Attack the Block (2011)

Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi
John Boyega, Jodie Whittaker, Alex Esmail, Leeon Jones
A teen gang in South London defend their block from an alien invasion.
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Effortlessly mixing scares, laughs, and social commentary, Attack the Block is a thrilling, brisky-paced sci-fi yarn with a distinctly British flavor.
  • Screen Gems Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 13 May 2011 Released:
  • 25 Oct 2011 DVD Release:
  • $1.0M Box office:

All subtitles:

Trailer:

Thugs acting like thugs1/10
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.
You'll either love it or hate it. I choose the second option.3/10
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
Human scumbags should have been devoured by the aliens1/10
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!
Actually makes me a little angry.5/10
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"!
Alien invasion, but no British invasion...innit.4/10
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.