Attack the Block

Happy to report that if aliens attacked my neighborhood, I would run. Good luck everyone!

YES

Release date: May 11, 2011
Director: Joe Cornish
Language: English

Who should watch this movie: People who didn’t like E.T. Folks who love a “cult classic.”

When should you watch this movie: At an “underrated films” film festival. At a reunion with your friends from elementary school.

The sell: When terrifying aliens descend on their home, a team of teenagers must fight for their lives and for their neighborhood. What ought to be an outrageous story quickly proves itself a hard hitting class critique. Sure, it is also outrageous, but Attack the Block takes its own analysis seriously and smartly couches political commentary in hilarious ensemble antics. One thing you can always count on is that John Boyega understands the assignment. Whether it’s Star Wars or Pacific Rim: Uprising, he holds his own amidst massive set pieces and fast-paced action. While Attack the Block is also sci-fi and also fast paced, the scale is significantly smaller. More specifically, the scale is a single housing block. While Boyega, in a way, downsizes his performance proportionally, choosing to focus on quieter moments and smaller reactions, he refuses to sacrifice an ounce of artistry. The result is a small but powerful, unforgettable, portrayal of a fully realized character. A third but far from final strength of this film is the production design, and by production design I mean the aliens. They’re so scary, and so so cool. I would not be shocked if Anish Kapoor sued the studio for copyright infringement. (The aliens are Vantablack, Anish Kapoor’s trademarked color, and they are also bloodthirsty assholes, Anish Kapoor’s trademarked personality.)

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