I may be a bit forward, but this may be one of the best movies I've ever seen.
Ever since I saw the cast list for this movie, I was excited. I had not seen the short, but was excited for the story. Ever since the first trailer was released, the excitement kept building. After Comic-Con, I knew that this movie was something special. This film is one of a select few that don't need to be placed in a category other than, "good." It has elements of science fiction, action, drama and I wouldn't have it any other way.
It begins with 9, played by Elijah Wood, waking up in a room cluttered with papers and books. He ventures into the real world with a small crest of unknown origin merely because it was interesting. He is found by 2, voiced by the magnificent Martin Landau, who wants to bring him back to the group, but is taken away by a machine. 9 wanders and is found by 5, played by John C. Reilly, who takes him so see 1. They tell 1, voiced by Christopher Plummer, of 2's abduction and 1 forbids them, but they venture off anyway. The rest of the 9 are introduced in a way that compliments their character and the quest to save 2 turns into an adventure to save the world. The cast is rounded out by Crispin Glover as the eccentric 6, Jennifer Connelly as the warrior 7, and Fred Tatasciore as the burly 8.
The action sequences are something that are big enough to be in a live action movie, but in the scale of the film, make them more compelling. Along with these sequences are moments of silence. In the original short film, there is no dialogue and Acker maintains some moments of silence and it makes the scenes more compelling as a result. The score also compliments every moment really well with themes that are filled with emotional characteristics found in few scores these days. It was composed by Deborah Lurie, with some themes done by Danny Elfman.
For those who haven't seen the short film, you don't have to see it to understand, but it is good to see how much of the short is in the final product.
This film kept me on the edge of my seat and I would see it again in a heartbeat. The story was compelling, the characters were balanced and the score was captivating. Despite its alternate history/science fiction story, my disbelief was suspended. There are harsh reminders of the fall of humanity littered around the distopian battlefields.
The hope that 9 has carries to the rest of the group and the audience. Get the word out about this movie, because chances are, not a lot of people are going to see it. It is an amazing film that should be seen by everyone.