A burlap doll faces a post-apocalyptic future.
Directed by Shane Acker(PG-13)
Shane Acker’s debut feature is a visual marvel, but not much else, said Kirk Honeycutt in The Hollywood Reporter. The young filmmaker was nominated for an Oscar for his animated short about a bunch of burlap dolls—numbered 1 through 9—that somehow have survived the end of the world. He also caught the eye of Tim Burton, and earned the chance to expand 9 into a feature. As an 11-minute, wordless experience, 9 was a “mind-blower.” But here, as Acker delves into his “weird post-apocalyptic world” for a full 81 minutes, his sci-fi tale is robbed of its mystery, its otherworldly landscapes “strangely diminished.” The short film efficiently created a “haunting and highly effective” sense of wonder and dread, said Andrew O’Hehir in Salon.com, mostly through 9’s mechanical yet expressive eyes. But here Acker and screenwriter Pamela Pettler water down the original vision with a “conventional narrative.” Acker’s film shows his promise as a director, said Tasha Robinson in The Onion. Yet had he found a way to give 9 a “story as sophisticated as its visuals, it could have been much more.”