User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 144 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 144
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  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 cultIn 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! Expand
  2. Sep 3, 2011
    10
    Had to laugh at SF Chron's Mick LaSalle's moronic review - concluding it's surprising this thing ever got released. Poor Micky couldn't understand the accents. Wonder why it's typically getting rave reviews then. Not normally a fun of this genre, but I loved it. It's clever, funny, keeps u on your toes and a brilliant twist on the "hoody" gangs theme. Super impressive for a first time director!
  3. Jan 16, 2012
    9
    A movie about aliens invading sounds stupid I know but it's surprisingly awesome, mostly because of the characters are very well done and extremely likable I was honestly sad when some of them died, and the plot is actually well done, and the action is fun, and it also packs some comedy in there, it's made by the people who brought us Shaun of the Dead so if you liked that then you shouldA movie about aliens invading sounds stupid I know but it's surprisingly awesome, mostly because of the characters are very well done and extremely likable I was honestly sad when some of them died, and the plot is actually well done, and the action is fun, and it also packs some comedy in there, it's made by the people who brought us Shaun of the Dead so if you liked that then you should like this, I highly recommend. Expand
  4. Apr 14, 2013
    10
    Every now and then a movie comes along which just gets everything right. Attack The Block has humour, good visuals, a great cast that manages to steal every frame they're in, a fitting musical score and camerawork that just draws you in. The accents are marvelously well done. I'm not a native English speaker but it was no problem for me to keep up with what was being said. (Admittingly, IEvery now and then a movie comes along which just gets everything right. Attack The Block has humour, good visuals, a great cast that manages to steal every frame they're in, a fitting musical score and camerawork that just draws you in. The accents are marvelously well done. I'm not a native English speaker but it was no problem for me to keep up with what was being said. (Admittingly, I did view the movie with English subtitles). Absolute recommendation for fans of science-fiction and British comedy. Expand
  5. Feb 18, 2012
    10
    I feel like people should ignore most of the slightly-negative reviews this film has garnered. People seem to accept that AtB is a tightly made blast of a movie, but get turned away by the characters' petty-criminal beginnings. The film in no way condones what the characters do, and never simply forgets that their actions early on are inexcusable. Where normal heroes would simply start offI feel like people should ignore most of the slightly-negative reviews this film has garnered. People seem to accept that AtB is a tightly made blast of a movie, but get turned away by the characters' petty-criminal beginnings. The film in no way condones what the characters do, and never simply forgets that their actions early on are inexcusable. Where normal heroes would simply start off admirable, and continue that way, AtB gives us people we begin disapproving of, and challenges us to come around over the film's duration, just as it challenges them to acknowledge, understand, and ultimately regret their actions.

    Go see it, it's great fun.
    Expand
  6. Mar 29, 2012
    5
    Attack the Block is a fresh twist on the done to death alien invasion film, presenting its tale from the viewpoint of a group of thuggish British teenagers. John Boyega gives a strong performance, but his character is just so uncharismatic. It's hard to warm up to a thug who robs a young girl at knifepoint in the opening scene. He later forces the girl to attend to his friend's wounds,Attack the Block is a fresh twist on the done to death alien invasion film, presenting its tale from the viewpoint of a group of thuggish British teenagers. John Boyega gives a strong performance, but his character is just so uncharismatic. It's hard to warm up to a thug who robs a young girl at knifepoint in the opening scene. He later forces the girl to attend to his friend's wounds, refusing to seek a proffesional's help. The supporting cast is mediocre at best, totally overplaying their roles. The trashy teenage girls annoyed me to no end, with the exception of the down to earth Paige Meade. Nick Frost is wasted, given a promising character but underwhelming dialogue. Too much of the humour is reliant on pop-culture references, rather than anything really original. If there's one thing the film achieved to its fullest, it was reminding me just how much I despise British thug culture. Expand
  7. 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.
