There could be a few more scares and laughs, but it's a blast to be drawn into this urban ecosystem that is, to us Yanks, itself a bit alien.
Keith Staskiewicz - Entertainment Weekly
This fabulously inventive debut feature, written and directed by the British comedian Joe Cornish, never flags.
Jeannette Catsoulis - New York Times
A clever blend of sci-fi and comedy, which pits toothy furball space invaders against young South London thugs.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
"Attack the Block" demands to be seen simply because it is a thrill - a pulse-raiser whose perfect construction and pointed wit make it one of the year's most exciting films.
John DeFore - Washington Post
The movie's amateurishly made. But the script is full of little surprises.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
Attack the Block strains somewhat to deliver a climactic moral, but the way it slyly shifts our sympathies to Moses and his crew (at the expense of another species, granted) without overplaying their deprivation puts more serious-minded indies to shame.
Mark Holcomb - Village Voice
The cast is splendid, the script quick-witted and the action satisfying.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
An energetic genre ride with social ambitions about race and class.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
It's a doozy, offering tight and imaginative camerawork, electric thrills, and a sharp, twisty script that plays like a social satire.
Bruce Diones - New Yorker
An entertaining thriller in the tradition of 1970s B-action films, with an unknown cast, energetic special effects and great energy.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Joe Cornish directed his own script, which suffers from thin characterization, weak dialogue, and a confused ending.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
Attack the Block attacks the alien invasion genre with wit, energy and a cheeky insolence that makes it out of this world.
Tom Long - Detroit News
It's exciting, and there is plenty of gore for fans of that sort of thing, but one wishes the mix of horror and comedy leaned a little more to the horror side of the equation.
Randy Cordova - Arizona Republic
Brit comedian-TV presenter Joe Cornish emerges fully formed as an exciting new writer-helmer with his enormously appealing debut feature.
Charles Gant - Variety
A hilarious, slam-bang series of chases and battles that cross "Gremlins" with "Assault on Precinct 13"...
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
Boldly innovative while still flashily acknowledging those that have come before - this is a movie that should (and deserves to) foster a cult audience.
Laremy Legel - Film.com
It's a mash up of Gremlins, E.T., a stoner comedy and a monster B-movie, delivered with a visual nod to 1970s teen gang films and reflecting the comedy smarts of, well, Joe Cornish.
Jennie Punter - Globe and Mail
Science-fiction buffs seeking a change of pace and fans of British pop culture shouldn't miss it.
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
An infectiously larky extraterrestrial invasion movie that respects the genre conventions while spicing the brew with distinctive local flavor.
David Rooney - Hollywood Reporter
A low-budget adventure with propulsive energy and plenty of laughs.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
This movie wants and needs to come at you like a beast in the dark. Allow it.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Pulsing with a rowdy energy, the film works as both a sci-fi horror flick and a teen adventure film.
Mark Olsen - Los Angeles Times
Attack the Block lingers with you. Cornish is a formidable filmmaker and Boyega is an outstanding talent.
Blake Howard - 2UE That Movie Show
Poses a tongue in cheek question - "What's scarier, hostile extra-terrestrials or black youth?" - and then riffs on the sad reality that many people would say the latter.
Josh Larsen - LarsenOnFilm
Attack the Block is essentially an action thriller and as such is effective.
John Anderson - Newsday
Attack the Block isn't a great movie, but it's fueled by a sense of energy that still makes it somewhat irresistible regardless of its (sometimes far too obvious) flaws.
Jason Buchanan - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Skilled, heartfelt entertainment done well.
Will Leitch - Deadspin
A creatively unconventional invasion movie let down by its utterly unlikeable heroes.
Tom Glasson - Concrete Playground
Attack The Block balances scares with laughs incredibly well and features solid performances from everyone in the cast. Gruesome aliens and a great setting that features outstanding action scenes all make for a very fun ride.
Will Chadwick - We Got This Covered
There are some parts of London that maybe aliens shouldn't be too eager to invade.
While all signs point to 'culty' for this film, it actually has all the mainstream appeal of a brilliant comedy and a terrifying supernatural horror.
Matt Looker - TheShiznit.co.uk
An adrenaline thrill ride cult action film that gets over as an unlikely sci-fi film.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Fish Tank meets Skyline in this hilarious and arresting British sci-fi comedy.
James Croot - Flicks.co.nz
A solidly executed example of the genres and conventions it intelligently satirizes.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
There's a lot more going on than meets the eye in this slick, exciting, UK monster movie.
R. L. Shaffer - IGN DVD
One of the year's smartest and most giddily enjoyable films.
Tom Clift - Moviedex
Fighting aliens with these diverse, street-smart, slang-slinging little criminals is all the more fun for fighting them in the Block: a fantastic funhouse of a battlefield, providing plenty of room for extremely witty and well-shot action sequences.
