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Movie Review

District 9

MPAA Rating: R for bloody violence and pervasive language.

Reviewed by: Ethan Samuel Rodgers
CONTRIBUTOR

Extremely Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Sci-Fi Drama
Length:
1 hr. 52 min.
Year of Release:
2009
USA Release:
August 14, 2009 (wide—2,900 theaters)
DVD: December 22, 2009
Copyright, Sony Pictures Entertainment click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Sony Pictures Entertainment Copyright, Sony Pictures Entertainment Copyright, Sony Pictures Entertainment Copyright, Sony Pictures Entertainment Copyright, Sony Pictures Entertainment Copyright, Sony Pictures Entertainment Copyright, Sony Pictures Entertainment Copyright, Sony Pictures Entertainment Copyright, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Aliens (extraterrestrials)

What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets? Answer

Are we alone in the universe? Answer

Does Scripture refer to life in space? Answer

Q&A about the origin of life

Other issues

FEAR, Anxiety and Worry… What does the Bible say? Answer

What are the consequences of racial prejudice and false beliefs about the origin of races? Answer

Racism, Racial Issues and Christianity
Get biblical answers to racial hot-topics. Where did the races come from? How did skin color come about? Why is it important to have a biblical foundation for such issues?

VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer

Featuring: Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, Nathalie Boltt, Sylvaine Strike, Elizabeth Mkandawie, John Summer, 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, [more]
Director: Neill Blomkamp
“Stargate SG-1,” “Smallville,” “3000 Miles to Graceland”
Producer: Key Creatives, QED International, WingNut Films, Wintergreen Productions, Bill Block, Philippa Boyens, Elliot Ferwerda, Peter Jackson, Ken Kamins, Michael S. Murphey
Distributor: Sony Pictures Entertainment

“You are not welcome here.”

Have you by any chance seen “Hotel Rwanda?” How about “Black Hawk Down” or “Blood Diamond?” If you answered “yes” to any of these, I’d like you to close your eyes and imagine those films for a moment, and then using your imagination insert bug-like aliens for the refugees and mistreated peoples depicted in those films. Congratulations, you’ve just cracked the code to Peter Jackson and Neil Blomkamp’s newest science-fiction, social commentary thriller.

“District-9” begins by telling a story through news clips, archive footage, and interviews of an Earth changing event: first contact with intelligent alien life. The scene is not as one would expect, however. No beams of light shooting from the doorway, no loud speaker phones echoing over the plains of South Africa “we come in peace.” Just a giant, rusted metal space craft, much resembling an oil tanker or roll on/roll off ship, filled with millions of mostly uneducated, malnourished alien creatures in need of food, water and medical attention.

In a desperate attempt to keep the chaos under control, a government agency based out of South Africa named MNU (Multi-National United) takes the lead in fencing in the refugee aliens and housing them in small shacks, creating a sort of ghetto at the heart of Johannesberg, South Africa, which they name District-9.

After 20 years, the District is growing increasingly unsafe, and MNU promotes a young agent, Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copley), to begin evicting each and every alien family from their homes to move to a new complex 200 kilometers outside of the city.

Some have begun to praise this film with words such as “groundbreaking” and “a new science-fiction classic.” The praise seems unwarranted considering the inefficiencies inherent in the actual storyline following a promising and complex premise. The plot structure, although clever, is very simple at its core, and the story line is shown from only the perspective of Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copley), as much of it is filmed with the “news camera recording” cinematography style, disallowing the cameras to ever venture far from any main character, always shakily following closely behind. As far as the description “classic,” I’d sight and argue that much of the film techniques and social messages inferred in this film are more so “flavor of the week” and popular right now and won’t stand the test of time required for a film to be a classic.

As for the content of the film, most 13 to 15 year old science-fiction lovers with parents paying attention will be grossly disappointed for many reasons. The violence is gratuitous and ever present throughout. The alien weaponry used in the film literally causes men’s heads and bodies to explode in most every scene in the latter half of the film, and there are multiple other gratuitous scenes of men being operated on and others of humans eating parts of aliens and cutting them up.

