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District 9

 (2,966)
7.91 h 47 min2009X-Ray15
From producer Peter Jackson and director Neill Blomkamp comes a startlingly original science-fiction thriller where alien refugees, stranded on Earth, are exiled to a slum on the fringes of Johannesburg.
Directors
Neill Blomkamp
Starring
Sharlto CopleyDavid JamesJason Cope
Genres
Science Fiction
Subtitles
None Available
Audio Languages
English
Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started.

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Supporting actors
Mandla GadukaWilliam Allen YoungVanessa HaywoodKenneth NkosiEugene KhumbanyiwaLouis MinnaarHlengiwe Madlala
Producers
Peter Jackson
Studio
TriStar Pictures
Content advisory
Alcohol usefoul languagesexual contentviolence
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

2966 global ratings

  1. 71% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 17% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 7% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 3% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 3% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

Mrs. HatterReviewed in the United Kingdom on 26 December 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Fantastic Alien Sci-Fi Classic
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I can't believe it's almost 10 years since this film was released. Having just re-watched it I'd say its aged very well and is still a top notch sci-fi film in the aliens-landing-on-earth-and-everyone-trying-to-get-along subgenre.

As with most such films, there is conflict between humans and the aliens as they attempt to integrate into our culture, albeit within the confines of some rather Nazi-esque compounds where the aliens are kept, and within this there is a very heavy undertone highlighting the often uncomfortable realities of segregation between races when one is in a position of strength/higher power. I think the film does this very well - it doesn't gloss over the horrors of such a reality, but doesn't focus on it so heavily that it forgets to include plenty of humour and entertainment in the film too. With that said, despite often being softened slightly by the fact that its mostly CGI aliens we see being mistreated or killed, it does have some very violent moments with plenty of blood/goo delivered unsparingly to hammer the point home.

The aliens and their technology still look pretty good by today's standards, the story is interesting and delivered in a relatively unique way - enough so that it never feels like its treading old ground - and the brutal assessment of the uglier side of human nature is balanced very well with the wonder of what such futures might exist beyond us.

This is one of very few found-footage/moc-doc style films I have enjoyed from start to finish and not felt that the film has suffered due to this style of shooting, and together with a brilliant (and often comical) performance from Sharlto Copley throughout I find it a really enjoyable and easy film to watch, despite the sometimes heavy undertone.

A sequel seems unlikely after all this time, although would be much appreciated, but fortunately this film has enough going for it to hold a good re-watch factor so is definitely still worth getting as it approaches its 10th birthday.
9 people found this helpful
ClemReviewed in the United Kingdom on 26 January 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Brilliant (f you like this sort of film)!
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A very enjoyable bit of sci-fi. Plenty of gore! Beware though: the disc is BD-Live enabled, so if your blu-ray player is connected to the Internet it may well try and connect to a server somewhere. However, that seemed to hang my player (the film was released 10y ago, so I suspect that the systems are no longer online) and in order to watch it I had to disable the feature in my player's menus. No biggie for me, but this is the first BD-Live enabled disc that I have.
2 people found this helpful
KittyG26Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 September 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
Great movie, but Amazon prime video version is rubbish!
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I love this movie, but the Amazon prime video version does not have subtitles, like the theatrical release. Consequently one cannot understand anything Christopher says (he speaks throughout in an alien language). As Christopher is one of the central characters, this is beyond ridiculous.
15 people found this helpful
DaveReviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 August 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Quirky humour
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It’s what can happen when creative minds get together at short notice. I understand that it was made when the original intention to make a film about a computer game was aborted and there was a lot of Techy stuff left on site Reminded me of the Apollo 13 scenario where in emergency square items had to be adjusted to fit in round holes etc. Except in this case aliens were invented to inhabit a township to keep them under control after their space ship broke down. Set in South Africa, the second class citizen scenario was a parody of Apartheid era. Sound unconvincing? In my book it is hilarious sci fi.
Trevor WillsmerReviewed in the United Kingdom on 04 July 2012
4.0 out of 5 stars
"When dealing with aliens, try to be polite, but firm. And always remember that a smile is cheaper than a bullet."
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Neill Blomkamp's District 9 isn't exactly a new idea - it takes the basic premise of [[ASIN:B000065UH9 Alien Nation [1988] [DVD] [1989]]] of an alien spaceship crashing on Earth and its occupants having to become assimilated into a hostile human population - but the execution feels remarkably fresh because, rather than going for tired generic plotting, it's actually thought through what the consequences would be. Rather than opt for a simple cops and robbers drug running story, it starts out as a faux documentary before developing into a thriller as it follows its selfish antihero from too eager to please and cheerfully callous security company bureaucrat evicting the `prawns' from the fetid and violent gang-controlled Joburg shanty town they've been dumped in to a victim of the very people he works for after accidental exposure to an alien substance causes him to mutate and become a useful source of biological parts to harvest so his employers can take advantage of alien weapons technology that won't work with humans...