  8. Jul 29, 2011
    8
    "Attack The Block" is a lot of fun. It's not a masterpiece, but it's what a lot of other bone-headed summer movies should be looking to for inspiration. It has a good balance of destruction, humor, and humanity, and that is what's lacking from most action/suspense/horror fare that we get now-a-days. There's always plenty of destruction, but none of the humanity, or actually funny humor for"Attack The Block" is a lot of fun. It's not a masterpiece, but it's what a lot of other bone-headed summer movies should be looking to for inspiration. It has a good balance of destruction, humor, and humanity, and that is what's lacking from most action/suspense/horror fare that we get now-a-days. There's always plenty of destruction, but none of the humanity, or actually funny humor for that matter. Give it a shot. Make the "Attack The Block's" creators' efforts worthwhile. And, maybe we'll get similar quality down the road. Expand
  9. Jul 29, 2011
    7
    Although the script uneven and Moses, the acting are annoying but it's funny and suspense... and like the music too. Hollywood should make alien invasion movie like this, no full explosion and CGI
  10. Jun 11, 2012
    6
    I actually disliked the first 30 minutes of this movie, and nearly turned it off. I'm glad I didn't. It doesn't take itself too seriously, and certainly doesn't pretend to be something it isn't. It's full of dark humour and a reasonable enough story line to keep you hooked... once you actually get hooked. The kids who play the main characters are a tad over the top, but not so much thatI actually disliked the first 30 minutes of this movie, and nearly turned it off. I'm glad I didn't. It doesn't take itself too seriously, and certainly doesn't pretend to be something it isn't. It's full of dark humour and a reasonable enough story line to keep you hooked... once you actually get hooked. The kids who play the main characters are a tad over the top, but not so much that they aren't believable. In truth, it's a well acted movie, and the special effects are (mostly) pretty spectacular. It's fun, plain and simple. There are a few holes in the plot that you can shoot some fireworks through, but if you just want to feel guilty about enjoying a movie with some pretty gruesome scenes, this one is worth a peek. Expand
  11. May 15, 2012
    4
    I wanted the whole gang to DIE, the only character i wanted to survive was the nurse. Stupid thug kids and their stupid British accents. I could not understand a single word they were saying.
  12. 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. JoeJoe 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. Expand
  13. Sep 21, 2011
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. "I hate those f****** things," Eileen complains, in "Wonderland", after some black youths set off firecrackers, stopping short of amending that declaration with a noun change, since her present company, a neighbor, likewise black, wouldn't sympathize with the Englishwoman's dismay toward the racial diversity in this working-class neighborhood. The aging wife and mother barely looks at her walking companion, so eager to befriend this lonely lady, who in return, ungenerously, wishes she had somebody white to confide in, with regard to all the riff-raff invading the U.K., like the Brazilian man next-door, whose yapping dog this racist woman ultimately poisons. At her age, Eileen believes that she should be living among her own kind; a Portuguese-speaking free zone, not to mention, an African-accented English one, too. Paying a visit to her daughter's gentrified flat, the mother bristles noticeably at the sight of Molly's remodeled kitchen, the verification she deems as proof that Bill, Eileen's browbeaten husband, has let her down as a provider. Later in the film, after locking himself out, Bill returns home belatedly, by which the camera points at the spent wife, staring forlornly out from the window of her standard-issue kitchen, suffering the indignity of a white woman doing time in a ghetto. Sam knows the feeling, when in "Attack the Block", the nurse gets mugged at knife point by some pubescent hooligans, primarily black, whose ringleader Moses, the switchblade holder, appears ready to stab the hesitating woman, so slow in giving up her ring. "Pardon my French," an Eileen-like neighbor gripes to Sam, "but they're f***** monsters," back at the council estate(housing project), where among themselves, "native" Londoners can speak freely about minorities, the scapegoats for their sad lives. When the police arrive at the apartment to take down Sam's statement, the aggrieved woman describes her attackers in the vaguest terms, describing only their articles of