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Attack the Block
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Reviews & Ratings for
Attack the Block More at IMDbPro »

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156 out of 262 people found the following review useful:

Actually makes me a little angry.

Author: paulmabey from England
2 September 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Finally got to see this film after wanting to for ages because I'm a huge Nick Frost fan (although admittedly mainly through Spaced and Shaun of the dead). I would have put money on me loving this film. What wasn't to love for a bloke in his 20's – monsters/aliens, groups with weapons working together (The warriors anyone?!) and of course Nick Frost.

Well, I'll tell you the reason why I hated it – because the characters we were meant to love were essentially scumbags. Being a secondary school teacher it is depressing how often I see and hear teenagers acting hard, wearing hoods and trackies (even if it's 30degrees!, using ridiculous and often rude language and generally lacking basic morals and respect. And now here is a film that not only expects us to identify and go on a journey with these characters but also glorifies them!

My hesitation began in the opening scene when they pulled a knife whilst mugging a woman and seemed to have nothing but contempt for her. I thought to myself 'Hmmm, that's quite extreme as I thought we were going to like these guys?' Now that would have been OK if the story had quickly unfolded that it was just a big front and they were actually quite nice and don't really like hurting people they just do it as they don't know any better, but this wasn't the case. It clumsily seemed to try to swing it this way with some of the characters (the one with glasses seemed particularly easy to like), but most of them continued to be little scrotes if I'm honest.

The way the police were viewed and portrayed I thought was pretty disgraceful and again painted an image that it was cool to hate the police.

Probably the biggest let down was that I suddenly realised near the end of the film that I hadn't actually laughed once. A couple, and I mean a couple, of moments of light relief from Frost was about all I smiled at. I also thought the development of the characters was poor or almost non existent, especially the token weed smoking posh white boy who for me added nothing.

To the films credit I thought it was shot well, the monsters were good (in a budget/cult like way) and most of the acting was good, although it seemed to try far too hard to make them all use the teenage 'buzz' words constantly. Probably why the one liners failed to work IMO. It was bare annoying.

The sad thing is I can see some of the kids I teach watching this and wanting to be just like them. At least the worst thing I'd have been likely to say at their age would have been "I need your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle"!

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77 out of 121 people found the following review useful:

Human scumbags should have been devoured by the aliens

1/10
Author: neo-karoshi from United Kingdom
16 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was truly disgusted at the attempt of justifying the behaviour of hoodies in the UK. Four of our five "heroes" live with their parents and are well provided for. The fifth thug (Moses) lives by himself and this is supposed to justify the fact that he put a knife to a woman with the help of his friends. If you can have an education and instead of making the most of it choose to become a ridiculous brain-dead thug, do not blame the police, the establishment or the bloody aliens. If you want to know who is guilty, find yourself a mirror. If your parents are so useless that are unable to control or even find out what their children are after, then they should be heavily fined. There is no excuse: you get what you deserve. To make things worse, Moses had a "intellectual" moment and claims that aliens have been brought by the police to kill black people in the same way that drugs were introduced for the same purpose. What a phenomenal moron!

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99 out of 166 people found the following review useful:

Alien invasion, but no British invasion...innit.

4/10
Author: zero-bob from United Kingdom
25 May 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Where to start. Unoriginal alien invasion plot? Uninspiring tone? Bad dialogue? No, let's start at storytelling 101 - the characters.

The hero characters that you are meant to empathise with are essentially teenage narrow-minded thugs; not the best choice in terms of storytelling as few people would empathise with them, but I thought they might do something interesting with them later in the story to get you as the viewer on their side, but alas they didn't.

The characters are poorly established. Characters seemed to come and go for the first two thirds of the film making it very unclear which characters the film is actually focusing on, never mind establishing a protagonist.

Which brings me on to my next point. Why establish your protagonist and outline their background towards the end of a film? You need to establish an emotional connection between the protagonist and the audience early on, and then reward / emotionally toy with the audience throughout the rest of the film. This is what makes films enjoyable to watch.

The film generally consisted of the kids spouting lines that they deem clever with such consistency you start to wonder whether they are doing it for effect or the director actually thinks the lines are truly funny. Only towards the end stages of the film did I even start to find the dialogue mildly funny. Their London "gangsta" accents will grind on you throughout the film without fail however, so don't think a few funny lines will rescue you from this.