The language is perhaps the biggest disappointment. Although the script rarely gets creative with it’s curse word vocabulary, it never ventures away from throwing one particular word, which begins with an F and is what most people would consider the worst, at you nearly 100 times. There’s no sexual content to speak of other than a few conversations various characters have in interviews about the activity of alien to human prostitution and the inference of what it leads to.

From a science-fiction perspective “District-9” is certainly no “Blade Runner,” nor is it “Alien,” “War of the Worlds,” or even “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” It’s certainly a breed of its own, but I felt that it left too much to be desired. The story Producer Peter Jackson and Director Neil Blomkamp tell is one that is far less interesting than the surrounding situation. So many questions and facts that were left out so that the story of a man and his interactions with the aliens could be told was a mistake. I wanted to know more about their arrival and about the aliens, about their culture and how they learned to communicate with humans, and why they weren’t leaving and what happened to their planet. I feel as though audiences will be dazzled by the computer graphics and special effects, but will be spoon fed a one dimensional story that will leave them craving more. They’ll crave more from the writers who fail to explain and elaborate on a complex premise, they’ll question why even when the cameras shifted from a breaking news/documentary perspective (very similar to “Cloverfield”) to a third person perspective, the cinematography style itself is left unchanged, and they’ll ask for more from the characters and the screenplay which disallowed the perspective needed to establish a connection with the alien race so that one cares for them as they would the life of a human (which seemed to be the ultimate goal and challenge).

There’s little, however, that is actually established to care about in the film, and, ultimately, the blender method used to combine real world stories and scenarios of grief and regret with computer animated aliens just doesn’t quite hit the emotional nerve I believe the filmmakers were seeking. It’s never quite a story of hope, nor is it an action sci-fi thriller. It’s not quite a documentary, nor is it a drama. With a soundtrack ripped straight from the Ridley Scott iTunes library play list, “District-9”’s biggest secret is that no one can really figure out what it truly is, or why they should care in the first place.

Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Mild

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—As followers of Christ we would like to see the world the way Christ would have it; brotherly love, humility and a life of plain/simple devotion and respect for Gods creation. However, with recent historic events like Iraq, Bosnia genocide, genocide in Darfur, etc. we know that this world is just as turbulent as it was during Christ’s time. This film presents this chaotic relationship we have with one another, but displays it in a different prism. The difference is that instead of a socially persecuted group that we are familiar with, the director picks “aliens.” By doing so, it makes it difficult for the viewer to ignore powerful messages with his/her own inner prejudices and/or social view of the world. As a result, this film affected me more deeply than a movie has in ages.

I went with my family who were equally affected and we spent ours of emotional discussion and most of us even cried. My friends, I cannot tell you how long its been since a film effected me in such an emotional way. ***SPOILER***: Yes, there was a couple times I thought I couldn’t take the violence—i.e. a scene where MNU makes the lead character shoot an unarmed innocent, pictures of the aliens who had been needlessly “experimented upon” and a heart wrenching scene where MNU burns the aliens eggs (their unborn children) alive. While the eggs burned, the perpetrator looked into the camera and callously explained how they “popped.” At that moment, I won’t lie to you, I wanted to run from the theater. Not from hatred of the film, but from emotional exhaustion. It is these messages which hit the viewer with a ton of bricks and forces one to make comparisons with real world events.

These creatures were “different” and had something which people wanted (weapons) as a result—as in Bosnia, America, Germany and other countries—they were herded into “Ghettos”/camps, abused, tortured and segregated from the rest of the population with wide spread use of propaganda by MNU which wanted them for weaponry. Someone asked why they mentioned “interspecies s-xual relations?” In the film, this was an active propaganda method used to marginalize the aliens even further in society and cause people to mistrust, hate and even wish their destruction. This propaganda varied in the film with the media further pushing hate by touting stories of s-x, theft and crimes. Sound familiar?

