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Parents' Guide to

District 9

By James Rocchi, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Sci-fi stunner is smart but gory; way too violent for kids.

Movie R 2009 113 minutes
District 9 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 58 parent reviews

age 16+

Great movie for older kids

I’m a kid writing this review and this was a crazy good crazy movie about aliens in an area named district 9 and a guy starts to become an alien so in many scenes people explode with blood and guts .I thought this was a great movie to watch with a 15 or 13 or 16 year old it matters how sensitive your kid is I’m not sensitive at all unless a movie is over the top scary.In conclusion I thought this was a good movie.
age 16+

Parallels with Xenophobia and Apartheid

From a South African point of view, where part of the movie was filmed, the themes were pertinent to the past and present experience of South Africans. District 9 is a reference to District 6 a once vibrant and mixed community (with a fair degree of grit and crime) on the outskirts of Cape Town that was demolished to make way for a whites only area. Similarly the movies depiction of the Prawns living conditions mixes the reality of living in the squatter camps of South Africa with a bit of Nigerian crime boss fiction. The depiction of the South African officials dealing with Prawns are accurate and parody the efforts of the police and army to enforce the Apartheid laws. Read a little about Apartheid and you will see the themes in the movie.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (58 ):
Kids say (133 ):

Produced by Peter Jackson, District 9 is a rarity -- a lower-budget science-fiction film with amazing effects, thrilling action, and, most importantly, emotional and intellectual depth. Turning the plight of marginalized groups into science fiction is nothing new, but District 9's dark vision of the apartheid years is somehow brain-bendingly exciting and painfully real.

Director/co-writer Neill Blomkamp makes a few mistakes -- some of the character arcs have a few rough edges, and the film's middle section is a bit interminable -- but, at the same time, District 9 is a welcome antidote to "science-fiction films" like Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (which, of course, have no science in them whatsoever). The movie's willingness to take on complex political and moral questions is an equally welcome change from the bloodless, thoughtless gloss of big-budget action films like G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. And, of course, it's just plain exciting -- full of action, comedy, eye-popping effects, and tricky stunts. District 9 is a bloody, brutal action-science-fiction allegory served up rough and raw, but that's what makes it worth getting excited about.

Movie Details

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