The plot was basic and predictable. Basic I can forgive, as there's no need to over-complicate a storyline as it can diminish it's impact, but the fact that it took the path of least resistance to the end wasn't so forgivable. The only aspect of the plot I liked was that the woman who the kids mugged was forced to team up with them to defeat a common enemy, which provided some interesting tension and humour.

The only thing I truly liked about the film was that the aliens were really black, really really black. So black in fact they almost aren't there. This was believable in terms of the evolution of a species which required camouflage and a cool little feature of the invaders. Aside from that I'm really struggling to find anything good to say about this film, apart from one or two funny lines as I've already mentioned.

In short, it wasn't silly enough to fall into the slapstick horror category, nor was it structured well enough to even be considered an average film. I'm mystified as to how this film has gained a 7.5 IMDb rating at the time of writing this review.

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118 out of 207 people found the following review useful:

Thugs acting like thugs

1/10
Author: Bat-Fastard from London, England
7 September 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

a gang of teen thugs begin by mugging, at knife-point, a woman of her phone and purse. Then an alien lands, destroying a car. The gangs' first impulse? what can they steal from the car! I was praying that they all become the aliens' first victims, but no, we go on to discover that these scum, in association with the blocks drug dealing wannabe "gansta" arm up and kill the aliens. This is a terrible film. If it's trying to portray the "yout" as being brave and heroic in someway it fails miserably. All it does is cement in people's minds that teenagers are all thieving, knife wielding scum. There's no revelation by the gang in this film, they don't come to realise that their lifestyle is a problem or any such nonsense, they just act out their ignorant, pack mentality behaviour and reinforce stereotypes that need to be broken down. An awful film and not even the so called comedic touch of Nick Frost do anything to make this film watchable. Avoid it like a dose of the clap.

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44 out of 60 people found the following review useful:

You'll either love it or hate it. I choose the second option.

3/10
Author: dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York
20 November 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

How you react to the film will be determined by how you feel about the knowing attitude of the film and the characters. If you don't like the attitude and the characters then you'll be like me lost.

Story of a bunch of alien monsters that fall to earth and attack an apartment block. Its defended, in a manner of speaking by some kids, with severe attitude problems that make them seem more like posers then real people.

As I said how you react to the characters will determine how you react to the film. I found them annoying and overly strident. It has nothing to do with them being criminals and everything to do with them being smart mouthed kids you kind of want to slap and say get with the program. yes I know its where they live, but at the same time they seem to be taking a stand rather than acting.

I also wasn't keen on the attitude of the film which was way too knowing, way too hip and happening and way too stacked in favor of our characters. You know they'll pull it out because the film seems to be a victory saga of their great deeds.

Can you tell I really didn't like it? For me its like the monsters glow in the dark teeth, a nice idea for ten seconds and then you realize its completely unreal and kind of stupid.

Your mileage may vary

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72 out of 117 people found the following review useful:

I started to root for the aliens

1/10
Author: Minty82 from United Kingdom
3 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film seems to glorify gang culture in the UK. I was quite optimistic when I started to watch it and came to the mugging scene. I took an immediate dislike to the characters but thought I would give it a chance as they were bound to redeem themselves later on in the film. They didn't. I was actually quite pleased when a few of them met their demise.

If I were the woman in that situation I certainly wouldn't want to help these scrotes after the abuse she still continues to receive when they ask, sorry, demand her help later on in the film.

The sfx were not too bad for a budget film and I will also give them credit for getting the character stereotypes spot on.

If you are worried about the chav gang culture in the UK then avoid this film. If you call your mates 'bruv' and own quite a few hoodies and terrorise communities then this film is for you.

