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JLFM's Movie Reviews (152)

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Unique and Dark
3/4 stars

9 is not a casual film. This isn't the kind of movie where you invite a bunch of friends over, expecting an "awesome" movie. That's not to say it's a bad movie, it's quite good in fact. It's just not a typical film. It's bleak, it's eerie, and even the action, though strong, has a lot of symbolic meaning.

I don't often watch films like 9, nor do I want to. 9 offers only a few smiles, and no laughs. Rule #1 for me, it has to have humor. I don't mind serious films, but a little humor can go a long way in helping me remember the film, and enjoy it. 9 manages to entertain without laughs.

But 9 has a lot of emotion anyway. Fear certainly comes to mind, as does sadness. The PG-13 rating was not earned from language or sexual content. Part of it comes from the bloodless, yet intense violence. The more protruding part comes from the darkness. Despite it's limited inappropriate content, this is not a film for kids. It's dark themes may even challenge older ones.

The story isn't all that sophisticated, to be honest. And there's more than a few cliches. There are plot points we've seen before, and characters that may evoke a sense of deja vu. But that's okay, because the movie is strong.

The animation is incredible. The musical score, though a little run of the mill, is appropriately creepy, and it knows when to keep quiet. The voice cast is filled with stars that shine, but don't distract.

Of course, you didn't come to see any of that. Depending on who you are, you came for one of two things; an intellectual film, and thought provoking themes, or epic machine vs. rag doll fights.

If action is what you came for, you shouldn't be disappointed. There are plenty of, I shouldn't say duels, but fights between the stitch dolls, and the mechanical beasts. This film is not made up of action throughout, so teens coming ONLY for the action will surely be disappointed, but there's enough action to thrill and excite.

If you came for intellectual stimulation, you will have to wait for after the film to enjoy that bit. During the movie, you will have to do little thinking. This is the kind of flick that inspires conversation after viewing. As the film runs, you simply have to sit back and enjoy.

9 is a wonderful movie. It's by no means, one for the ages, but it's a thought-provoking, heart pounding little flick, that can surely be enjoyed by any one who wants to try something, a little new.

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