There are many points in history that Christians were herded into slums and tortured, Jews were forced into ghettos and exterminated, aboriginals in Australia are marginalized from society, Bosnians into camps and murdered-each group was marginalized even further with propaganda messages and xenophobia which allowed people to view them as less than human.

One of the other reviewers mentioned a scene of Nigerian witchcraft where the gang member “eats” alien parts. If you focus on this, then you miss the overall point—everyone wanted these aliens for their own immoral purposes. The Nigerians wanted their power and felt they could get it by “eating them,” MNU wanted their power by genetically “eating” them by means of killing/torturing them and using tissue samples for DNA research. It’s part moral commentary, with the intelligent alien species serving as an unwanted guest. It’s part political commentary, with the government and others hoping to indulge in deadly alien weaponry. The film also has a few other themes into the picture—trust, loyalty and friendship, love etc.

Should you see it? YES. Why did I give it a “better than average” for a moral rating? You should see it, sit down with your friends/family and have a long talk about what Christ’s love REALLY means to you and how we as Christians can end the needless cycle of war, violence and hatred in the world.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Elizabeth, age 37 (USA)
Positive—I like the short ALIVE IN JOBURG because of it’s direct anti-apartheid message, while DISTRICT 9 (D-9) tries to expand upon that, in the third act, it turns into a regular sci-fi action adventure that was losing it’s main theme. The CGI is top notched and able to invite us to feel for the unfamiliar looking father and son aliens to our human eyes. Maybe it’s nothing but worth noting is the name for the alien father, Christopher Johnson as in CHRIST-opher and reverse the initials to J.C. !? Neill Blomkamp made several short films and advertisements which gained the attention of Peter Jackson who initiated him to directed the now defunct HALO film. Upon the forced indefinite postponed of HALO, Peter encouraged Neill to make one of his short into a feature and D-9 was the result from the superb six minutes short ALIVE IN JOBURG. You can view the short on YouTube, which may help to understand the feature a little better.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Mang Yang, age 37 (USA)
Positive—I recommend this film for adults that do not have a problem listening to offensive language and watching bloody scenes, most of the violence is between aliens vs. humans, but it does contain an objectionable amount of blood and tissue. The movie starts up slow but it picks up the pace and it gets you immersed in the characters story and in a way forces you to pick sides. If you like action sci-fi movies with lots of explosions, shaky camera action and a ton of bullets fired all over the place, then this movie is for you. Please do not take small children to watch this movie, it is loud and even some teenagers might find it a bit disturbing. I can’t wait for the sequel (if any).
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Bryan Smart, age 32 (USA)
Positive—Cool movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Mega Tron, age 23 (USA)
Positive—I can see how the many posters on here nitpick on all the little things about what’s wrong and immoral about this film and it saddens me how easily the point was missed. The film is about differences and how we consistently as a race choose to destroy those who are different. I love review of the first poster because it really captures the whole of the film. It is amazing how propaganda is still around today to vilify those who are different and those who sympathize with them. For a film about aliens, it is one of the most human-centered films this year. I have yet to see a film that really made me think about how we treat others around us as if they are commodities or just oddities that ruin the picture perfect life. Where’s God’s love in that? It’s time Christians stopped being so anal about the little things and look at the big picture.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—April, age 23 (USA)
Positive—First off I got to say this movie was astounding based on the fact it was made for $30 million. Originally Halo was going to be made but fell through and Peter Jackson gave the producer $30 million and make whatever he wanted since he felt bad this was his first movie, he even backed him on it! Aside from that I believe this is is the best movie of the year so far. Lets get past the movie making elements first. Quality wise I gave it 5 stars because I think only once do you really really ever tell there’s even a hint of CGI going. Sure you know they are not real but they do not look fake! Everything else about this movie is downright amazing! Story, action, themes…etc.