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70 out of 116 people found the following review useful:

Inner City vs Outer Space

Author: Baby Firefly from Norway
8 October 2011

After reading the previous reviews of this movie, I am a bit surprised to see how many people didn't like it. They didn't care for the characters, because of their rude language, their clothes (Ooooh, hoddies:) and the fact that they are petty criminals. But this is a classic "bad guy turns hero" story with such a great written script and talented young actors. The casting director did an excellent job finding these kids. They are real, natural and very believable in portraying being born and raised in Londons Ends. I found myself actually caring about the characters and their destiny throughout the movie. "Attack the Block" is a horror comedy about an alien invasion. Aaaah, you think, I've seen this before! "Bodysnatchers", "The Faculty", and not to mention the great TV-series "Falling Skies". But this movie is different. The focus in the film lies with the characters, and their reaction to having their street invaded by aliens. The aliens them self are kind of cheesy, but scary in a funny way. I expected Nick Frost to have a bigger role, I loved him in "Shaun of the Dead" and "Paul". But he never disappoints me, funny as always :) I really enjoyed this movie, and if you like movies like "Shaun of the Dead" and "Tucker & Dale vs Evil", you'll probably enjoy this as well.

Favourite quote from the movie " Oh man! All this weed and no skins... This is the worst day of my life!"

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45 out of 67 people found the following review useful:

E.T. can't phone home! Thugs snitched his mobile...

5/10
Author: Coventry from the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls
24 September 2012

It's actually a very interesting basic premise: primitive barbaric alien invaders versus juvenile London street gangs… At least it's a whole lot more interesting than aliens versus cowboys, which is a concept that some big shots in Hollywood also tried recently. And straight from the opening sequences, it's made clear that the film's main strong point will become character authenticity. "Attack the Block" is set in South London, where writer/director Joe Cornish also actually grew up, and opens immediately with the assault of a young woman by a an aggressive and lawless gang of underage hoodlums. The sequence is very realistic, especially if you watch the news bulletins every now and then, and because of the assailants' ages also deeply disturbing. But hey, that's just the way it is nowadays… Kids, barely fifteen or sixteen year old, are roaming the big European city streets at night and don't hesitate to rob, injury, rape or even murder other civilians for a small sum of money. This exact same bunch of youthful thugs subsequently then goes to war against an underdeveloped race of alien invaders that literally comes falling out of the sky like meteors. It is here already that the film's main strong point threatens to become a giant obstacle. Are we supposed to cheer for teenage thugs that narrowly just mugged and gang-raped an innocent women? Are we supposed to feel empathy when they look as terrified of the aliens as their victims look terrified of them? But director Joe Cornish and his cast of inexperienced youngsters surprisingly enough accomplish that we gradually (very gradually at the beginning) go from tolerating the protagonists to actually rooting for them. At the end of the film, the protagonists are still scumbags, but at least they demonstrated courage, loyalty and self-sacrifice. And besides, it's not like you can cheer for the aliens in this case, neither… They aren't well organized and super-intelligent beings with a detailed plan to take over our planet, but primitive canine beasts with fluorescent blue teeth and impenetrable black fur. The characters refer to pretty much every semi-classical Sci-Fi/Fantasy flick to describe them ("Gremlins", "Lord of the Rings", "Harry Potter") but the aliens actually look the most like a crossover between "Critters" and "American Werewolf in London". ""Attack the Block" contains plenty of bloody action and harsh violence, but sadly the film rapidly gets boring and repetitive. There's a lack of variance in decors and filming locations (the aliens literally just attack the block and nothing else) and all too often director Cornish wants to imitate the raw impact of "Assault on Precinct 13". Nick Frost is, in fact, rather redundant as the über-relaxed weed dealer, but it's presumably thanks to his name on the posters that many genre fans wanted to see the film. Along with Simon Pegg and director Edgar Wright (here the executive producer), Nick Frost uplifted the British horror and cult industry with "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz". The concept gimmick is original and dared, the performances are as good as natural and there are a handful of terrific Sci-Fi/horror sequences, but overall seen "Attack the Block" remains a modest and forgettable effort.

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63 out of 104 people found the following review useful:

Just boring,

1/10
Author: Andrew Cousins
2 September 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is without doubt the worst film I have seen this year, I really hoped it would be much better because I'd been looking forward to it for a such a long time. I'm a fan of Joe Cornish and I was raised on films like Gremlins and Critters. This film really has very little in common with either of them, they at the very least were original and entertaining.

So, attack the block - terrible dialog, awful acting, rubbish aliens (think men in gorilla suits), an unsatisfying and dull story...... was it supposed to be sf, horror, comedy ? It didn't succeed at any of them.