clothing, stopping short of identifying them by race, as if to prove she's not a bigot like any other disgruntled white Londoner, starting with her badged interviewer, who, quite pointedly, never asks for the perpetrators' skin color. By leaving out this crucial piece of information that any competent enforcer of the law would ask, "Attack the Block" makes the moviegoer complicit with both Sam and the cop in assuming that Moses and his gang were black. She never finds out if the gang was capable of senseless violence and sexual degeneracy, since the alien smashes into a parked car, allowing the nurse to escape. These boys aren't Elliott, their genre predecessor; these boys presume the creature, in the Spielbergian sense, to be more "War of the Worlds" than "E.T.", an unfriendly. With its rows of razor-sharp teeth and slimy skin, the alien sure has the look of a killing machine, but the adventitious snarler doesn't attack, it retreats, an indication that the visitor may be non-violent, and afraid for its life. Chasing the creature down on bikes, "Attack the Block" turns parodic, a neoteric urbanization of Spielberg's wonderland, now replaced by the inner-city, where the creature gets slain in a structure, similar to the shed that Elliott first discovers his heart-lighted friend. "Attack the Block" is not the first film to recast the 1982 classic with a downtown setting. In "The Brother from Another Planet", a black alien crash-lands his spaceship in New York, and soon learns that his skin color is an impediment on our green planet. The men in black who pursue him are bounty hunters, whose mission is to recapture runaway slaves. At a black history exhibit, the "brother" learns about the horrible irony forthrightly, as he studies the imagery of the on the museum walls, and realizes the mistake he made in leaving home for a place that's only marginally better. Disguised as a mere actioneer, "Attack the Block", in actuality, plays like a feminist version of the Sayles film. Under uv rays in a roomful of marijuana plants, Brewis figures out that the blood on Moses' jacket contains a pheromone, meaning that the alien the gang leader killed was a girl, and furthermore, the next wave of ET's function in the same capacity as the black-clad men who were after the "Negro". The gang does their dirty work; in essence, killing an organism who escaped a patriarchal planet, only to have the bad luck of landing in an ideologically-similar terrene. Because the marauding invaders are blind, they can't see that the black youths are comrades, in which the female alien's fate could have been Sam's fate, had it not been for that initial third encounter. The sister from another planet, by sheer happenstance, becomes a martyr for all womankind. The film seems wholly unaware that the circumstantial heroes are, potentially, cold-blooded killers. If not for the inciting event that changes the narrative's trajectory: who knows? Expand
  14. Aug 1, 2011
    8
    It has an achingly simplistic plot, but 'Attack the Block' is refreshing with its use of the humour of 'chavs meet aliens', sporadic scares, and plenty of age-appropriate violence.
  15. Sep 5, 2011
    4
    I had high hopes for this but having now watched it, all I can say is this is terrible... at no point did I find the characters funny, nor are they likeable in any way, I spent the whole movie wishing the stupid like **** gang thugs would be ripped apart before the end... Had this been set in America with real gangs it might have worked, but dumb ass kid wannabes with brixton accentsI had high hopes for this but having now watched it, all I can say is this is terrible... at no point did I find the characters funny, nor are they likeable in any way, I spent the whole movie wishing the stupid like **** gang thugs would be ripped apart before the end... Had this been set in America with real gangs it might have worked, but dumb ass kid wannabes with brixton accents trying too hard to sound black is a big NO NO. Expand
  16. Sep 2, 2011
    8
    I watched this movie on a whim after reading a blurb about it on some random website, and boy am I glad that I did! The cast are mostly a bunch of unknown child actors with the exception of Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead, etc.), but every single one of them does a wonderful job. I don't know if its their accents or the British slang, but every line they delivered was interesting and veryI watched this movie on a whim after reading a blurb about it on some random website, and boy am I glad that I did! The cast are mostly a bunch of unknown child actors with the exception of Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead, etc.), but every single one of them does a wonderful job. I don't know if its their accents or the British slang, but every line they delivered was interesting and very quotable. The story, about a race of alien life forms crash landing in England, and the resulting battle with the locals, kind of takes a back seat to the dialogue at times, but its so lightning quick you can't help but stay entertained. If you like witty dialogue, a good amount of action and popcorn scares, this is the movie for you. Expand