Now, of course, comes point of why your reading this. You can read about what its about all all that elsewhere. You want to know about the movie and how it is if your a christian. There no arguing its gory. Aside from standard gun shot wounds occasionally the only other thing you see often is a alien gun that literally makes people explode like a watermelon, although you don’t see body parts. Its more of a blood splatter. Still.

And there is swearing in the movie. The F-Word is the preferred word in it. I can’t say its that bad. I’ve seen worse movies recently that have made me wonder why there was so much reason.

Is this something a Christian should see? Well, there’s two factors here I look at. One says god doesn’t want us looking at this stuff. But, then again, I am sure he doesn’t want us being bubbled creatures and ignoring the world around us. Let me explain. At a church I went to the missionaries would often tell stories and even have video from places they went, one of which of which was Africa. They talked and showed about how bad it was. We saw some pictures of dead people including a family that had been, well I won’t post it on here. My point is, as christians, aren’t we suppose to care about what goes on in the world? This is the premise of this movie. It’s essentially replaced for instance someone like the people of Darfur with Aliens. I know many people get shocked by blood and swearing. But in real life, if you were to travel to these places would you say that those dead bodies are offensive to you and the mourning people most likely swearing about those people who killed them are offensive. or would you share with them your compassion and love of god? I know it’s just a movie. But it’s trying to push across what goes on the world in a movie form. By covering up the gore and swearing, we would be just trying to cover up the fact that the world really is like that. With that said if you have a better understanding of what the movies about then I would go see it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Matt S., age 27 (USA)
Positive—I thought this film was amazing. As a former missionary in South Africa, and a diehard science fiction fan, I appreciated it even more. The characterization and special effects were very well done, the plot continued to keep you hanging with unpredictable bits right to the very end. But what I appreciated most was the message—this is a heavy message film. At its best, science fiction is never “about” aliens or other worlds; it really tells us something about ourselves. And this one certainly does.

A lot of the nuances may have been lost on audiences without much knowledge of South African history and apartheid, but there are many very direct references and comparisons: for example, the details of the eviction scenes, the pseudo-legality of it; the naming of the aliens by the humans, “Christopher Johnson” which the alien couldn’t even pronounce. The point of the movie is NOT that apartheid or racism is evil. This statement is a given in today’s world. What is shocking is that the very people who suffered most from this evil are just as quick to perpetrate it as anyone else (have they learned nothing?). And even more shocking, that we easily fall in with their disgust and revulsion towards the aliens, and perhaps condone their treatment, as well.

Moreover, the protagonist, Wikus Van der Merwe, is no hero, nor even antihero. He is despicable. He isn’t even “bad,” he just goes along with perpetrating evil unquestioningly because it’s his job. But when he is required (***SPOILER***) to shoot to kill a defenceless alien, he recognizes it as wrong. Even as the story progresses from there, his choices are governed by self-interest. Only at the end, does he do a selfless and sacrificial thing.

So there are 2 underlying themes. We are all capable of evil; none of us is without sin; we all fall short of the glory of God. And none of us, no matter where we start or what we have done, is beyond redemption. And that, I believe, is at the heart of the gospel.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Beatrice, age 53 (Canada)
Positive—I saw this movie with my two 20-something daughters, and found the the gratuitous use of the F-bomb very tiring. But that’s my only criticism. Otherwise, the graphic violence had the same effect on me as did the scenes in the new “War of the Worlds” when the Martians began blasting away at the humans—what do you do when you suddenly find yourself in a situation in which there is great survival risk to you and your loved ones. In both case, I was mentally stressed to the point of visceral reactions (fight or flight). But am I the only one who sees the Christian references in this film?

