District 9 2009 R CC

Amazon Instant Video

(775) IMDb 8/10
Available in HD
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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.

Starring:
Sharlto Copley, David James
Runtime:
1 hour 53 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

District 9

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Product Details

Genres Thriller, Action, Science Fiction
Director Neill Blomkamp
Starring Sharlto Copley, David James
Supporting actors Nathalie Boltt, Sylvaine Strike, Elizabeth Mkandawie, John Sumner, William Allen Young, Greg Melvill-Smith, Nick Blake, Morena Busa Sesatsa, Themba Nkosi, Mzwandile Nqoba, Barry Strydom, Jed Brophy, Louis Minnaar, Vanessa Haywood, Marian Hooman, Vittorio Leonardi, Mandla Gaduka, Johan van Schoor
Studio TriStar Pictures
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

481 of 563 people found the following review helpful By Leif Sheppard VINE VOICE on August 21, 2009
Note: For those who have not seen the film, there are no "spoilers" in the review. The plot details I list have little to do with the focus of the story aside from providing exposition.

"District 9" is one of those rare gems that immediately immerses you in its world. Beginning in medias res with stark images of a massive spacecraft hovering over Johannesburg, the audience quickly discovers it's been there for over thirty years by the time our story picks up. For months after the craft appeared the Earth waited for a response. When none came, the decision was made to send special teams to board the vessel and finally get some answers. What they got, instead, were more questions.

The aliens inside were malnourished, unhealthy and their intelligence appeared to be below that of most humans. Labeled "prawns" due to their appearance, the aliens were removed from the ship and placed into a temporary encampment known as District 9, which has rapidly deteriorated into an outright slum. Enter Wikus van der Merwe, a seemingly naive yet likeable fellow employed with Multinational United (M.N.U.), the pseudo-U.N. organization tasked with handling the prawns. He's just received a promotion and is ordered to relocate the prawns to a newer camp set up in an area more isolated from humanity.

While the scope of "District 9" seems initially epic, the film wisely follows a very focused tale centered on Wikus and a prawn known as Christopher. As the story unfolds, the development of these characters is outstanding - particularly for an action-oriented film. A lesser film would've transformed Wikus into a more compassionate person as the events transpired, perhaps even culiminating into some sort of freedom fighter for the prawns.
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47 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Irfan A. Alvi TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 31, 2010
Format: Blu-ray
At first, the plot and characters in this movie seem quite bizarre, but it eventually becomes apparent that the movie is clearly and faithfully illustrating a theme which is natural to the human condition. That theme revolves around what happens when a minority group lives in the midst of a majority group, with the division into different and opposing groups being established based on their differences in ancestry, appearance, language, diet, and other cultural traits.

In such a situation, the majority group may grow to detest the minority group and unjustly blame them for many of their own troubles, and they may even be tempted to exterminate the minority group (ie, genocide), but their instincts will usually tell them that that's going too far. Instead, the minority group will usually be allowed to continue to exist, but they'll be geographically cordoned off and their rights will be limited, so that they suffer deprived circumstances, including epithets, physical abuse, poverty, exploitation, and crime.

Again, the movie illustrates this (important) theme well, and in a way that there's no question about who the minority group is and the ways in which they're being mistreated. I found the movie gripping, and I suspect that I'll remember it for a long time.

If I have to come up with a negative criticism of the movie, I would say that perhaps some of the violence is over the top, and I wonder if it was necessary to include Nigerians among the really bad guys (given that their reputation is already bad enough).

Nevertheless, I do recommend this movie. It's much better than I expected, and it does its job well enough to warrant a full 5 stars.
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140 of 181 people found the following review helpful By B. George on August 28, 2009
Just watched the movie at the opening night and I am spellbound! Firstly, I am living in Johannesburg and was absolutely amazed at many a subtle hints and glances at history this movie gave. There were too many moments that only living in Johannesburg will make one truly understand what the director was hinting at, and all done and put together brilliantly in a way I haven't seen done much before. Secondly, I simply loved the way Neil (btw never heard of him before) didn't conform to the traditional and all too cliched Hollywood sci-fi recipe, and wasn't scared of breaking lots of Hollywood cinema 'laws'. Alien ships always land somewhere in the US, aliens are always here to kill us with no reason, we always are the experts in solving any issues in the end - none of these were followed. I read some reviews of the film being too racist, xenophobic, sexist etc. which were issues that I believe the director was actually trying to highlight to us, rather than capitalise on them. And these are real issues well and alive in many countries outside of South Africa, not sure why people pretend to see past and overlook them as if life is all perfect. In conclusion, a very thought-provoking movie for me that combines great elements of sci-fi action and storytelling - and maybe the message is, sometimes to be human again we have to think like and become alien.
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110 of 146 people found the following review helpful By N. Durham HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 20, 2009
Format: DVD
District 9 is something that perhaps no one saw coming, and ends up being the absolute best movie of the summer hands down. Produced by Peter Jackson and helmed by Neill Blomkamp (the director Jackson hand picked for the shelved Halo movie), District 9 depicts an alien race that came to Earth on an emergency basis a couple decades before hand, and have since become refugees in a violent slum in Johannesburg. Bureaucrat Wikus (Sharlto Copley) is charged with serving eviction notices to the alien "prawns", and through a mishap, ends up undergoing a horrifying transformation that makes him a wanted man by everyone. As he and a prawn dubbed Christopher Johnson become unlikely allies, things begin to really kick into high gear. Beginning as part mockumentary and part satire on apartheid, District 9 takes its time to become a bloody full-blown action/sci-fi opus that stays with you long after the credits are done rolling. What also helps make District 9 so good is that you truly never know what is going to happen next. The sheer unpredictability of the film helps make it so magnetic, and newcomer Copley manages to be hateable, likable, and sympathetic all at the same time as his character continues to develop and change (literally) as the film goes on. All in all, District 9 is an incredible science fiction film that features equal parts action and heart, and in a bloated summer full of empty blockbusters like Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, G.I. Joe, and the like; it is indeed refreshing to see something like this on the big screen. Do yourself a favor, don't miss out on District 9.
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