'District 9' Critic Reviews

96%
MovieWeb:   50 reviews
91%
Rotten Tomatoes:   262 reviews
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum Entertainment Weekly (Top Critic)
    92
    District 9 proves that there's intelligent alien life in the movie universe this summer.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • A.O. Scott New York Times (Top Critic)
    80
    In the midst of it all you almost take for granted the carefully rendered details of the setting, the tightness of the editing and the inventiveness of the special effects.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Peter Bradshaw Guardian [UK] (Top Critic)
    60
    An entertaining, technically superb if faintly unsatisfying futuristic thriller.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Claudia Puig USA Today (Top Critic)
    88
    District 9 proves that sci-fi thrillers don't have to be star-studded or mega-budgeted to be visually compelling and thoroughly entertaining.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • John Anderson Washington Post (Top Critic)
    A sci-fi-fueled indictment of man's inhumanity to man -- and the non-human -- District 9 is all horribly familiar, and transfixing.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Ty Burr Boston Globe (Top Critic)
    75
    It's an outsider blockbuster, a juicy, bravura piece of moviemaking pulp, and its hellacious style almost -- but not quite -- disguises its shortcomings as a story.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Scott Foundas Village Voice (Top Critic)
    Even in the movie's most conventional stretches, Blomkamp puts things across with terrific verve, using action and computer effects to enhance rather than trump story and character.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Joe Neumaier New York Daily News (Top Critic)
    80
    A memorable, monstrous fable that's consistently gripping.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Joanne Kaufman Wall Street Journal (Top Critic)
    There's a wonderfully sly, farcical verve to these early moments, but it dissipates when the script, with its strains of E.T. and The Fly, moves into high sci-fi gear.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Cary Darling Dallas Morning News (Top Critic)
    90
    This might go down as the year that science-fiction cinema, despite the deafening crash and clangor of sparring robots, began to rediscover its brains, heart and soul.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • James Rocchi MSN Movies (Top Critic)
    80
    A great example of how fresh science fiction can be when it's not just handed over to the special effects team and then the marketing division. "District 9" is far from perfect, but every frame in it drips with ambition, energy and vision.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • David Edelstein New York Magazine (Top Critic)
    To call this the best shrimp-from-outer-space South African apartheid allegory ever made does not begin to do it justice. But it's a start.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Anthony Lane New Yorker (Top Critic)
    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.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times (Top Critic)
    75
    District 9 does a lot of things right, including giving us aliens to remind us not everyone who comes in a spaceship need be angelic, octopod or stainless steel.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune (Top Critic)
    75
    In this summer of gargantuan mediocrities, a modestly budgeted project with an actual idea in its head, and the wiles to manifest it onscreen, exploding heads and all -- that's something.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • J. R. Jones Chicago Reader (Top Critic)
    The backstory beats the hell out of the present-tense plot, a routine affair in which a well-meaning doofus working for the Man is infected with a virus, starts turning into an alien himself, and falls in with the oppressed creatures.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer (Top Critic)
    63
    What is absolutely impressive are the visual effects: the hordes of aliens, the mother ship, the seamless blending of the real with the fantastic.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Colin Covert Minneapolis Star Tribune (Top Critic)
    100
    Socked in with the whiplash action and over-the-top gore is a story that's shockingly funny, clever and emotionally resonant. District 9 is that rarest kind of film, magnificent trash.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Adam Graham Detroit News (Top Critic)
    84
    You've seen alien invasion flicks before, and you've seen more than your share of summer blockbusters. But you've never seen anything quite like District 9.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Kerry Lengel Arizona Republic (Top Critic)
    60
    For science-fiction fans looking for a bit more brainpower than Transformers has to offer, District 9 points the way toward redemption for a movie genre that could use an infusion of artistic ambition.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Sara Vilkomerson New York Observer (Top Critic)
    District 9 is the most exciting science fiction movie to come along in ages; definitely the most thrilling film of the summer; and quite possibly the best film I've seen all year.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Justin Chang Variety (Top Critic)
    This grossly engrossing speculative fiction bears Jackson's blood-splattered fingerprints but also heralds first-time feature director Neill Blomkamp as a nimble talent to watch.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Kyle Smith New York Post (Top Critic)
    50
    The movie falls into the same uneasy category as Eight Legged Freaks: too tongue-in-cheek to be thrilling, not funny enough to be a comedy.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Roger Moore Orlando Sentinel (Top Critic)
    80
    As straight sci-fi action, it packs a punch, once you get past the ick factor.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Peter Howell Toronto Star (Top Critic)
    88
    In a summer where toy robots and action heroes have rocked the box office and killed brain cells, it's nice to see a movie where some serious thought has been put into reviving a stale genre.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
AVG. RATING 4.5 SUPERB
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