  17. Aug 9, 2011
    10
    Attack the Block is a movie which meshes the science fiction genre with comedy. This is not something that is generally pulled off very well, since on several occasions the film will seem as if it is beating you over the head with sci-fi references, rather than making an original piece of work. The good news is that director and screenwriter of Attack the Block, Joe Cornish, did the exactAttack the Block is a movie which meshes the science fiction genre with comedy. This is not something that is generally pulled off very well, since on several occasions the film will seem as if it is beating you over the head with sci-fi references, rather than making an original piece of work. The good news is that director and screenwriter of Attack the Block, Joe Cornish, did the exact opposite and made not only a great sci-fi comedy, but a very realistic portrayal of life on a "block" as well as the bonds which form between those who live there. Cornish also directs a very talented cast of newcomers, who are about as fun to follow as this movie is as a whole. Just to be clear, the movie is a lot of fun. Attack the Block may not be the greatest alien movie ever made, but it's definitely the best one to come out in a while. It's fun, violent, original, and for once this summer you're given a movie in which you can become emotionally invested in the central characters! Isn't strange how rare that is nowadays! Expand
  18. Nov 16, 2011
    1
    The plot was boring, the actors were talentless, and the language used was forced and cringe worthy. The only thing this film would have had going for it would have been humour. I didn't laugh once. Awful.
  19. Feb 9, 2012
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Let's be clear, this film is unintelligible. Even with subtitles I had no idea what they meant. I must be out of touch with 15 year olds, a new language is being taught in school (or online) or the culture just has dialects that are foreign to me. There is also one fatal flaw: the hero is a bad guy. He starts out with his gang surrounding a woman in (on?) the "block", robs her and may be just a heartbeat away from doing worse. As the film progresses from I'll do anything I can to be bad, make money or be anti-establishment, to reluctantly taking in his actual victim to some kind of admiration for this kid, I'm supposed to rally behind him? He's still a bad guy and most likely will continue the same behavior. We have the same inept government people not knowing what is going on, focusing on the kids and not the real cause of the mayhem-the aliens. Their is a goofy premise which surfaces in many of these types of films, and the alien effects are less than average. Having said all that I liked the way it was directed and there are some interesting male characters, save our heroine the other girls are depicted as airheads. The pacing was very good and I got involved in the chase and how it was going to get resolved. But with the two issues from above, I do not recommend it (C-). Expand
  20. Apr 5, 2012
    10
    I cannot see how anyone can find any fault with this movie. I'm not saying it's perfect, I'm saying those imperfections are what makes this one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. 10/10 go see it!!
  21. Oct 21, 2011
    7
    It took me a while to get into this, and I wasn't really enjoying the characterisations in the first two-thirds of this movie. Once it got into its stride, though, it had its funny moments, and the characters became a bit more likeable.
  22. Jan 3, 2014
    8
    a clever take on a familiar genre, this is a funny, gripping, sometimes scary film with a few things to say about modern britain. performances from its young cast are excellent. very entertaining.
  23. Sep 7, 2011
    8
    I thought it was a little scary, and sometimes funny and clever. I thought the characters were realistic for who they were supposed to be. The aliens were scary and different and the idea behind why the aliens were after the kids was quite creative. I really enjoyed it.
  24. Sep 17, 2012
    6
    Entertaining B movie sci-fi film which is better than expected. The kids are believable and although the aliens are like deformed furbys they look realistic.
