District 9

  • 15
  • Neill Blomkamp (2009)
  • NZ / US / S Afr (SUB)
  • 107 min
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Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

Seemingly helpless extraterrestrials arrive on Earth and are treated like any other vulnerable minority - as if they're subhuman - in this startling mix of sci-fi action and trenchant social drama from producer Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings). By framing events as a mock-documentary set in his native Johannesburg, writer/director Neill Blomkamp makes obvious reference to the shadow of apartheid, but the film never seems preachy. Heading a largely unknown South African cast, Sharlto Copley delivers a remarkable performance as the glib Afrikaaner bureaucrat heading up a brutal alien-relocation operation, who's forced by escalating events into an affecting realisation of the error of his ways. It may give way to (admittedly effective) shoot-'em-up fare in the later stages, but this remains a textbook example of fantasy cinema's ability to tackle thorny moral issues while splattering the screen with gloopy creature effects.

Plot Summary

Sci-fi action drama starring Sharlto Copley. Nearly thirty years after aliens landed near Johannesburg, the extraterrestrial visitors are living in a squalid refugee camp called District 9. With the initial welcoming attitude of the human population long since faded, the order is given for the space visitors to be forcibly evicted. For one man, the operation will be a life-changing experience.

Cast and crew


Wikus van de Merwe
Sharlto Copley
Koobus Venter
David James
Christopher Johnson / Grey Bradnam
Jason Cope
Tania van de Merwe
Vanessa Haywood
Fundiswa Mhalanga
Mandla Gaduka
Kenneth Nkosi
Dirk Michaels
William Allen Young
Hlengiwe Madlala
Louis Minnaar
Piet Smit
Ross Pienaar
Robert Hobbs


Neill Blomkamp

Other Information

English, Nyanja, Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa, Sotha +subtitles
Theatrical distributor: 
Violence, swearing.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 4 Sep 2009
Certificate 15