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Attack the Block Reviews

Page 1 of 171
Liam G

Super Reviewer

August 14, 2011
This deserves a place in the pantheon of outstanding directorial debuts.
Lucas M

Super Reviewer

July 7, 2011
A Goonies, Gremilins and Kill Bill Mix that is just great.
Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

July 8, 2011
Well I watched it. All of it. It definitely was interesting. Within the first minute I had to put on the subtitles, because I had NO idea what language they were speaking. Apparently, South London has their own style of English...gibberish. The movie itself was kind of fun, in a way. I guess. It definitely was different. Made me laugh a few times..that's always good.
Phil H

Super Reviewer

February 22, 2013
My first impressions for this British made sci-fi were not good, not good at all. We are introduced to a small gang of South London youths in your typical modern day gang get up...hoodies, baseball caps, tracksuits, gold chains around their necks, riding bikes and the obligatory Staffy pet dog. This foul mouthed bunch of yobs go about robbing a female passer by at knife point clearly relishing every moment of it. Its at this point I immediately hated what I saw.

Maybe its because I live in South London, I know London very well and have experienced gangs like this in reality. Maybe its the fact that South London is exactly like this with massive problems of gang culture, knife attacks, muggings and (some) youths generally acting as portrayed in this film. The gang consists of teens, mainly black with one white boy (who typically thinks/pretends he's black). Unless you know South London you will probably need a translator to understand what they are saying in this dreadful gangland/street culture way of speech that has evolved in London. The dialog is chock full of 'bruv' 'cous' 'blood' 'innit' 'for real' 'ghosting' 'ducking' 'breezing' 'fam' etc...they sound like morons and I hear it often in everyday life.

Yeah I know I sound like an old fart but this is what we have to put up with in South London, this film is very accurate, so much so its annoying. So basically I found myself hating the main characters in this film right from the word go, this gang are the 'heroes' as it were and we're suppose to root for them? yeah right. Twas only when the invaders popped up I got into this, well once this gang started to get some extraterrestrial 'retribution'.

The actual sci-fi element of the film is pretty good I must admit. The whole thing runs along the same kind of lines as 'Aliens' (and tonnes of others) with the standard escape plot and the standard 'characters getting killed off one by one' idea. Nothing original but it is very effective setting it within the confines of a tower block.

It doesn't seem totally thought out though as why would these aliens only stick to this one block? there is a reason of course but surely they would spread out and explore. Also you'd think with all the noise, violence, bodies and general racket going off people might notice and call the police, surely there would be 999 calls going off every minute. Also no one ever thinks that maybe the discovery of alien life might be kinda important, if you wanna make money then maybe tell someone instead of smoking weed.

I must also give huge kudos to the design for the aliens as they look truly terrific. At first you're thinking they are gonna look rubbery and cheap (especially after the first encounter), but with a combination of CGI and men in suits the look is really quite eerie and original at the same time, amazingly!. Think big pitch black coloured gorillas with a set of bioluminescent jaws (teeth) that glow blue, sounds odd I know but they are highly effective and really lift the film. You wouldn't think this was a cheapish simple Brit flick horror, if it wasn't for the aliens this wouldn't be half as good.

So yes I enjoyed the alien aspect of the film and it doesn't hold back on blood n gore which is good. The main problem for me was the gang of scrotes that are fighting the aliens and meant to be bad guys turned good in a coming of age kind of way. This is in no way a feel good 'Goonies/Stand By Me' type group, far from it. Bottom line is they are all thoroughly unlikeable and I REALLY wanted all of them to get eaten by the creatures so badly. To be honest I'm sure there would be many South Londoners that would agree, if only there were some real monsters cleaning up the streets by eating all the hooligans.

Super Reviewer

July 27, 2011
When aliens invade a council estate in South London, a gang of local teenagers band together to defend their tower block. The idea behind this film has a lot of comic potential and the fact that Attack The Block was written and directed by Joe Cornish from cult TV skit show The Adam & Joe show meant I was looking forward to it immensely. It has that low-budget-but-in-a-cool-way sort of feel and some knowing direction and nice visual flourishes added to the anticipation but it has one MASSIVE flaw. It's just not funny enough. Nick Frost's brief appearances raised a couple of smiles but as a whole the film takes itself WAY too seriously. The alleged comedy relies on little more than ghetto speak and weed references leaving the story feeling like just another generic monster movie with the "heroes" you're supposed to be rooting for a bunch of obnoxious thugs it's difficult to care about; and yet from the other point of view, when they become victims it's difficult to escape the uncomfortable feeling that you're actually watching children being decapitated and eviscerated. It does have its moments, but instead of what could've been Britain's answer to Bad Taste we have Chavs Versus Aliens.

