Variety‘s Justin Chang is calling Neill Blomkamp‘s District 9 (Sony, 8.14) “an enjoyably disgusting sci-fier set in and around a rubble-strewn war zone where extraterrestrial refugees have taken up indefinite residence. Better conceived and executed than one might expect from a low-budget rebound project, this grossly engrossing speculative fiction bears Jackson’s blood-splattered fingerprints but also heralds first-time feature director Blomkamp as a nimble talent to watch.

“Shot and set in Blomkamp’s native South Africa, District 9 imagines a present-day scenario in which humans and aliens are forced into an uneasy co-existence and, predictably, bring out the violent worst in each other. As scripted by Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell, the result reps a remarkably cohesive hybrid of creature feature and satirical mockumentary that elaborates on the helmer’s 2005 short Alive in Jo’burg, borrows plot points from 1988’s Alien Nation and takes its emotional cues from E.T..”