  25. Oct 30, 2011
    4
    I was a little disappointed with Attack the Block. The film had so much hype in the lead up to release, perhaps my high expectations would never be met. There's plenty of action and the odd good joke, but I do have issues with the film. I know it's only a low-budget British sci-fi, but the aliens are really rubbish. They're just big shadows with luminous teeth, and aren't scary in theI was a little disappointed with Attack the Block. The film had so much hype in the lead up to release, perhaps my high expectations would never be met. There's plenty of action and the odd good joke, but I do have issues with the film. I know it's only a low-budget British sci-fi, but the aliens are really rubbish. They're just big shadows with luminous teeth, and aren't scary in the least. Surely you could have had a monster that is only ever glimpsed, leaving the audience to their own imagination, which is always infinitely more scary? As it is, Attack the Block relies on cheap jumpy moments and a liberal splatter of gore to provide its moments of horror. My main issue with the film though, is the explicitly white, middle-class view of inner city street gangs. You can almost see the checklist the filmmakers followed when writing the gang (made up largely of tabloid snippets) - hoods: check, silly little bikes: check, liberal use of "innit": check. The gang borders on Catherine Tate levels of parody, and consequently the characters can never be particularly believable or engaging, no matter how good some of the young actors involved are. And why on earth is Nick Frost in the film? We know you've got the producer of Shaun of the Dead on board, but are you trying to fool us into thinking that the film is going to be in the same league by pretending you're part of the Wright-Pegg-Frost brand? The director Joe Cornish could very possibly be an interesting filmmaker in future, but as a debut, Attack the Block is competent, but nothing special. Expand
  26. Nov 13, 2011
    9
    Definitely one of the better movies I have seen recently. Its nice to see a summer movie that doesn't just focus on huge amounts of action and massive explosions with boring characters and very little character development. It's a mix of action, horror and comedy with an interesting plot and setting, a good script, some great acting. A great directorial debut from Joe Cornish and hope toDefinitely one of the better movies I have seen recently. Its nice to see a summer movie that doesn't just focus on huge amounts of action and massive explosions with boring characters and very little character development. It's a mix of action, horror and comedy with an interesting plot and setting, a good script, some great acting. A great directorial debut from Joe Cornish and hope to see more from him and the cast of actors in the future. Expand
  27. Sep 6, 2011
    7
    Attack The Block is a fun, original action/comedy/sci-fi movie about alien monsters attacking troubled London youth in a commission home block. It was good to see a new sci-fi movie that has a focus on believable characters, traditional film props and suspense rather than special effects, and the movie makes good use of them. The youth actors are both funny and very convincing, the trashyAttack The Block is a fun, original action/comedy/sci-fi movie about alien monsters attacking troubled London youth in a commission home block. It was good to see a new sci-fi movie that has a focus on believable characters, traditional film props and suspense rather than special effects, and the movie makes good use of them. The youth actors are both funny and very convincing, the trashy talk and accents work well together and seems very relevant to the misunderstood riot occurrences in London recently. Attack the block is funny, interesting, memorable and worth your time. Recommended.â Expand
  28. Sep 7, 2011
    10
    The best movie of the year and I don't use that term lightly. This film has something for everybody, suspense, humor, scares, excellent characters, good writing, genius direction, brilliant actors and a coming of age/redemption story like I've never seen. All cloaked in a badass movie about thugs vs. aliens. I only wish I could have more of these characters (and that the film got theThe best movie of the year and I don't use that term lightly. This film has something for everybody, suspense, humor, scares, excellent characters, good writing, genius direction, brilliant actors and a coming of age/redemption story like I've never seen. All cloaked in a badass movie about thugs vs. aliens. I only wish I could have more of these characters (and that the film got the release it deserved). Better than Rise of the Planet of the Apes, better than Transformers (what isn't?), better than Super 8, Captain AMerica, and everything else this year. Think the best parts of "The Warriors" + the best parts of "Battle: Los Angeles" times 10. Watch this film. Expand
  29. j30
    Nov 13, 2011
    8
    Attack The Block is an extremely entertaining movie that deserves the same praise Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz received.
  30. Sep 10, 2011
    7
    Despite not so funny as it was clearly intended to be, ATB is definitely worth seeing and undoubtedly the best alien invasion movie of the year so far. No yawning (the opposite of Super8), no pausing, really entertaining and deffo to see on the big screen.
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: 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.