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."

User Review

The first science fiction masterpiece in years

Rating: 10/10

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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