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Is 'District 9' cursed at the Oscars?

August 15, 2009 |  8:18 pm

"District 9" has earned some of the best reviews of the year — an impressive score of 81 at Entertainment Weekly calls the film "madly original" and "exciting," Washington Post hails it as "transfixing." "District 9" is also a big box-office smash produced by the emperor of the Oscars, Peter Jackson, whose "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" (2003) tied the Oscar record (11 trophies) set by "Ben-Hur" (1959) and "Titanic" (1997).

District 9 news 8369150274 story movies

So that means "District 9" should do well at the Academy Awards next, right? Especially since there will be 10 slots in the best-picture race instead of the usual five, correct?

Hmmmm, not so fast, fanboys. Keep in mind that this is sci-fi, a genre that's received little Oscar respect historically. Only two sci-fi flicks have ever been nominated for best picture: "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" (1982), "Star Wars" (1977). "E.T." and "Star Wars" are the only two films with Oscar best-picture nominations on Rotten Tomatoes' list of the 20 best-reviewed sci-fi pix of all time. Here's the rundown:

1.) "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" (1982)
2.) "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (2004)
3.) "Metropolis" (1927)
4.) "Alien" (1979)
5.) "Minority Report" (2002)
6.) "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980)
7.) "Children of Men" (2006)
8.) "The Host" (2007)
9.) "Star Wars" (1977)
10.) "Aliens" (1986)

11.) "The Road Warrior" (1981)
12.) "The Bride of Frankenstein" (1935)
13.) "Galaxy Quest" (1999)
14.) "Brazil" (1985)
15.) "The Terminator" (1984)
16.) "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1956)
17.) "Solaris" (1972)
18.) "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968)
19.) "Frankenstein" (1931)
20.) "Mad Max" (1979)

Lastly, "District 9's" Metacritic score of 81 is quite good, yes, but a number of films have scored better this year: "The Hurt Locker" (94), "Ponyo" (89), "Up" (88), "Star Trek" (83), "Drag Me to Hell" (83) and "The Cove" (82). Its score at is higher (88 among all critics, 87 among top critics), but there are many more contenders to spring out of the gate in a derby season that hasn't really yet begun.


'District 9' rated a 10 by critics

Photo: Sony Tristar Pictures

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