Director: Neill Blomkamp
Stars: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Wagner Moura, Diego Luna, Alice Braga, William Fichtner
Release Date: August 9

First-time directors couldn't ask for a more auspicious and impactful debut movie than District 9, the 2009 Oscar-nominated, bloody sci-fi allegory from South African filmmaker Neill Blomkamp. With such a triumphant introduction typically comes carte blanche to make whatever the hell you want for a sophomore picture, and, very easily, Blomkamp could've cashed out and taken on a major remake, reboot, or sequel. Instead, he pushed another one of his self-written properties through. Respect due.

He even nabbed Matt Damon to topline the flick, titled Elysium, and it looks like the A-list actor is about to get grittier than ever before. Set in the year 2159, Elysium finds Damon playing an ex-con in a world where wealthy people live in a luxurious space station while the less-fortunate reside on an overpopulated, resource-deficient Earth.

So, basically, it's George A. Romero's politically charged Land of the Dead, but with enormous weapons (like the gun in Damon's hands above) replacing flesh-eating zombies. Works for us.