Unlike most found footage films, the first half hour or so works surprisingly well because this is a richly imagined environment with a lot of fascinating detail to fill in, managing to do it without seeming like pure exposition by contrasting the attitudes of the humans - mostly exploitative - with the violent aliens they barely co-exist with because their cultures are so incompatible. The parallels with South Africa's segregated past are very much to the fore, with the mostly white security forces treating the `prawns' as children who only respond to bribery or force, but rather than opt for the easy bad white guys option, the black South Africans treat them exactly the same way the white South Africans treated them back in the bad old days: they don't want them in their neighborhoods, don't want them taking good jobs that should be theirs, and want them kept in their place. The prejudices, superstitions and the lack of any attempt to understand each other are vividly conveyed with surprising economy and energy as we follow the initial stages of the eviction process, the film mutating along with its hero from mock-doc to chase movie as everyone from his father-in-law to Nigerian gangsters literally wants a piece of him.

Aside from excellent special effects and a wonderful level of cluttered detail, what really sells it is Sharlto Copley's remarkable lead performance, which is a world away from the normal sci-fi hero. He's a bundle of nervous energy as the front office geek who's been promoted beyond his abilities by virtue of marrying the bosses daughter, enjoys his work - aborting alien eggs is a particular source of childish joy - and even after he finds himself becoming one of them remains resolutely self-centred. He doesn't play for sympathy and he doesn't deserve it, yet despite being the kind of character who is usually just throwaway comic relief in most movies he remains a compellingly amoral yet believable centre for all the moral mayhem. Even as the body count mounts in the shoot `em up finale, he remains a credibly pathetic figure driven more by fear than heroism. It's a funny and impressive performance in a darkly funny and often exhilarating bit of smarter than expected scifi.

The extras are better than expected too, with the 22 deleted scenes, mostly from the first third of the film, surprisingly worthwhile. They would have slowed the picture down too much had they been kept in, but they show just how richly the filmmakers developed the social and political background, with an interview with the black American CEO of the security firm cheerfully insisting, Boer style, that the aliens' ship is categorically not their ship and therefore they have no rights to it a particular gem. There's also a three part documentary on the DVD and director's commentary while, as usual, Blu-ray buyers get additional featurettes that are also on the US NTSC two-disc edition and an interactive feature on the central shanty town.
14 people found this helpful
SarugumoReviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 July 2010
4.0 out of 5 stars
District 9
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`District 9' is an alien film with a difference. This is shot partly in a documentary style and follows some Aliens (nicknamed Prawns) who come to earth and who are segregated in society and who are kept in slums in Johannesburg. A government department called MNU administer and try to rehome the Prawns and this film explores what happens when one of the MNU team leaders becomes infected with an alien virus. This was slightly a slow starter, but after about twenty minutes this gathered pace and I was kept hooked until the end. The aliens aren't the explicit bad guys we have come to expect from modern films and there is real personality and a softer side to them that comes through, despite their rather unattractive exterior. This had a relatively unknown cast, who all perform well, and although the main character's South African accent can sound slightly like he is from Liverpool at times (especially when he uses the `F` word), this is the only downside to the film. The effects are pretty decent and whilst the film feels kind of low tech at the start (with the jerky documentary style camera work), by the end the effects are fairly good and the explosions and machinery are impressive. There is a lot of talk about the implicit apartheid themes to this film, and I am sure they are there, but you can just as easily watch this for a great sci-fi adventure as well. It has all the elements you would want, alien themed storyline, plenty of explosions and evil government agencies. All in all this is a good film and just over 1 hour and 40 minutes passed by in what felt like no time at all. If you enjoy sci-fi films, with an alternative view of how aliens may react when coming to earth, then check this out; I don't think you'll be disappointed.

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One person found this helpful
DRReviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 November 2012
4.0 out of 5 stars
Good to Goo
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In some ways this is an old story - aliens on earth and the clash of human and aliens. It could be seen as a remake of Alien Nation, but these aliens are not addicted to goo - rather, they work symbiotically with goo and without it (goo-less?) their technology won't work.

So, there is a culture clash between humans and stranded aliens, enough weaponry to make CGI worthwhile, a nod in the direction of DNA sequencing, and a cynical attitude to human nature. So that's all good.

District 9 is watchable & entertaining, and, for me, the key question is: will I watch it again? Definitely - so worth it's buying and gets a 4 star rating from me.

Is it thought provoking and philosophical? I suspect Neill Blomkamp (Director) thinks it is - but that's the trouble with philosophy, there's always another philosopher out there who disagrees... in this case; me.

If you are a seeker after truth, look elsewhere. With District 9... go for the goo. Splat.
One person found this helpful
Shaun WolfeReviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 October 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Brilliant
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Watched this many times now and STILL go back for more! It;s not the glitsiest of ifilms, no massive stars, no massive budget (i think?) But the story is realy poweful and well acted, will watch again one day for sure
One person found this helpful
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