Super Reviewer

December 5, 2012
While appearing to be a small budget, indie type production that screams cult film, this intriguing story has some very nice camera and lighting work; solid acting by a bunch of unknowns, and enough humor and social commentary mixed into the "aliens attack" premise to make this a good, solid view.

The story begins with a typical night in old London town - while the rich folk are celebrating something or other (it is never made clear) with fireworks and the like, the poor and downtrodden of the project blocks (hence the name of the film) are going about their lives. A young woman walks home from her new job as a nurse and is accosted by a group of bicycle ridding teen hoodlums. While she is being "mugged", a meteor like object crashes into the roof of an adjacent car. The diversion allows the young woman to escape and also introduces the alien aspect of the film.

Decisions are made, many of which are regretted later, as the young "crew" are forced to scramble to survive not only the alien invasion, but the older hoods who own the block, and of course the police, who don't believe the story of aliens running rampant in the projects.

It is the social commentary that adds the spice to the film, although I must admit I enjoyed the totally believable explanation for the alien's actions (a departure from most sci fi films). However, I think that the film made a misstep by laying on the "hero" aspect of the film a bit too heavily at the conclusion, even though I thought the banding together of the different groups to fight a common foe to be delivered spot on.

The film isn't perfect, as too much is invested on the pot smoking slacker attitude (whether or not this is again, social commentary); but the near hero worship of the "next generation" of hoods - a pair of 9 and 10 year olds who want to be included in the 15 year olds gambits, hits home, not just for the humor they provide, but in a deeper context you can see how each social strata makes its own heroes - which in this case isn't really a good thing in spite of the "do the right thing" moral to the story.

I must also mention a nice little bit even if I'm not sure if it was intentional. The apartment block in which the action takes place is called Wyndham Tower - which may be a nice nod to John Wyndham, writer of such sci fi classics as The Chrysalids and Day of The Triffids (which was made into a B type sci fi film back in the 60's).
Tired of Previews
Tired of Previews

Super Reviewer

May 12, 2012
Question: Have you ever walked down a dark street only run into a bunch of hoodlums and hope they aren't about to mug you? You think, "Why aren't they home, doing their homework, or playing video games?"

Hoodlums? Did I really just use that expression? Holy cow, I am getting old. Anyway, I will admit when I see a group of teenage boys hanging around on a corner, in a park or such, I automatically think they are up to no good. I don't base this on any experience of my own, but I think it's just inbred into us as we grow up - to think the younger generations are just going to make mistakes when in a pack.

With that all said, the boys in Attack the Block are hoodlums that do attack innocent people and make the mistakes you think they will, however, if all hell breaks look you will WANT to want them by yourside. Did I just lose you all? Sorry, my vagueness rises again. But it's a must to keep you all in the dark about the story on this one...and it's just what I do in my reviews, right?

Anyway, Attack the Block is a British film that I believe is destined to become a cult-classic. Why do I say that? Well, just look at the genre categories this movie falls under. It's a perfect recipe. And if my 12 year-old son was older, I know he would love this film, but I am not showing it to him for a few more years: lots of bad language, blood, violence and humor that will go over his head. (I know, I am such a mom.) However, I guarantee this will be on his list to see as soon as he catches a whiff of it. It was practically made for him (and his generation).

So, here's the gist of the tale: A group of British teenagers, living in South London, with nothing better to do hangout on their neighborhood block. They make a mistake and there's payback. Drugs, guns/swords and lots of bad language are strewn throughout the story. Aliens are involved. Okay, that's it, no more details. However, if you are parent of a teenage boy, you may never trust what your son tells you again when they call you to tell you what they are up to or why they are late if you see this film.

Except for Nick Frost, Simon Pegg's best bud, I didn't recognize any of the actors in Attack the Block, but they all did a fantastic job at taking this irreverent tale and making it completely believable. So, have fun watching this film; I surely did.

My favorite thing: The two youngest boys. They had me in the giggles.

