Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Jul 28, 2011
    78
    Smart, quick, funny, and economical, Attack the Block is an alien-invasion movie that is a breed apart.
  2. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Aug 18, 2011
    63
    The movie's amateurishly made. But the script is full of little surprises.
  3. Reviewed by: Pam Grady
    Jul 24, 2011
    90
    Cornish's idiomatic dialogue is hilarious and the longtime comic's sense of timing is perfect.
  4. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Jul 28, 2011
    40
    This low-budget sci-fi item was produced by some of the Brits who made "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz," including their writer and director, Edgar Wright, but it hardly compares, despite Nick Frost's brief appearance as a mangy pot dealer.
  5. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jul 27, 2011
    75
    The movie, which should have been titled "Defend the Block," illustrates once again that zombie, horror and monster movies are a port of entry for new filmmakers. The genre is the star.
  6. Reviewed by: Keith Staskiewicz
    Jul 27, 2011
    83
    There could be a few more scares and laughs, but it's a blast to be drawn into this urban ecosystem that is, to us Yanks, itself a bit alien.
  7. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Jul 28, 2011
    80
    Pulsing with a rowdy energy, the film works as both a sci-fi horror flick and a teen adventure film.
  8. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Sep 1, 2011
    75
    The movie is more interested in making viewers consider its disenfranchised protagonists from a fresh perspective. The fact that the film accomplishes this without a trace of gooey sentimentality is a small miracle.
  9. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Jul 28, 2011
    75
    The picture's finale isn't as smart as it ought to be. Cornish tries to make a damning social statement, but the only thing you take away from the movie is how cool it is to kick alien ass.
  10. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Jul 29, 2011
    80
    The cast is splendid, the script quick-witted and the action satisfying.
  11. 80
    Cornish, like Edgar Wright (who directed "Shaun of the Dead" and was an executive producer here), can parody a genre in a way that revitalizes it, that reminds you why the genre was born in the first place. The movie is in a different galaxy than "Cowboys & Aliens": It has, in both senses, guts.
  12. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Jul 29, 2011
    75
    What follows is a hilarious, slam-bang series of chases and battles that cross "Gremlins" with "Assault on Precinct 13," the two most prominent of many genre films quoted by Attack the Block.
  13. Reviewed by: Ian Buckwalter
    Jul 29, 2011
    90
    Boyega is absolutely riveting, leading with a stern glower, and constantly trying to prove himself. Yet Moses has a deep well of tenderness and honor beneath the façade, and Boyega almost single-handedly makes you care not just about his character, but about everyone in any gang that would align itself with him. He's that magnetic.
  14. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Jul 24, 2011
    75
    A brisk blast of bloody good fun, sci-fi with a little social commentary as subtext. Attack the Block is the movie that "Battle: Los Angeles" was not - thrilling, nerve-wracking and fun.
  15. Reviewed by: M. E. Russell
    Sep 8, 2011
    83
    A terrific midnight movie of the future -- a tough, funny, fast-moving and tightly constructed John Carpenter riff in which a bickering group fights a pack of space monsters in and around a single location.
  16. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jul 28, 2011
    88
    It's hot, fierce, funny, vicious and ready to bite, baby.
  17. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Aug 4, 2011
    70
    Attack the Block hovers in that uneasy zone between eager-beaver likability and trying way too hard to be cool, but it captures its gritty setting with unusual affection. Science-fiction buffs seeking a change of pace and fans of British pop culture shouldn't miss it.
  18. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jul 28, 2011
    0
    Attack the Block is the other alien-invasion movie opening today, the lousy one, the one from Britain. In Britain, it's probably just a regular bad movie, but here - with accents that are barely comprehensible and in-jokes about council flats, not to mention a swerving handheld camera and some of the cheapest effects since "Night of the Lepus" - it's surprising this thing ever got released.
  19. Reviewed by: Jaime N. Christley
    Jul 24, 2011
    75
    More "Bloody Kids" than "Super 8," more "Assault on Precinct 13" than "Jumanji," and, in the end, more "Be Kind Rewind" than "Adventures in Babysitting."
  20. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Jul 28, 2011
    83
    Attack The Block turns its modest budget into a virtue by focusing on character, especially the surprisingly charged, complicated dynamic between enemies-turned-allies Whittaker and Boyega.
  21. 75
    Stacked against this summer's CGI-driven blockbusters, Attack the Block is definitely the fastest action ride (clocking under 90 minutes), and quite possibly the most fun.
  22. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Jul 24, 2011
    80
    There's a vaguely Spielbergian quality to Cornish's skill at balancing the sense of shared adventure with genuine danger.
  23. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Jul 28, 2011
    90
    This fabulously inventive debut feature, written and directed by the British comedian Joe Cornish, never flags.
  24. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Jul 26, 2011
    100
    Starring a tough-minded band of scrappy teens who actually do some solving, it's the movie "Super 8" wanted to be - or should have been.
  25. Reviewed by: Charles Gant
    Jul 24, 2011
    80
    Brit comedian-TV presenter Joe Cornish emerges fully formed as an exciting new writer-helmer with his enormously appealing debut feature, Attack the Block.
  26. Reviewed by: Mark Holcomb
    Jul 26, 2011
    90
    The smartest, funniest cheap monster-movie import this side of June's "Trollhunter," Attack the Block is a near-perfectly balanced seasonal trifle: Anchored in social realism yet determinedly goofy, it's neither too eager for laughs nor overtly preachy.
  27. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Aug 25, 2011
    88
    In the end, police descend on the block at the very moment their presence becomes irrelevant. They misinterpret everything; locals watch as they blame all the wrong people. Soon their flashing lights will drive away, and the block will go back to taking care of itself the best it can.
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 133 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 42
  2. Negative: 2 out of 42
  1. Sep 5, 2011
    9
    In this imaginative variation of the classic theme, a South London gang takes on a small-scale alien invasion. These are just teenage punks pitting their moxy and street skills against creatures that are vicious, but surprisingly vulnerable, kind of a dark (literally) versions of a Sendak beast. From the way the thugs talk to the racial/social themes, this film should gather a cult following for its originality. The action scenes are well-staged and the characters develop nicely. Give this a chance and it'll pay off! Full Review »
  2. Jul 29, 2011
    8
    This is raw, funny and not the run-of-the-mill. Subverting a genre is almost a cliche these days - this subverts the genre and manages to do it without making the viewer yawn or sigh. Its good, so try it. Full Review »
  3. Aug 10, 2011
    2
    Joe Cornish makes a fundamental blunder with the story that cripples the movie before it really gets going. You don't allow your lead character - your hero - to band together with his young masked male friends, to surround a terrified nurse, and then threaten her with a knife until she surrenders her bag, her ring, etc. TARP (the average reasonable person) probably ancipated a rape. Joe must not have a mother, sisters or female friends he cares a whip about. It's a little tough for the lead character to redeem himself in the eyes of the audience after an opening act like that. Even when the same youngster (Moses) forces himself into the young lady's flat to flee the aliens, he never gives the lady a choice but help his buddy. He later semi-apologizes to her, saying he did it because he didn't know she was "from the block." Yes, he would have robbed her of her dignity with a clear head if she was from the next block. It was interesting that I saw this film a couple of nights after the London riots began because the youngsters from this film looked a lot like the rascals looting and burning the stores around that great city. In this context, and thinking about my own sister and mother, I just couldn't find myself so easy to forgive Moses and his pals for their crimes againt the young nurse. Beyond this fundamental problem, the movie is just not all that funny, and the aliens are not all that scary. Sorry, Joe. Try again. Full Review »