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District 9 - Sony Movie Channel

(Image credit: Courtesy of TriStar Pictures)

A top-notch South African sci-fi starring Sharlto Copley

A top-notch South African sci-fi starring Sharlto Copley.

With its satirical tone and great plot, this is a much-needed breath of fresh air from the usual Hollywood blockbuster.

A giant spaceship has been hovering in the skies over Johannesburg for more than 20 years and over a million aliens - disparagingly referred to as 'prawns' - have set up in makeshift homes in the squalid shanty town of District 9.

Meanwhile, a sinister company is after the aliens' advanced weapons technology and sets about evicting them.

Unfortunate local bureaucrat Copley is charged with supervising the task and he's initially unsympathetic towards the inhabitants’ plight. However, he changes his mind when he contracts an alien virus that starts changing his DNA and forces him to go on the run.

The effects are terrific and the documentary-style filming makes for a gripping thriller.