movie film review | chris tookey

District 9

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  District 9 Review
Tookey's Rating
9 /10
Average Rating
7.21 /10
Sharlto Copley , Jason Cope, Nathalie Boltt
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Directed by: Neill Blomkamp
Written by: Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell

Released: 2009
Origin: South Africa/ New Zealand
Colour: C
Length: 112

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No true fan of science fiction - or, for that matter, cinema - can help but thrill to the action, high stakes and suspense built around a very original chase movie.
(Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter)
The humanity of District 9 adds another dimension to this multilayered, rewarding work - one of the best of the summer, and undoubtedly the most inventive from the multiplex this year.
(Matthew Sorrento, Film Threat)
Madly original, cheekily political, altogether exciting.
(Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly)
District 9 is very smart sci-fi, but that's just the beginning; it's also a scathing social satire hidden inside a terrific action thriller teeming with gross aliens and regrettable inter-species conflict. And it's a blast.
(Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times)
Every now and then, a film comes along that both defies and compels description. District 9 is one such movie: a science-fiction action vehicle so brilliantly and fully imagined that real life, when it resumes after the credits, arrives with a new sense of dread.
(Amy Biancolli, San Francisco Chronicle)
A sci-fi-fueled indictment of man's inhumanity to man - and the non-human - District 9 is all horribly familiar, and transfixing.
(John Anderson, Washington Post)
To his credit, however, the often-playful Blomkamp never bludgeons his audience with any specific message. He's too busy letting 'er rip with his edge-of-your-seat, and unapologetically violent, sci-fi adventure.
(Mike Scott, New Orleans Times-Picayune)
This is a delicious premise, and Blomkamp, who first played with it in a 2005 short called Alive in Joburg, has magnified and improved it with ferocious energy, wit and style.
(Shawn Levy, Ptland Oregonian)
Grabs you by the eyeballs from the very first frame.
(Jeannette Catsoulis, NPR)
District 9 proves that genre films, besides being a hell of a lot of fun, can say things you hadn't considered and show stuff you haven't seen.
(Richard Corliss, Time)
Though compelling throughout, District 9 never becomes outright terrifying, largely because Blomkamp is less interested in exploiting his aliens for cheap scares than in holding up a mirror to our own bloodthirsty, xenophobic species.
(Justin Chang, Variety)
Who says a good summer action movie has to be as brainless as a bag of Autobot bolts? District 9 proves you donít have to choose between entertainment value and intelligent filmmaking.
(Kiko Martinez, CineSnob)
District 9 whizzes by with a resourcefulness and mordant wit nearly worthy of its obvious influences: Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Dawn of the Dead, and Starship Troopers.
(Scott Foundas, Village Voice)
Blomkamp and his entire cast and crew have created an instant genre classic that transcends the self-limiting ghetto implied by the term "science fiction" and instead, like precursors such as Robert Wise's The Day the Earth Stood Still, engages not only the mind but the heart as well. It's magnificent.
(Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle)
Anyone who watches District 9 and doesn't think of Apartheid, Nazis, and Josef Mengele needs to spend some time reading a few history books.
(James Berardinelli, Reelviews)
South African director Neill Blomkamp set and shot the film around his native Johannesburg, so parallels to apartheid leap to mind. Yet the script he wrote with Terri Tatchell applies to any culture that bluntly excludes another.
(Lawrence Toppman, Charlotte Observer)
This baby has the stuff to end the movie summer on a note of dazzle and distinction.
(Peter Travers, Rolling Stone)
With its clever faux documentary style, this is the most imaginative science-fiction movie to come along in years.
(Claudia Puig, USA Today)
A memorable, monstrous fable that's consistently gripping.
(Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News)
In the best B-movie tradition, the filmmakers embed their ideas in an ingenious, propulsive and suspenseful genre entertainment, one that respects your intelligence even as it makes your eyes pop (and, once in a while, your stomach turn).
(A.O. Scott, New York Times)
The last time I felt the sort of outrageously kinetic action-movie high District 9 delivers, it was 1981 and George Miller, Mel Gibson, and Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior had just come roaring out of Australia.
(Ty Burr, Boston Globe)
Some movies pack such a terrific central idea, even their flaws canít stop the train. District 9 is one of them.
(Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune)
Technically superb, District 9 is a feast of seamless digital work fused to live action, as it is also a smart fusion of documentary format with narrative fiction. The result is highly energetic without being frantic, and perfectly in tune with our heightened senses in a 24 hour news cycle world where major events are reported in a continuous stream. The device allows Blomkamp the freedom to establish facts quickly and with great visual scope. With producer Peter Jackson, Blomkamp has access to Weta Digital, which is one of the world's most sought after FX production houses. He also has access to Jackson's mind; it's a terrific partnership, as is Blomkamp's long association with Copley, who carries so much of the film's weight on his shoulders. It's fresh, exciting and enormously entertaining; don't miss it.
(Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile, Australia)

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