I went in to District 9 with my expectations lowered as much as possible. I thought I would like it, but there was enough uneven feedback to keep me from getting my hopes up too high. It turned out to be one of my favorite movies of the year.
This was an interesting year for science fiction. On one end we had Moon, a heady suspense film about the meaning of individuality and humanity. And then there was Transformers 2, an amazing social experiment to see if large crowds of people would pay to have hot pokers jammed into their skulls for two hours (I'm assuming, since I'm one of the alarming few who didn't). District 9 rests comfortably in between, with a fortunate lean toward the Moon side of the spectrum. It's an action movie, but it's also got some subtle social commentary layered throughout.
I don't want to give too much away, because I believe going into it with less knowledge of the plot is better. But it is basically the story of a man who gets caught up in a predicament with aliens stranded in South Africa. The story was often surprising, and I was completely absorbed throughout the movie. I really have no complaints about it at all. There was a lot of very intense action, and the special effects were fantastic. Even compared to movies with much larger budgets.
This was easily one of the type five most entertaining movies of the year for me so far.