District 9   August 15th, 2009

District 9 is quite a compelling movie. The film is like Alien Nation with a more interesting, realistic and gritty plot. The fact that the disabled space ship came to rest over Johannesburg, South Africa is no accident.

The film is a study of race and the mistreatment of refugees. The social critiques are obvious but deftly handled, starting out with dark humor and building into a mounting dread. There is a fair amount of violence and gore, but it feels organic to the plot as it mounts to its conclusion.

The creature effects are wonderful. They created a race of aliens which are truly alien. The bipedal shrimp-like “Prawns” are both pathetic and unnerving as they eke out their existence in the settlement camp. It’s only later when we get to spend time with them as characters do we get to identify with them more.

The plot is brilliantly economic with the back-story, not answering all the questions, but showing enough to relate to the drama of the situation. It all adds up to a very impressive and moving film.