USA Today, Variety, & Vanity Fair, all kinds of publications are making the push for this small alien flick to be nominated. District 9 was a thrilling ride, certainly. It was also an initially promising sci-fi flick that touched on the issue of apartheid in Africa, used hand-held verite style shooting effective and made good use of little known actors and improvisation to steer clear of cliche.
It sucker-punched you when Wikus Van De Merwe was tortured and forced to kill a "prawn" for nothing better than an opportunity to use the alien technology. It is a very cutting look at corporations in the vein of Alien, Moon and many more. BUT and it is a huge but the elongated chase-and-kill scene at the end does the film in.
The final thirty minutes of the film traded all of the above promise in for shooting pig kills and Michael Bay robot fight scenes. Some have made claims against the film for its "racist" overtones, but that is a lazy argument.
Films like The Dark Knight, Children of Men, and WALL-e all were exceptional and all went by unnoticed by the Academy for Best Picture nods, let alone the big prize. If the Academy were finally going to give a Best Picture Oscar to a genre film I would like for the film to deserve it.