In 1982, a massive star ship bearing a bedraggled alien population, nicknamed "The Prawns," appeared over Johannesburg, South Africa. Twenty-eight years later, the initial welcome by the human population has faded. The refugee camp where the aliens were located has deteriorated into a militarized ghetto called District 9, where they are confined and exploited in squalor. In 2010, the munitions corporation, Multi-National United, is contracted to forcibly evict the population with operative Wikus van der Merwe in charge. In this operation, Wikus is exposed to a strange alien chemical and must rely on the help of his only two new 'Prawn' friends.
A clarinet player who also runs a health food store is frozen and brought back in the future by anti-government radicals in order to assist them in their attempts to overthrow an oppressive government. When he goes off on his own, he begins to explore this brave new world that has Orgasmatron booths to replace sex and confessional robots.
In 1959, a group of primary school students draw pictures for a time capsule of what they think the world will look like in 2009. One of the children, Abby Wayland, doesn't draw a picture but completes a long list of numbers. In 2009, the school opens the capsule and distribute the pictures to the students with Caleb Koestler getting the page with all the numbers. Caleb's father John, a university professor and astrophysicist, is intrigued and in managing to decipher the code, realizes that the numbers represent the date, location and number of people killed in major catastrophes, some natural and others man-made. He also sees that there are 3 disasters that have yet to occur. Abby Wayland has died but John contacts her daughter Diana and together they try to warn officials of what is coming. The last of the three disasters may be unstoppable however.
Osbourne Cox, a Balkan expert, is fired at the CIA, so he begins a memoir. His wife wants a divorce and expects her lover, Harry, a philandering State Department marshal, to leave his wife. A diskette falls out of a gym bag at a Georgetown fitness center. Two employees there try to turn it into cash: Linda, who wants money for elective surgery, and Chad, an amiable goof. Information on the disc leads them to Osbourne who rejects their sales pitch; then they visit the Russian embassy. To sweeten the pot, they decide they need more of Osbourne's secrets. Meanwhile, Linda's boss likes her, and Harry's wife leaves for a book tour. All roads lead to Osbourne's house.
A young thirty-something couple goes on holiday to the Caribbean. One of the fun activities available to them is scuba diving off a reef several miles out. Due to a faulty head count taken by the dive boat crew, the couple is left behind in the open ocean. They find themselves drifting endlessly for hours on end, facing dehydration, saltwater sickness, jellyfish stings, and sharks! Although a boat and a large ship pass by within the couple's view, neither sees them, and they are not discovered missing until the following morning when a member of the dive boat crew discovers their gear on the boat, and their hotel manager discovers they never returned to their room. Frantically a search is mounted by plane, boat, and helicopter, looking for the missing couple.