1. The alien messiah is named Christopher

2. It takes Christopher more than 20 years to step out as his true self

3. The command craft looks like a cross (less so once the engine is blown off)

4. The protagonist was a persecutor of the aliens until a surprising event made him become one

5. The lifting of the command craft into the mother ship is like an ascent into Heaven

6. Christopher says he will return, in three years
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Paul, age 55 (USA)
Positive—I haven’t read the other comments, so my comments may restate others' views. I was stunned (in a positive way) by this film. I think there are many possible and valid corollaries one can make between the issues in this film and current or past societal issues. However, I think the core of this movie is the story of one man. I believe the core message of this film is the growth and journey of this one man (Wikus) and not a larger group or society as a whole, which obviously explains why the story focuses on him. At the beginning of the movie, Wikus seems to be coasting rather comfortably through life and never questions the status quo or any larger morality or ethics. Through the horrible events he endures he is forced to take off the blinders and confront his own complicity and eventually makes a terrible sacrifice to do the “right” thing.

In regard to plot holes a few reviewers have mentioned, one only has to watch and listen carefully. The majority of those questions are answered and the others are irrelevant to Wikus' story. And this movie is his story. Incidentally, I highly expect Oscar consideration for this film, and in particular, Sharlto Copley’s performance.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Kate, age 35 (USA)
Positive—Honestly a really good movie. You really have to stay with the movie the whole time to like it … like leaving 30 min. into it… man it hasn’t even started yet. I absolutely Loved this movie because I viewed it as a Christians struggle being in the world and also who we are in Christ Jesus. If you view this movie in those kinds of perspectives it is quite powerful.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Luke, age 19 (USA)
Positive—Yes. There were many F-words and exploding humans from alien weapons. But I thought it engaged the audience in understanding prejudice in an inoffensive way (aliens, not a human race), which made actions and attitudes very revealing. This could facilitate a moral discussion with friends or family memebers. It was the first time I saw a Sci-fi film with a visiting alien race end up in the slums—so there were some unique elemenents in this feature. How should Christians treat others, even if they are different (alien different)? The filming was well-done, and tne documentary-style in the first part of the movie really kept my attention. If you like sci-fi, it is worth seeing, but be careful taking younger viewers.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—JR, age 39 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—I found “District 9” to be boring, which surprised me because I love sci-fi, however there was nothing in this film that I found the least bit interesting—not the story, the people or the aliens. The main character’s voice got on my nerves after awhile, and I got to a point that I didn’t care what happened to him. There was a bit more gore than I feel was necessary, but hey, what do I know. Sorry I paid full price; definitely wait for the DVD.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Reba, age middle age (USA)
Neutral—Pros—Excellent digital effects, smart story-line, excellent acting and dialogue, plot unfolds very well and keeps you right to the end.

Cons—gore, violence, mutilation, terror, and abuse of the innocent. The f-word opened almost every sentence, but it was the British pronunciation, so it sounded more like the word “talk”… doesn’t make it better, but seemed easier on the ears. I would put this in the category of “Cloverfield” and “Aliens.” Absolutely not for kids… too much horror.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Diana O, age 40 (USA)
Neutral—I found myself laughing at the movie many times. First of all, to imagine aliens from a distant galaxy with the technology to get to Earth and wind up wards of the state, is over the top, for me. I also kept thinking, if the premise was plausible, here is everything you do not do if you are hosting alien visitors from another world. But, given it would probably be up to the UN to take care of the situation, I can appreciate why the film makers portrayed the hosts as idiots. Disturbing thoughts: Hollywood trend to lend credibility to the idea of Extraterrestrial beings visiting Earth. I personally don’t believe in this idea, and if such a situation arises, I would think it to be an enormous deception. Message? We’ll teach those dumb aliens from landing here! Blood and guts everywhere! I don’t think the movie was done in 3D, but if it was, it could rival the best of them as you would be dodging yuckiness many times!

