Attack the Block (2011)

attack the block poster 2011 movie jodie whittaker john boyega
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Good young cast, fun script

Nick Frost added nothing

Movie Info

Movie Name: Attack the Block

Studio: Big Talk Pictures

Genre(s): Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure/Horror

Release Date(s): May 11, 2011

MPAA Rating: R


I wish I was in a galaxy Far, Far Away.

A girl walking home from work is attacked by thugs led by a teen named Moses (John Boyega) outside of her apartmentm but the attack is interrupted by a crashing alien.  Sam (Jodie Whittaker) contacts the police about her mugging and sets out to identify the gang.  The gang takes the alien back to their block apartment to store it with a drug dealer (Nick Frost).  When more aliens are arrive, Sam finds herself forced to rely on her muggers to survive as the aliens invade the block.

Written and directed by Joe Cornish and produced by the people who made Shaun of the Dead, Attack the Block received wide acclaim and Cornish was praised for his feature film debut.  The movie was released first in England and then had a wide release in the U.S.


An alien family picture!

What works in Attack the Block is the kids and especially their interaction with their victim Sam.  They do a decent job developing a large cast in a short amount of time (the movie is less than 90 minutes).  Both John Boyega and Jodie Whittaker are great and there are a few nice scenes in which they interact and to develop a nice side story of their separate lives while living in the same building.  Cornish reveals that he got the idea for this relationship when he was mugged and saw the kids mugging him were just as scared as he was.


You won’t be smiling soon!

Nick Frost and Luke Treadway (as a visiting customer of Ron) really don’t add much to the plot and kind of hinder an otherwise smart and fun movie.  It feels like Frost was probably shoehorned into the role since I’m sure that Frost’s involvement that helped the movie be made…but it doesn’t balance out since his character really doesn’t serve much of a purpose.  Treadway is more comic relief, but it isn’t necessary since the concept of aliens attacking an apartment building in South London doesn’t need comic relief…it’s like an evil version of Batteries Not Included.


Stupid, stupid Rat Creatures!

I’m a bit torn on the creatures themselves.  The trailers hid their appearance wisely because they seem a bit under done.  The creatures color is described as blacker than black, and the absence of color versus just black is an interesting concept.  The glowing in the dark eyes and teeth aren’t horrible but I wish they picked another color. What I did like, was the style in which they were created.  The director used a Rotoscope-style to animate the creatures and was inspired by Ralph Bakshi’s films.  My problem with the creatures is that they look like rip offs of the Rat Creatures from comic book writer/illustrator Jeff Smith’s Bone.

Attack the Block is definitely an interesting movie worth seeing.  As a first movie it is pretty impressive and I look forward to what Cornish and some of the young cast could do in the future.  It is a bit uneven, but it leans to the the positive side so some of the problems can be forgiven.  With the rise in popularity of Boyega from Star Wars VII:  The Force Awakens, the movie is being revisited often.  See Attack the Block and a bit of warning…the accents are pretty thick.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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