My least favorite thing: That sometimes I couldn't understand all the British slang.

Rating: R
Length: 88 minutes

Directed (and written) by Joe Cornish, Studio Canal, 2011.

Starring: John Boyega, Jodie Whittaker, Alex Esmail, Luke Treadway, and Nick Frost.

Genre: Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi.

Review: 9 out of 10
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

November 26, 2011
An amazing and unique science fiction film featuring lots of black comedy, memorable characters crafted by a wonderfully picked "new" cast and thrilling action sequences. Attack the Block is even more than a best of British film with its memorable quotes, horror and humour.

Super Reviewer

September 10, 2011
Cast: Nick Frost, Jodie Whittaker, Luke Treadaway, John Boyega, Alex Esmail, Franz Drameh, Leeon Jones, Jumayn Hunter, Danielle Vitalis, Paige Meade, Simon Howard, Terry Notary

Director: Joe Cornish

Summary: When aliens attack a South London neighborhood, a teen gang pulls together to protect their turf by any means necessary. But extraterrestrials prove far more formidable than anyone they ever jumped on the streets.

My Thoughts: "I wasn't sure what the film was really about and I wasn't sure what to expect. What I ended up with was a great movie. The kids in the film were fantastic as was the massive gorilla-dog alien monsters. The glowing teeth was a nice touch. The movie is funny, has action, some horror, and a great group of characters. It didn't shy away with the bloody scenes either. All of it meshed really well together and Joe Cornish pulls off a great Sci-fi flick. I liked how Cornish has you feeling a certain way towards these kids in the beginning and how he quickly changes your mind by the end without you really realizing it. Great flick!"

Sam: We should call the police.
Pest: You'd be better off calling the Ghostbusters love.
Lewis C

Super Reviewer

March 15, 2011
Moses versus the monsters.

Attack the Block is the most entertaining sci-fi action movie I've seen since Super 8. The two movies don't have much in common beyond main casts full of great youngsters and plots that revolve around aliens and dip briefly into deeper issues, but they're both examples of some of the best science fiction to be had in recent years. The movie veers from amusing to tense to serious, but every part of it works.

Super Reviewer

February 10, 2012
I was unfortunately let down by Attack the Block, which I was assured by friends that it was pretty good, and based on the good word of mouth I had been hearing. The biggest problem with the film for me is the lack of attachment to any of the characters. I was under the impression that this film was a bit of a farce and I didn't have to take it too seriously, but I was wrong. In order for me to take it seriously, I need to get behind the characters, and I can't relate to a bunch of know-nothing south London thug wannabes with no redeemable values and extremely thick British accents. Usually accents don't bother me, but when people are talking a mile a minute, it's difficult to keep up with if you can't understand them clearly. The film also feels uneven. It never quite reaches the heights of enjoyment, and it all falls back on the characters and the way things are set up. No one is relatable so I don't care about any of them. On the positive side, the alien design is pretty cool, but it ends up being a waste. The only recognizable actor in the film is Nick Frost, and even he is underwhelming. The bottom line here is that Attack the Block has good intentions, but fails on a character level, a story level and also in tone. Had it been more comical, I probably would have enjoyed it.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

February 9, 2012
Attack the Block is a story of redemption shown through the eyes of a few young hoodies who are under attack from extraterrestrials in a south London Council estate. What a fantastic idea! I think the film has been largely misunderstood by many of its critics, this isn't about race or class, it's about redemption. Joe Cornish is from London, as am I, and anyone who lives here will tell you that no matter where in London you live, there is a council block within a few roads from where you live, that is if you don't live in one yourself. Joe Cornish is writing about what he knows and where he comes from. Inner City vs. Outta space, the idea of aliens invading a neighbourhood like this instead of either landing in some middle-American cornfield or blowing up the White house is very refreshing. I think the issue a lot of people have though is with the kids themselves, Moses being the ultimate anti-hero. There are a lot of kids around London like the ones in this film, ma lot of them no where near as nice or as intelligent though, others unfairly stereotyped. It's certainly a problem that needs fixing. There is nothing quite as infuriating about being intimidated by a 12 year old kid and there is nothing as frightening than a 12 year old kid with a knife you doesn't care about anything. This makes it hard for us to cheer our 'Heroes' on in this film, for the most part I was hoping the Aliens would kill them all but then that wouldn't be very nice. Redemption and sacrifice may seem a little far fetched biased on the characters but it was a nice way to end the film and not an impossible concept in real life. Maybe I (and many others on imbd forums) have looked for a depth that isn't actually there and maybe it's just a cool idea - no one bitched like this with the original Assault on Precinct 13 which is essentially what this film is, albeit in saaaaaaf Laandaaan. 3 1/2 stars because I like the idea and I think it's a great directional debut, it's just not as good as it sounds, although I'd take this over Super 8 any day! One thing though, no Adam Buxton cameo?