Oh yes, the f-word is used to describe everything! I guess dialogue in our culture can be reduced to a few words, and the one that is the most universal, is the f-word. I’m surprised it wasn’t part of the title to the movie. I wonder if Hollywood will ever make a movie where all dialogue is removed except for 1 word. …
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Lt. Ripley, age 55 (USA)
Negative
Negative—Our 18 year old son has been highly anticipating the opening of this film, so my husband and I went last night to check it out first. Perhaps a third into the movie, the language began, and never ended. I doubt even the producers could tell you just how many occurrences there were of the “F” word, there were so many. The phrase “every other word” is an actual understatement. The aliens speak their own language and we even have to see the word in the subtitles. The violence was quite gory. My husband likened it to a violent video game. Much of the violence was against the aliens, but a lot of it was against humans. There was a lot of blood and gore, and torturous moments waiting for a violent act to come, which sometimes did not, but more often did. But how the creators of this film saw including references to inter-species sexual relations as important to the story is beyond me. In one instance, a prostitute is shown in the Nigerian gang headquarters within the alien slum, while the news reporter mentions inter-species prostitution; and in another incident, while the main character is on the run from the authorities, the news alerts mention his infectious condition being the result of prolonged sexual activity with an alien. It was as if these incidents were simply thrown at the film to add something sexual. They had absolutely nothing to do with the storyline.

There are some weird voodoo scenes where the Nigerians are shown eating alien body parts to acquire the power to use the alien weaponry or are shown in a convulsive trance state. The main character finds himself in a desperate situation, on the run from the authorities. At first he is out to save himself at whatever cost. At the very end of the movie, however, his motives change and his goal becomes to help the alien and this alien’s child escape Earth. I found this to be the only redeeming quality, but it is not nearly enough. It’s only a sad echo of what this movie could have been without all the violence, language, and odd sexual innuendo.

Other than a self-sacrificial act of the main character, no one seems to remember or care that there is a God, and right and wrong: this is not at all surprising. We find government sponsored torture of aliens and humans to gain weapon technology, human authorities who literally enjoy killing aliens, greedy and purely mean gang activity, and alien criminals. It goes without saying that our son won’t be seeing this, and we regret that we did. While I felt that the filmmaking was well done, I did not feel that any of the objectionable things I mentioned added to the film, but rather took away from what could have been.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Suzanne, age 38 (USA)
Negative—So I’m a fan of “Alien,” “Star Wars,” “Star Trek,” “Stargate” and almost every SCI-FI movie of recent time. But this movie was lame… that’s probably the best word to describe it. The plot was almost nonexistent, at the end we still don’t know who the aliens are, where they came from, why the came to Earth, or if they’ll be back. We have no clue who the main alien character is. We’re supposed to care about the main human character, but he’s a jerk, and only helps the aliens so that he can be saved from an infection.

Basically this is classic Godless movie making at its “best” (or worst depending on how you view those words). So in a sense, I found it interesting because it really does show what a world without Christ and without values looks like. The gore was a bit over the top, the movie making quality was top-notch, and the language… hmmmm… seems like if you have to swear there should be more words than f---, out there to use… So yeah, I’ll give it a 3/10… and those 3 points are for the cinematography, which was flawless… Skip this movie, and you won’t miss anything at all.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Timothy, age 25 (USA)
Negative—I only saw the first hour of this movie, and my friend and I had to walk out and ask for a refund. I love movies like Star Trek, Star Wars, and any other sci-fi flicks, but this was just retarded (yes, I used the word retarded). Cursing in a movie usually doesn’t bother me if it at least fits, but the F-word every 5 seconds seemed really out of place. And it seemed like it was the only one they said. At least they didn’t use God’s name in vain. The plot was… well, I just didn’t get it. I saw another viewer use the word “lame.” That is a really good word for it. I also don’t mind blood and gore, and actually sometime the more the better. However, in this movie, it really made me feel sick to my stomach. It was just a weird movie that I felt had no real point. Do not waste your money on this… seriously. If you are just really curious, wait until it comes out on Redbox, that way you will only have wasted a dollar.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1½
—Casey, age 32 (USA)
Negative—I was trying to decide which movie to watch yesterday between District 9 and Gamer…guess what? Considering secular reviews, I went for D9 which now I know was a mistake. Not to take away anything from how the film was made, it was decently set in South Africa. The movie was centered on the lead character Wikus who was a lead MNU agent. One moment this guy was on top of the world who just got promoted and had a beautiful wife but soon all of that was reversed by what seems to be a very silly incident in my point of view. The trailer was so misleading, it’s not like any SCI FI movie around, and this is not for kids or even teenagers.