But worst thing of all, this is a film that actually seems to glorify hoody culture, it made me angry that a film that is obviously aimed at teenagers makes it look cool to carry weapons like knives, smoke weed all day, steal and mug people.

In the current climate, especially in the UK shouldn't film-makers take a bit more responsibility. In the opening scene we were treated to 5 masked teenagers terrifying and mugging a young woman on her way home from work. I almost switched off, but hoped there might be some sort of moral ending ..... no such luck, the ring leader survives and is worshipped as a hero. There were only 2 educated characters portrayed in the film and they were made to look like pathetic losers all the way though. I don't know if this film set out to show gang culture and stealing as cool and fun alternative to gaining an education and working but this seems to be one of the messages it is sending out.

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20 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Nothing special.

5/10
Author: Paul Andrews (poolandrews@hotmail.com) from UK
26 June 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Attack the Block is set in London during fireworks night as a nurse named Samantha (Jodie Whittaker) walks home to her block of flats in Brixton, while on her way she is attacked & mugged by a gang of teenage boy's at knife-point. During the mugging something falls from the sky & crashes into a parked car, the gang is then suddenly attacked by an alien that cuts the gang leader Moses (John Boyega) face & in revenge Moses & the gang hunt the alien down & kill it. Shortly after more aliens fall from the sky & land on the estate, these aliens are different though as they are huge & vicious & kill any human they meet. The teenage gang become aware of what's happening & decide to fight back against the alien invasion & protect their block of flats...

This British & French co-production was written & directed by Joe Cornish & I have to say that while Attack the Block isn't terrible there are too many issues that I disliked about it for me to get excited about it. I suppose the biggest problem I have with Attack the Block is that the script tries to turn character's that I didn't like into the people that save the day, I am sorry but I just can't like a gang of thugs who mug a lone woman at knife point no matter how many times you have them swear which in itself isn't funny. The whole film is played as a comedy sci-fi horror that has obvious influences & is a decent time killer but I didn't think the central concept & theme worked the way the makers intended. I suppose the teenage muggers were meant to save the day, find redemption & we are meant to sympathise with them but after seeing them mug a woman, take drugs, do whatever they want, kill just because something annoyed them & then run around with Samurai swords, baseball bats & flick knives I just couldn't like them or root for them to win. I really wished the aliens had killed the lot of them, at only 80 minutes long at least it's short & it moves along at a good pace & is watchable but I couldn't the fact that I hated almost every character out of my head & ultimately that's probably why I thought it was alright but nothing else. I just didn't like the whole message about these thug's being victims rather than criminals, this is a huge issue in today's society & surely people must take responsibility for their own actions. No-one else is making them mug someone, are they? Quite why a fairly light hearted sci-fi action thriller is dealing with such deep issues is puzzling & I for one feel the makers took the wrong direction. The dialogue is also another issue, I have lived here in the UK all my life & even I didn't understand half the urban gangster crap they spoke, I certainly didn't find any of it funny either.

The aliens almost seem secondary to the moral issues on show & they are kept virtually black in every shot they appear with only their sharp fang like teeth glowing in the dark giving off any light, they look alright for what they are but I suspect budget reasons were partly responsible. There is hardly any CGI computer animation in Attack the Block, I always prefer practical effects where possible so I liked Attack the Block for that aspect if nothing else. I can't say I found it particularly exciting or scary or fantastical, I found it a bit bland & forgettable actually. More aliens die than humans so there's not much blood or gore, a man has his throat bitten out & someone has their nose bitten off but otherwise nothing worth mentioning. In a nod to classic sci-fi films & author's several of the street locations are named after famous writer's such as H.G. Wells, Arthur C. Clarke & Douglas Adams.

With a supposed budget of about $13,000,000 this was partly filmed on the real Heygate Estate in London. The acting is alright, again I can't say i warmed to or liked anyone but there's no terrible performances here.

Attack the Block is a film that many seem to like probably for the reasons that I don't like it, really irritating urban gangster dialogue, lack of alien action & a moralistic stance that I personally don't agree with although having first hand experience of some of the issues here might cloud my opinion a bit. Watchable & not terrible but there were too many aspect that I disliked for me to really enjoy it.

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