9 (Nine) - 2009
The movie opens with the Scientist (Alan Oppenheimer) making a sentient ragdoll on whose back he writes '9'. Outside, the world lies in ruins; the result of a catastrophic war caused by mankind's dependence on machines.
Some time later, when all is silent, the ragdoll 9 (Elijah Wood) comes to life. Looking around, he sees that the room he is in, 'The First Room', is a complete mess and devoid of life.
He opens a window and sees the entire city before him in ruins, the sky dark and cast over. He tries to say something but nothing happens. He can't speak.
With little trepidation, he walks through the desolate and deserted city. He comes upon a car in the road and, looking inside, sees a mother and her child lying dead within. As he recoils from the sight, he hears a sound and sees a slowly approaching light. 9 hides behind some rubble, picks up a metal bar, and waits.
As the light comes closer, 9 swings the bar and it connects with a creature that closely resembles him. But the other ragdoll appears older and is differently crafted, wearing a magnifying glass in front of his eyes and fitted with a lit candle on his headgear. The ragdoll, 2 (Martin Landau), gasps at the sight of 9, who starts to run away until 2 cries out, "Wait! I'm a friend!"
9 stops and returns to help 2 from the ground, who then gives 9 an appraising look and marvels at his detail and design. When he sees that 9 can't talk, 2 instructs him to follow. They walk over to a discarded doll at the side of the road and 2 begins to fumble inside it. In the meantime, 9 picks up a bullet from the ground and begins playing with it, unaware of what it is.
2 manages to find the doll's voicebox and stops 9 before he can cause damage with the bullet, telling him that some things are better left alone. 2 then inserts the voicebox into 9's chest cavity through his zipper. After some adjustments, 9 finally speaks and says, "Friend". 2 then notices something inside 9 and pulls it out.
The small, hemispherical device with three symbols on it is revealed to be 'The Talisman'. 2 says to himself, "He's always drawing this". A loud sound echoes nearby and 2 suddenly becomes afraid. He instructs 9 to hide inside a nearby broken can while he stands guard, armed with a spear, waiting tensely. A large 'Beast' appears and attacks 2.
When it notices the Talisman, the Beast snatches it and turns its attention to 9. With its claws inches from 9's face, 2 tries to distract the Beast. The Beast turns and swallows 2, allowing 9 to find another hiding spot and evade capture. Unable to find 9, the Beast departs.
Slightly damaged, his arm torn, and shaken from the attack, 9 faints. His unconscious form is soon spotted by a one-eyed ragdoll named '5' (John C. Reilly). When 9 awakens, he sees that 5 is tending to him and that his arm has been fixed. Within their hideout, 5 tells him that 2 is usually better at fixing them, unaware of 2's fate.
At that moment, an elderly and domineering ragdoll called 1 (Christopher Plummer) enters. He looks at 9 and angrily berates 5 for almost leading the Beast to them. A larger ragdoll named 8 (Fred Tatasciore) enters and appears to be 1's bodyguard. 1 orders them to all go to the upper level of the building, which they travel to in a pulley-drawn bucket.
Once there, 9 discovers that they're inside a half-destroyed church: Notre Dame. The remnants of a fighter plane lays within part of the church. 1 narrates the 'story' as he knows it. When he first awoke, he saw that there was a war between man and machine. As the ragdolls ran for their lives, 5 lost his left eye and was saved by 2.
While they remained hidden, the machines proved victorious over man and deployed poisonous gas bombs that killed off all life on Earth. All that remained was the ruins, the ragdolls, and the Beasts. 1 tells 9 that all the ragdolls that were created, 3, 4, 7, and now 2, have been lost except for them. He orders 5 and 9 to go to the watchtower. In another room, 6 (Crispin Glover) repeatedly draws the image of the Talisman on paper with his pen-like fingers, appearing to be the one 2 was referring to.
On the watchtower, 5 and 9 look through a telescope and see a large factory in the distance. 5 tells 9 that the factory is where the Beast would have taken 2, but is reluctant to rescue him despite 9's insistence.
When 9 argues that 2 would have tried to save them, 5 relents and procures a map that they can use to get there. As they walk, they discover 2's candle headpiece and 5 wonders why he was out there all alone.
They search for a tunnel that will lead to their destination as a sandstorm rolls in and blows the map away. 5 and 9 continue, knowing they can't go back now. When the sandstorm dies down, they notice a large footprint on the ground that they recognize as the Beast's.
Needing light, they take a small lightbulb from the headlight of a wrecked car and 9 fashions a torch-staff with it. 5 sadly notes that clever 2 was, just as likely to have thought of something like that. In the distance, the shadow of a creature with a beak finds 5's map.
5 and 9 finally arrive at the factory and find that it's a dark and imposing place. 9 turns off his light to prevent unwanted attention as they go inside. Eventually, they see a cage and discover 2 inside it. At first he is unresponsive, but slowly wakes and is happy that they've come for him. When they hear sounds nearby, 9 takes a look and sees the Beast trying to insert the Talisman into a socket of some kind.
Suddenly, the Beast sees 9 and lunges to attack. At that moment, the beaked creature appears and beheads the Beast. When it removes its beaked headdress, the creature is revealed to be another ragdoll named 7 (Jennifer Connelly). 2 and 5 are ecstatic to see her, having given her up for dead, and introduce her to 9.
In the midst of their happy reunion, 9 picks up the Talisman and unwittingly inserts it into the socket. 2 notices too late and tries to stop 9, but the factory comes alive. A bright light shoots out of the central machine and strikes 2 in the eyes and mouth and drains his life force. His lifeless body falls to the ground in a heap.
With no time to mourn 2, 5, 7, and 9 run from the awakened Machine, a large spherical creature with a bright red light at its core and limb-like electrodes protruding from it. The ragdolls' escape is blocked by a chasm but 7 notices a lever overhead and uses 5's grappling gun to shoot a hook around the switch. 7 and 9 grab 5 and swing towards a conveyor belt on the other side.
However, their collective weight throws the switch and the resulting jerk causes 7 to lose her grip. 5 and 9 fall onto the conveyor belt while 7 manages to grab a ledge. Activated by the switch, the conveyor belt starts to move and 5 and 9 are forced to dodge many large metallic objects. They fall to the floor below as the Machine moves menacingly towards 7, sparking its electrodes.
5 and 9 distract it with their torch-staff and the Machine gives chase. 5 and 9 are able to hide from view for a few moments and reunite with 7 in the tunnel. The Machine chases them inside but proves too large to fit in the tunnel. The ragdolls escape. Outside the factory, 5 is devastated by 2's death, and 7 is furious at 9 for causing the chaos.