***Spoiler Alert*** The main reason Wikus was a well renowned MNU agent turned fugitive was that he happened to confiscate an alien chemical solution in a metal cylinder he accidentally sprayed on his face. That was the turning point of the whole movie. He began getting infected and started to mutate that got worse leading to becoming one of the prawns (street term) or aliens. From there on, the movie looked like it’s Harrison Ford running for his life with the help of a father and son alien.

I will not give away how the movie ended, but I was dissatisfied seeing it, because, frankly, I wanted to be entertained and not come out disheartened. Unfortunately, that’s all the movie has to offer, with little redemption if any. There is no sense of satisfaction, just questions that baffle the audience.

If there is one thing we can get from it is how to be faithful in keeping your promises just like how God keeps His promises in His Word. The characters are obviously imperfect beings but what kept them together is how they covered each other’s backs and saved their lives. This reminds us how God sacrificed His Son for us even if He doesn’t really need anything from us. Unlike the characters, they did that in order to get something in return. I do not recommend anyone Christian or non-Christian to see this movie due to lack of substance. I do want to give credit to the effects and how far the script was written but the lack of conclusive ending morphed with a hundred slang “f-word” can hardly be called entertainment.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Tades Jacob, age 41 (USA)
Negative—First my wife and I love a good Sci Fi movie, but this film hardly fits the category. The moral implications could have been summed up in many ways, this was just ridiculous. But if you are a fan of the F Bomb, you will love it. I dare anyone to count how many time the f-words was used. This movie stunk on all levels.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1½
—Dale, age 56 (USA)
Comments from young people
Neutral—I saw this film last night with some friends. It started off quite slow, but that made the end all the more intense. What made this film different from the other movies out this summer is that it actually had a message. It shows what one group of people can do to another group. There’s a scene where an alien is explaining to his son that they have to leave their home and move into a tent like thing. As he’s showing him the picture, the main character says “No, they’re not better, they’re actually worse. More like concentration camps.” Sounds like the jews being evicted from their homes into concentration camps. This film does a very interesting thing. It has you rooting for one side, then halfway through flips it around and tells you the story from the other side. The movie also tries to show a little bit of media deception, through the news stations that are frequently shown.

Now, for the issues. Blood, check. Language, check. Sex, no. There’s a few sexual things mentioned but no nudity or actual sex. People explode, heads fly, and body parts fly. Keep in mind this is a sci-fi movie. Most of the people killed are bad guys. The language is constant although there was only about two “oh god” phrases used. One misuse of Jesus. That is very surprising for an R rated movie. Thankfully the filmmakers decided that misusing the name of Jesus doesn’t need to be in there. The f-word is abundant probably around 130-150 times. I’m not usually bothered by language or violence, but there was a few scenes that made me cringe. A character rips off two fingernails, and an alien finds what happened to his friend from earlier in the movie.

Overall, this was a great movie. If language and violence doesn’t bother you then go see this movie. It contains substance unlike other mindless movies that are out right now.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Tyler, age 16 (USA)
Positive—This movie was amazing! The cinematography was extremely well done and the story line was very intriguing though slightly predictable. There were very few Morally objectionable moments. If any, as these moments were shown in a negative way. The language was of course vulgar, as said in the rating, the “F” word is said just about every other word, but as I hear this rather often I didn’t care much. The violence is extreme, though again, it didn’t bother me because, being honest, the people who died in a violent fashion, I wanted them to die. It is a depiction of how fear strikes the hearts of humans and can promote us to do atrocious things if allowed to override our humanity and love. Also, this is not a “politically correct” movie, thank God. This is not the evil United States doing this for once, shocking, I know. Instead this takes place in either South America or Africa, I can’t remember which.

