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Attack the Block

4.2 out of 5 stars 445 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the producers of Shaun of the Dead, Attack the Block is a fast, funny, frightening action adventure movie that pits a teen street gang against an invasion of savage alien monsters. It turns a London housing project into a sci-fi battleground, the low-income apartment complex into a fortress under siege. And it turns a crazy mix of tough street kids into a team of kick ass heroes. It’s inner city versus outer space and it’s going to explode.


A high-concept, micro-pocketed mash note to John Carpenter and Walter Hill, this Cockney vs. Aliens saga generates an enormous amount of likability out of some very limited means. Executive produced by the folks behind Shaun of the Dead, writer-director Joe Cornish's feature debut mixes gore and gags in a ratio that should drive genre fans bonkers. Unlike many recent Comic-Con-friendly movies, however, Attack the Block admirably concentrates on actually telling a story first, with the in-jokes and pop-culture references treated as tinsel. Kicking off with a literal bang, Cornish's script follows a group of British teenage punks on the downward slide to outright thugdom. Once a horde of neon-toothed aliens starts falling from the sky, however, the kids find themselves appointed the unlikely protectors of their grotty South London housing complex. Cue the bottle rockets, dirt bikes, and ninja weapons. There's not much to the story beyond that, really, but any narrative sparseness is leavened by some healthy doses of low-budget ingenuity, chief among them the design of the negative-image aliens themselves, which suggest ticked-off wild boars after a serious Rogaine overdose. On the character front, the film also scores, quickly sketching out its team of likable (but not cuddly) bad seeds with distinct personalities. (That said, American viewers should be prepared to have at least a quarter of the slang fly over their heads.) Clocking in at a just-right 88 minutes, Attack the Block may ultimately never rise above the level of clever homage, but there's copious evidence that the filmmaker already has a firm understanding of what makes B movies tick. While his first film doesn't exactly reinvent the wheel, check out all the neat stuff in the spokes. --Andrew Wright

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Franz Drameh, Leeon Jones, Luke Treadaway, Simon Howard, Jumayn Hunter
  • Directors: Joe Cornish
  • Producers: Nira Park, Joe Wilson, James Wilson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, English
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 25, 2011
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (445 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005J4TLN4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,463 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Attack the Block" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I have to say that Attack The Block - written and directed by Joe Cornish - is a pleasant surprise on a number of levels. Given the premise, this could easily have been just another cliched alien invasion movie, but believe me, it is most definitely not. Two things immediately make Attack The Block a cut above any of the myriad films of that overworked genre: 1) As the writer, Cornish actually put a lot of thought into the script that makes this film fresh and imaginative, and (2) as director, Cornish was willing to take chances with his characters not being the usual earnestly cute 'safe' kids from American suburbia.

The basic situation behind Attack The Block is that, for some reason, alien beings are suddenly landing (crashing actually) in one of the seedier parts of London and are converging on one particular 'council block' (what here in the states would generally be referred to as a low-income housing project). The council block in question is home for a street gang of young hoodies who make up most of the main characters in the film, and the situation quickly evolves into a fight for survival as the kids in the gang try to evade or kill the aliens attacking their block who increasingly seem to be coming after them in particular.

When it comes to the aliens, Cornish successfully avoids a number of cliches. These aliens aren't cute and curious, and they aren't invading super-soldiers armed with superior technology. They're not here to make contact, they're not here to study us, and they're not here to take over the world. They aren't even sentient, but they are here for a reason, and I guarantee you'll never have seen this in any other movie that's come before; a quite notable achievement on Cornish's part.
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Format: DVD
A while ago, I had the idea of setting a zombie story in a council block, because the idea of what a bunch of hoodies would do in the event of a zombattack amused me. Joe Cornish, I'm trifle cross with you, eavesdropping on my thought-waves like that. Not cool, man, not cool.

Anyway, yes, this delivers. Now, listen - this isn't a comedy horror a la Shaun. I say that because for it to be so, I'd expect the lead to be a comic creation. Moses is not. He's a sad but hopeful comment on our times, and he doesn't do or say anything remotely funny. Nor is the female lead a comedy part. It is left to the others around them to carry the comic load. I'd say, then, this is horror-thriller FUN rather than horror comedy. If you accept that, you won't be disappointed.

The dialogue zips along as an entity of its own. It's hoodie-speak. 'Merk' for kill, 'Allow it' for 'leave it', etc. I'm very glad the US viewers were able to get along with this, because I think it's a huge part of the ethos of the film. These guys live in their own world with their own rules and language is not only a reflection of that but a large part of setting the film apart from that's out there. I mean 'Oh, my days!' instead of the ubiquitous, 'Oh, my God!' is just such a fresh relief (familiar to those of us who are around working-class black kids, but refreshing to hear in a horror film)!

So there you are, in a different world, and in the opening scene, these kids mug a nurse at knife-point. The writer and director would really have to bring it to turn this around so we care about the kids, was my thought. Then the aliens arrive in a meteor-like landing camouflaged by its being Bonfire Night.
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Format: Blu-ray
Comedian Joe Cornish's debut film is a fun, inventive and highly original creature feature with a serious social message at its heart. The theme of Alien domination of Earth has been done to death in recent years, typically with massively overblown CGI effects, but Cornish's British low-budget debut takes a very different approach from the Hollywood blockbuster, localising the alien attack to one grimy tower block of a South London council estate.

A gang of South London hoodies mug nurse Sam (Jodie Whittaker) on bonfire night as she returns home from her shift, but are interrupted when an object crashes into a nearby parked car. Gang-leader Moses is attacked and bitten by a creature hiding within and, enraged, pursues it to a nearby shelter to beat it to death, while Sam takes the opportunity to escape. The gang agree that that the creature must be from outer space ("that's a alien bruv, believe!"), and parade the corpse through the streets like a trophy, returning to the hang-out of resident drug-dealer and horticulturalist Ron (played by a long-haired, shell-suit wearing Nick Frost). However, it is not long before much larger, more aggressive beasts begin to fall from the sky, drawn to the tower block where Moses and his friends reside. Later in the film, Cornish offers up a very sound biological explanation for the invasion, rather than avoiding the issue like most brainless blockbusters.

Sam is left justifiably shaken, shocked and angry at her attack, but eventually comes to rely on her assailants as her protectors as they face up to responsibility; a mutual respect developing between them. One character early on describes the kids as `***king monsters'. Indeed they are, to begin with at any rate.
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