Super Reviewer

February 2, 2012
Competently made, but Attack the Block doesn't add up to much more than the sum of its parts. First time director Joe Cornish choreographs the action well, but after a while, I found myself thinking, "What's the point?" At best, this film is entertaining -- nothing more, nothing less; at worst, it's a cinematic vision without much depth.

Super Reviewer

January 21, 2012
Joe Cornish brings aliens to London and turns Attack the Block into a science fiction success.At only 80+ minutes, there isn't a whole lot of time to waste on a small-scaled alien invasion, which is why there isn't much in the way of an award winning story; however, Attack the Block gets right to the point and keeps it going until the very end.The design of the aliens is a highlight. Not only does it fit the definition of savage, but their look also takes advantage of the night setting and atmosphere. They also wreak havoc with some surprisingly bloody violence.If there is a disappointing side to this picture, it has to lie with a good portion of the major characters. While somewhat growing with the film, these young teenage thugs are difficult to route for, even against the menacing aliens. Nonetheless, John Boyega is a pretty effective leader of the bunch. Jodie Whittaker is a delight as the innocent female dragged into the mess.Attack the Block isn't epic in any way, shape, or form, but it does entertain for its majority. Worth exploring.
Jacob E

Super Reviewer

September 10, 2011
Well, this is proof that Brits do EVERYTHING better than Americans, isn't it? I haven't seen a film this briskly paced and jammed packed with fun AND horror in... Ever? I seriously think this might be the modern cult film ladies and gentlemen. I'm calling this now, but 10 years from now, people will talk about this movie the same way people talk about "Donnie Darko", in the sense that it's hideously underrated and should have done much better at release. The film starts with (almost literally) a bang and never really stops. It gives us opportunities to catch our breath from time to time. These scenes allow for character development and a LOT of great humor. This film does almost everything right. The only complaint anyone can lobby against this film is that the monster design is kind of cheap (they're made of pure black fur and have glowing teeth, that's it), but they're certainly serviceable and terrifying when necessary. Factor in that this is a director debut and it's more than worth the price of admission. Check it out bruv!

Super Reviewer

December 5, 2011
A fun little sci-fi / horror film, that doesn't take itself too seriously to spite the fact that (for the most part) it is very well put together.
While the basic premise is simple and the bulk of the plot points are not very original, there are enough clever, intense, gory moments and impressive acting to keep you engaged.
It was really quite enjoyable.

Super Reviewer

January 8, 2012
Attack the Block is a alien movie that is original in almost every way. Its a horror movie so there are some very tense and thrilling moments and actually scared me more than I thought it would. The comedy is pretty hilarious, there are many pop culture references which I love about comedies. So many alien films take themselves too seriously but this movie is just having fun with what its given, and I'm surprised it went so well seeing as it had a very small budget. It was really hard for me not to love the film, there are so many different things to love and it felt so original and I can honestly see this as a cult classic in a few years, you all watch, I believe it will be.

The story follows a gang of teens who try save their town by stopping an alien invasion after killing one. But they soon discover killing one alien will be much harder then killing an army of them.

The plot was really simple which is one of the reasons I loved it. it was easy for everyone to just completely love with its great comedy and thrilling and scary moments. Its characters consist of a bunch of smart ass kids who I honestly thought were just incredible. This actually showed what true teens are like in a way, they think they are really tough and all we want is to be a hero of their town, everybody wishes they could get a chance to be a hero. They also were hilarious, you can tell they just play video games all day and try to be a tough gang, but end up turning out to be scared kids who just want to help their town. I thought they formed it to be fun for everyone who enjoys cheesy horror movies with some good comedy to make it an original storyline.

