Blomkamp, the director of District 9 references Aliens and Bladerunner as two of his favorite sci-fi movies, and they are mine also. He did a superb job of living up to the high bar set by those films, an amazing feat for any director. Blomkamp created a complete, believable environment populated with realistic characters, this movie does a great job of getting you to question our own sub-conscious “racism” against the unfamiliar.
I don't usually think of Roger Ebert as daft, but in his review, I was surprised that he totally missed the point of the ugliness of the aliens when he says “I’ll be interested to see if general audiences go for these aliens. I said they’re loathsome and disgusting, and I don’t think that’s just me.” Well duh, the movie is working to get the viewer to test empathy boundaries, and you can't do that with freakin Ewoks you knob.
I love sci-fi movies, yet most stink on almost every level. At last, another director, like Cameron, who knows how to tell a great story, keep things realistic, and avoid cliche. Please Blomkamp, make more sci-fi for us, your planet needs you!