A teen gang in South London defend their block from an alien invasion.


Joe Cornish


Joe Cornish
3,425 ( 355)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 19 wins & 38 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jodie Whittaker ... Sam
John Boyega ... Moses
Alex Esmail ... Pest
Leeon Jones ... Jerome
Franz Drameh ... Dennis
Simon Howard Simon Howard ... Biggz
Maggie McCarthy ... Margaret
Danielle Vitalis ... Tia
Paige Meade Paige Meade ... Dimples
Gina Antwi Gina Antwi ... Dionne
Natasha Jonas ... Gloria
Sammy Williams Sammy Williams ... Probs
Michael Ajao ... Mayhem
Luke Treadaway ... Brewis
Flaminia Cinque ... Italian Woman


Attack the Block follows an unlucky young woman and a gang of tough inner city kids who make an unlikely alliance to try to defend their turf against an invasion of savage alien creatures, turning a South London apartment complex into an intergalactic war-zone. Written by GK

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Inner City vs. Outer Space

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for creature violence, drug content and pervasive language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The walkway chase set piece took ten days to shoot. See more »


Just before Pest shoots fireworks out of the weed room, a hand can be seen raised behind Brewis which then taps him on the back. This was, presumably, a member of the crew signalling Luke Treadaway of when he should run forward and kick the door open. See more »


[first lines]
Sam: [on phone] Hi mum!
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Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Most Underrated Action Movies (2017) See more »


Be Your Own Man
Lyrics by Natalie Williams
Music by Mikis Michaelides
Performed by Natalie Williams and Mikis Michaelides
See more »

User Reviews

Exceptional. A bravura directorial debut with a killer central performance.
16 May 2011 | by rick_7See all my reviews

The first film from Joe Cornish, one half of cult broadcasting duo Adam and Joe, is a vital horror-comedy that pitches a teen gang against a breed of hairy aliens with glow-in-the-dark teeth. It begins with a mugging, as nurse Jodie Whittaker has her phone, wallet and ring taken at knifepoint by five hoodies. No sooner has she fled the scene than an alien falls from the sky into a parked car. The kids kick it to death. Then its mates turn up.

This is an incredibly assured debut, with unpredictable plotting, stylised dialogue and characters you really care about, once their frailties are laid bare. Cornish has acknowledged his debt to '80s "creature features", but the film this most recalls is John Carpenter's action classic Assault on Precinct 13 - albeit set in London, and with added aliens - as a gaggle of disparate, untrusting souls band together to combat a greater threat, and an unlikely, initially dislikeable hero emerges.

While Whittaker is excellent and the supporting players are uniformly fine, the standout performance unquestionably comes from John Boyega as gang leader Moses, with his sullen expression, Adidas-three-stripe-style facial scar and burgeoning understanding of his growing responsibilities. He's a fantastic character and Boyega nails his myriad complexities: his insecurity and feeling of persecution alongside his bravery, resourcefulness and sense of honour.

Cornish also has a natural gift for choreographing action, leading to a series of frenetic, energetic, perfectly-paced set pieces. Indeed, that vitality and invention runs through the whole film, from its "big alien gorilla wolf monster" baddies to the Union Jack reveal: an iconic shot, informed by Roger Moore-era Bond, at the heart of a stunning finale.

Perhaps the subplot about middle class drug dealer Luke Treadaway was a bit of a misstep - although funny in itself, it slows proceedings - but everything else about this punchy, idiosyncratic slice of genre fun is absolutely dead-on. It's also a thrilling counterpoint to establishment fare like The King's Speech, without a royal carriage or quietly-emoting monarch in sight. And it has the best final five minutes of any film in recent memory.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

13 May 2011 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Attack the Block See more »


Box Office


$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$139,506, 31 July 2011

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS (DTS Digital Surround)| SDDS (uncredited)| Dolby Surround 7.1



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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