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Attack the Block More at IMDbPro »

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164 out of 288 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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89 out of 141 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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58 out of 88 people found the following review useful:

Surprised and Shocked

Author: Lolythax from Australia
26 September 2011

I watched this without knowing the production team, who worked on it, nothing. A friend just said 'you like sci-fi movies right? Here.' And I'll admit, for the first ten minutes, I was worried. The throw-back creature-feature title sequence being my main concern.

But after that wavery start, I watched over an hour of what I would consider to be one of the truest, bloodiest and certainly most adrenaline-packed horrors I've seen in a very very long time.

The main kids - the 'gang' - are very real and the kids' acting really shines. Moses, the lead, certainly leads us through a series of complex emotions, from hatred to forgiveness, and round again a few more times just for kicks. The actor who played him will be going places with a sullen wall-eyed expression that he still manages to convey so much meaning with.

As to the plot - well, most of the actual plot is there for comedy, and the moment of gratuity when the adults are plainly dumber than the kids (teenagers everywhere punch the air and laugh). I was expecting, as I watched the film with ever more pleasure, to be let down and have the aliens' presence left unexplained, as with many non-blockbuster horrors. But, in two mere sentences, the loose threads are tied and the finale is lead into all in one great sweep of fantastic writing.

Last, but definitely not least, the aliens themselves were phenomenal. There was a certain amount of keep-them-in-the-dark and leave-it-to-your-imagination, but there were also absolute gore-fest moments which were done superbly (though the squeamish may need to blink). The aliens were well designed and were flawlessly integrated into the movie. To be honest I don't even know if they were puppets or CGI - I was so caught up in the fast-paced running and fighting, into which they were so seamlessly included.

Definitely one to watch for fans of the genre, fans of the creators, or anyone looking for a thrill. I'll certainly be watching it again. And if you wanna read someone say it better than I just did - /blog/2011/08/attack_the_block_ review.html (remove superfluous spaces) (contains language, in movie quotes).

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104 out of 183 people found the following review useful:

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

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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131 out of 238 people found the following review useful:

Thugs acting like thugs

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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87 out of 151 people found the following review useful:

Human scumbags should have been devoured by the aliens

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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102 out of 181 people found the following review useful:

Supremely entertaining

Author: chrismsawin from United States
7 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I purposely avoided promos and trailers for Attack the Block. Other than aliens being involved in some capacity and Nick Frost being in the film, I had no idea what it was about either. When it comes to movies these days, movie studios are banking on titles to be huge hits and promote them into the ground. You feel like you've already seen half the movie by the time it's released while lesser known films usually get little to no promotion and bomb because nobody knew anything about them. And as a movie critic, going into a movie and saying you don't know absolutely everything about it beforehand is kind of liberating. Remember the days when you'd go to the movies not knowing what to see and you'd pick something based on the movie poster alone? I miss the days when there weren't a ton of commercials before the trailers, but I digress. Attack the Block, much like any film should in this situation is already entertaining in its own right but is an even stronger experience if you know nothing about it going in.

This is Joe Cornish's first time sitting in the director's seat, but it certainly doesn't feel that way. His sense of perspective is fantastic and the lighting in the film is utilized in the alien creatures' benefit. Something as simple as lights dimming in a hallway is suddenly way more intimidating after seeing Attack the Block. The cast works better as a cohesive unit rather than individually, but there are a few that standout above the rest. Moses (John Boyega) is probably the most obvious choice since he's the leader of the gang and the story kind of leans in his favor, but Brewis (Luke Treadaway) is right up there as well. His rather oblivious attitude towards aliens invading their neighborhood due to him being stoned all the time got more laughs than anything else in the film. He didn't even have to say anything half the time. His appearance and body language will have you rolling at times. Pest (Alex Esmail) steps it up a bit after he has a close encounter with one of the alien monsters. His incessant ramblings about the aliens along with his constant flirting with Sam (Jodie Whitaker) is rather humorous. Nick Frost has more of a supporting role than a main one, but is hilarious every time he's on screen. The young cast along with its content gives the film a bit of a Goonies or even Monster Squad kind of vibe and that is something to be proud of.

The creatures themselves may be the highlight though. Their original design along with the way they tend to slink around in the shadows is both incredibly cool and really unnerving at the same time. They're big enough to be described as gorillas, are black, and hair seems to cover their entire body. They have no eyes, have glow in the dark teeth, and also crawl on all fours. There's a chase scene near the end of the film that's shown in slow motion that is really spectacular. Most of me just wanted to see more of these creatures even though they're featured significantly in the second half of the film. Attack the Block is homage to the great horror films from the 80s and is reminiscent of Gremlins while offering the atmosphere of the really fantastic John Carpenter films. Critters also comes to mind, but Night of the Creeps was the first thing I thought of when they started falling from the sky except Attack the Block is an all around better film.

Attack the Block is a unique vision of terror that is laugh-out-loud funny at times, terrifying at others, and massively engaging in between. The film wears its influences on its sleeve, but combines them with a simple but flawlessly executed story and hilariously strong ensemble cast to result in one of the greatest throwbacks to fun 80s horror ever along with becoming one of the most entertaining films of the year.

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48 out of 75 people found the following review useful:

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

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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83 out of 145 people found the following review useful:

I started to root for the aliens

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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69 out of 120 people found the following review useful:

Just boring,

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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