Movie ReviewsRating: 4.5 of 5 yaps

Attack the Block

The first time we really see our heroes in “Attack the Block,” they are mugging a defenseless woman. They are cruel and irredeemable. Then aliens fall from the sky. The gang’s first reaction to encountering a creature from another world? Kick it to death because it scratched up one of their faces. That’s what happens during an alien invasion. Some people panic and some people go back to their flat to pick up their baseball bat.

Joe Cornish wrote and directed this fantastic debut.  It’s such a well-paced and inventive movie, it’s hard to believe he hasn’t been making films like this for years. The way he uses smoke, for example, lets him redefine a familiar location into something terrifying and foreign. Once the fight begins, it never completely slows down. The creatures aren’t stopping to plan anything out because they are so animalistic. There is no reasoning with them. They don’t have individual personalities or names. You can’t even see their eyes. They are the blackest black except for their identifiable teeth.

Having the army fight aliens is so overdone, it has become boring. Having a bunch of punk British teenagers is incredibly refreshing. Their lingo is so dense and fun to listen to. It works like “Brick” where specific words go over the head, but always makes sense within context. Plus the gang doesn’t think too far ahead and until it starts becoming scary, they’re just having fun. They each have their own weapon as if they were Ninja Turtles. (They even have an April!)

The script comes together as a nice complete story with plenty of payoffs for the many characters. Having 10 characters bouncing around and always going to different parts of the block might be difficult to follow, Cornish allows the actors to add their own personal charm to their characters. The movie goes by so fast, there isn’t time for backstories or even to learn some of their names. They all function well as a group.

This film has been rolling out slowly, hitting up most of the major cities before Indianapolis. The reaction from those cities and its initial run in England has been very positive. I just wish this came out a few weeks earlier because this is one of the more satisfying summer movies. The action is strong, the characters are real and all ages can enjoy (given those ages are OK with profanity). If you thought “Super 8” had too much focus on trying to be nice to the alien, this is for you.

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11 Responses to “Attack the Block”

  1. Kim D. says:

    I thought this was ok. Nothing amazing.

  2. Hannah says:

    The music in the movie was amazing and constant. I have seen few non-horror movies that have meaningfully dramatic music that adds to every scene.

  3. Zoe says:

    I loved this movie even the second time around! My friends and I couldn’t stop laughing at some bits and were scared at others, the sign of a great movie I say, innit. Can’t wait until this comes out on DVD.

  4. Kevin says:

    Just saw this and loved it. Great review. I loved the two younger kids in the movie.

  5. Matt A says:

    I am just dying to see this. Hearing good things galore about it!

  6. Andy says:

    I’m gonna have to check this out. Looked interesting, and I’m sure I’ll be able to pick up some new British slang. Oy!

  7. lisa hundley says:

    i can’t wait to see this movie! the story is somewhat original (as opposed to the army fighting the aliens, although independence day was regular people too) and the cast is interesting. might replace my fave close encounters movie…?

  8. Nick M. says:

    Thanks for the review, I am hoping to see this soon! Looks fantastic.

  9. Austin Lugar says:

    Oh the foils of multiple drafts! The smoke sentence is back and complete. The anticipation can finally end.

  10. Katie says:

    Great review, bruv. Glad AtB finally made it to Indy! I dug this movie when I saw it in London in May. Check out my review at

  11. Keith says:

    "The way he uses smoke is"

    Is what?! IS WHAT AUSTIN?!