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From visionary filmmakers Tim Burton The Nightmare Before Christmas and Timur Bekmambetov Wanted and Academy Award®-nominated director Shane Acker comes this visually stunning and original epic adventure. In the final days of humanity, a dedicated scientist gives the spark of life to nine of his creations. The world has turned into an unrecognizable landscape of machines and spare parts, but this group of nine finds that if they band together, their small community might just be able to change the course of history. Featuring the voice talents of Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly and Crispin Glover, it’s a thrilling, suspenseful story critics call “Spellbinding!” Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Nine small rag dolls, stitched together from burlap and clock workings and lenses, are all that stands in the way of the world being overtaken by the Machines. Actually, as 9 begins, it looks like the Machines have already had their way with Earth: this is one of those post-apocalyptic landscapes without life, hope, or sunlight. Clearly 9 director Shane Acker is willing to make an animated film that doesn't soar with Disney colors or Pixar cheer--in fact, main characters are killed off before the movie's halfway through. Our hero is 9 voiced by Elijah Wood, so dubbed for the number on his back; after awakening to very confused consciousness, he bumps into other puppet survivors, such as the imperious 1 Christopher Plummer, the warrior-like 7 Jennifer Connelly, and the one-eyed comic sidekick 5 John C. Reilly. They do battle with the Machines in a relentless and eventually monotonous series of battles, and the exploding hardware and endless warfare has a tendency to crowd out whatever character development might have been set up in the opening minutes. No question the movie's design is impressive, and the characters have a wonderfully expressive quality at first. But at some point it seems the Machines have taken over the moviemaking here, with tedious results. --Robert Horton