The aliens are not shown as a superior race to ours, but instead very much so like ours, and everything that happens is very much so like the enslaving of the African American population. I said better than average for the moral rating because, although the language was strong, things said weren’t disgustingly sexual or vulgar or cruel. ** SPOILER** Our main character in this movie starts out as a partial “bad guy” and throughout stays about the same, until at the end he redeems himself, giving up his selfishness and giving himself up for the life of one of the “prawns” that he’d originally hated so much. It was amazing, I loved it. I recommend it if violence doesn’t bother you.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jenn, age 16 (USA)
Positive—I liked the movie. It took a while to pick up, but once it did everything seemed to fall into place, and by the end it left a good taste in my mouth. Storywise, I mean. It had good attributes; excellent special effects, originality, great acting, freakin' awesome things blowing up, etc. Also there were no scantily clad women. A good plus. On the negative side, the f-word was probably used well over a hundred times. There was graphic violence; you see people splattering in an explosion of blood. People die left and right; there are a couple really gross shots (peeling off fingernails), and at one point you see a head get blown off. So. If you can handle foul language and if violence and gore doesn’t disturb you, then I highly recommend this movie. If not, then seriously, don’t see it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Rachael, age 17 (USA)
Positive—This movie was extremely interesting and thoroughly entertaining. There are very few times nowadays where a movie with an original concept (shocking, right?) turns out being truly fun to watch. More than 75% of the popular movies are entirely unoriginal and are based off of someone else’s story or comic book or novel or superhero… etc.

I am happy that there are still some people with ideas out there. But I’m not 100% sure if D9 was really original, hopefully it was, lest I look like an idiot. Even if you think the plot is easy to figure out, you still must admit that the presentation and social-commentary aspects are something relatively cool. To me, it felt like a more mature “Cloverfield.” I also completely agree with the portrayal of the humans. Of course people would treat aliens badly if a similar situation really happened. Many leaders treat actual humans badly enough, just look at what happened to Indians as a whole or the black civil rights movement years ago. Imagine how hard it would be for non-humans to earn any respect from those in control, including Obama.

About the use of language and blood—None of it really bothered me at all. It was REALISTIC. People who are at war or fighting for their lives use bad language sometimes, and they do bleed if/when injured. If this offends you then do not see an R-rated movie. The violence didn’t bother me at all, but then again I regularly view graphic horror movies. The language was not out of place to me. Again, fictional lives are at stake here. One does not simply shoop da whoop into an alien spacecraft. …I found this movie to be an intriguing, action-filled adventure that brought on interesting conversation after watching. It had a well portrayed storyline, but somewhat underdeveloped characters.

Overall, I liked it a lot and recommend it to those who can take some language and gore.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Brandon, age 16 (USA)
Neutral—As a teen, I thought this movie wasn’t that bad. The quality is astounding. Peter Jackson nailed it. Although I won’t spoil the ending it has a wonderful end. But morally it deserves its rating. If you can handle blood and gore you still should think twice. This movie I found more gory than the patriot. The alien weapons are brutal. Fingernails fall of,f people explode, limbs fly off. It’s pretty intense when it comes down to it. One of the ten year olds in the theater even left during one of the more intense scenes. The worst part is when the aliens tear someone apart. Nothing that big on lords name. No G--d--m only a couple my God’s. But the language doesn’t stop there, The drop the F-bomb more than 100 times. I lost count after 70! My friend, who has seen movies like “Hot Fuzz” and “Shawn of the Dead,” said this has the most swearing of any movie he has ever seen. There are some cults that believe in eating alien body parts, but other than that I could see nothing spiritual in this entire movie. But it is a great example of the greed of humanity, and when someone finally thinks of someone else it shone for me. This is a must see movie for anyone in their teens or up.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Zack S., age 15 (USA)
Positive—“District 9” is a very different movie. Its design as a documentary is very creative. The violence is almost overwhelming, and coarse language is frequent. What can be appreciated in the movie is the protagonist. He plays a great role in this seemingly dark show.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—David, age 17 (Canada)