The cast is a group of young actors and a few well known actors, either ways I liked them all. John Boyega plays the leader of the gang, I thought he played it very well and actually felt much sympathy for him because I could tell somehow he has just had a bad life, for a young actor you can tell he is going to be doing a lot more. Jodie Whittaker was actually my one problem with the film, she is the main female protagonist and it seemed like she was just there to whine and annoy us. Other cast members like Alex Esmail, Nick Frost, Franz, Drameh, Leeon Jones, and Howard Simon were all memorable and I loved their performances.

Attack the Block has some aliens that at first I looked at them and was like WTF? But soon you grow to love how cheesy and original they look, and the characters constantly mock how they look so it made it even funnier. One small problem I did have however was that it starts off maybe a little TOO quick, I mean its just starts and in like three minutes an alien invasion just happens, we do not get to know the characters at all we just end up working with what we got, but soon I loved the characters so it was not a huge problem for me. This movie was like one big video game, it was bloody, dark, humorous and I can easily see it being a video game people would play. Alien movies either go two ways, they either suck like Battle: Los Angeles or they or very good like Spielberg's E.T. or Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but Attack the Block take alien films to a whole new level of originality, its not as good as the Spielberg films but its sure is going to be a classic in a few years. This is a movie that is great for those who enjoy alien movies such as me, you will love how fun it is and at times scary it is, I highly recommend this.

Super Reviewer

July 29, 2011
Blending together sci-fi, horror, action, comedy, stoners, and coming-of-age story, this is an energetic, creative, low-buget indie that is a blast to watch, and makes for quite an impressive directorial debut for Joe Cornish.

The story takes places on Guy Fawkes Night and concerns a group of rowdy, young, thuggish gang members who, after mugging an innocent woman, are confronted by an odd creature who suddenly falls from the sky. After killing it, they decide to somehow use it to make them famous so they take it to a drug dealer friend of theirs named Ron for advice. Soon after, more of these creatures begin arriving, and the film shifts into a tense story of survival as the gang hold up in their Block (apartment complex) to fend off an impending alien invasion.

Based on the premise, this could have been nothing more than a cheap and silly B-Movie creature feature. However, the film, thanks to all involved though, this is a smart, fun, and creative ride that makes the most of its limitations and actually manages to mix all the various elements together quite well, making it more of a character study that happens to involve sci-fi monsters.

The film has a cast of almost completely unknowns, save for a fun supporting role from Nick Frost as Ron. This, like many other things, works to the film's advantage, forcing a bunch of newcomers to prove themselves without getting to rely on a bunch of big names for support. They pull it off, especially John Boyega as Moses, the film's lead. I hope he has a long career ahead of him, because he shows great potential. The creature design is minimalist, almost amateurish, but that's okay becuase the creatures also have a unique look to them, namely their luminescent fangs. It also helps that the film takes the less is more approach and doesn't over do it by showing them too often with complete clarity.

For a film about aliens, the film actually has a strong plot, and one where the aliens aren't really the full focus. It's about a group of characters who are not at all likeable, but because of various circumstances and situations, are given a legitimate chance to redeem themselves, learn a lesson, and change in a way that doesn't come off as forced or unnatural. Seriously. The characters are introduced in the worst way possible, and the film actually takes some time before they start to change. More films need to take note of stuff like this.

The film has decent writing, surpringly assured direction, and a great sense of style. The cinematography is pretty nice, and like I keep saying, the film is creative with how it tells its story. The thick accents and the slang are perhaps a tad overdone and take some getting used to, but they don't render the film incomprehensible. If you pay attention to context, you can figure out things fairly quickly.

I said the writing was decent, but that doesn't mean it's perfect. I mean, with a film like this, you do have to suspend disbelief, but I think that even then they could have handled some parts of the situation. At least the film did have some good social commentary and depth, even if it's a little unpolished and a tad unsubtle.

All in all, I was quite surprised by this one, I had heard all the hype and praise, and that made me wary, and at first I myself wasn't totally won over, but in the end, this film proved itself worthy of all the great things being said about it. This one's a real gem that you should definitely give some attention to.
Michael S

Super Reviewer

June 28, 2011
"Attack the Block" is fresh, simple fun that completely succeeds as both a creature feature and comedy. The cast is incredibly likable and the direction and tone are spot-on. Most every recent Hollywood blockbuster can learn a great deal from the energy and style of Joe Cornish's nimble-budgeted gem. Worth revisiting just to relive the excitement all over again.
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