CJ Johnson - ABC Radio (Australia)
When the going gets tough. Attack the Block hangs as tough as any modern thriller should.
Leigh Paatsch - Herald Sun (Australia)
Writer/director Joe Cornish has young wannabe gangstas battling aliens in a hilarious, action-packed combination of monster movie and underclass teenage story. Trust!
Dom Phillips - MovieFIX
This pitch perfect blend of sci-fi action, comedy and social commentary winds up a gleeful delight.
Joshua Blackman - FILMINK (Australia)
Cornish and his effects team work magic with the creature designs. I won't spoil their look here as their eventual reveal provides quite a payoff, but it's an ingenious, scary, and memorable movie monster they've created.
Simon Miraudo - Quickflix
The story unfolds visually for the most part, and the body language is enough to keep us informed. It just doesn't quite meet expectations for a movie that has an interesting premise
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
Attack the Block is a fast-paced and inventive action/science-fiction film with an unconventional set of heroes.
Thomas Caldwell - Cinema Autopsy
Deserves the praise it's received.
Clay Cane - BET.com
This wonderfully talented filmmaker will get to the serious stuff later in what is sure to be his long career. Right now, he seems far more interested in crafting a good-time scare, which he achieves superbly.
Simon Foster - sbs.com.au
It successfully combines action with wit, social commentary and comedy.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Cornish raises the stakes and the emotional investment of the characters, making Attack the Block more effective in all of the different genres its trying to pull off at the same time.
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
The best science fiction movie of 2012.
Joshua Tyler - Giant Freakin Robot
There isn't a single thing I would change about the film's brisk 88-minute running time.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
This year's best tribute to E.T.
Marty Mapes - Movie Habit
Pits street kids against aliens in a fast-paced battle
Robert Denerstein - Movie Habit
Like a Brit Joe Dante, debuting writer-director Joe Cornish both respects and rattles the genre, and he transforms his low budget into a virtue.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
(I)t's the ready reinvention of the whole alien invasion conceit that becomes Attack the Block's greatest artistic contribution.
Bill Gibron - PopMatters
Employs its sci-fi tale to wrestle with issues of race and class structure -- the sort of deep thought lost on Hollywood kingpins like Michael Bay, whose idea of sensitive racial exploration was to create Amos 'n' Andy robots for that Transformers flick.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
Few movies this year have been as all-out fun to watch as this one.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
The coolest part of "Attack the Block" is how it does a switcheroo with the thugs, initially encouraging us to think they're rotters and then showing us there's more to them than meets the eye.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Cornish makes a feature debut here that's almost as stunning as when his pal (and executive producer) Edgar Wright invaded the cineplex with "Shaun of the Dead."
Mike Russell - Oregonian
Attack the Block wants us to believe that its heroes aren't all that bad . . . once you've given them your wallet.
James O'Ehley - Sci-Fi Movie Page
A throwback monster movie made by people who clearly adore the films they're referencing.
Scott Weinberg - FEARnet
So if you only go see one movie this weekend, please make it Attack the Block. See it twice in fact. Let's encourage good filmmaking.
Beth Accomando - KPBS.org
Here is a shaggy monster movie that pulls double-duty as a satire of class and ethnic barriers, and how those barriers quickly disappear when we are forced to fight for our simple survival.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
While it lacks originality, Attack the Block zooms along with energy and deadpan humor.
Loey Lockerby - Kansas City Star
One of the greater imports to hit America since "Shaun of the Dead."
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
Attack the Block has a cast of nobodies, the cheesiest special effects this side of Velveeta, and it's the best sci-fi movie you'll see this summer.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
The inky, somewhat shapeless beings aren't any scarier than your typical Muppet. Which is kind of a problem when you're offering an R-rated thriller.
Tricia Olszewski - Washington City Paper
This is the UK version of Super 8.
Widgett Walls - Needcoffee.com
This is a snarky, humorous movie about blasting aliens to bits, but if you're looking for more, you won't be left hanging.
Robert Levin - Film School Rejects
The 'hood, the Bad and the Ugly
James Verniere - Boston Herald
Has energy and some laughs, but in the end suffers from a familiar threadbare quality.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
An impressively energetic directorial debut, bolstered further by [Cornish's] own remarkably efficient screenplay.
William Goss - Orlando Weekly
Even though Cornish is a noted comedian in England, the focus here falls squarely on the action. Sure, there are a few laughs, but they're born of the characters and their situation, as their 'hood is transformed into an extraterrestrial war zone.
Brett Michel - Boston Phoenix
The British film's quick humor, stunning visuals and a story that's entertaining, dense and timely make it the year's best extraterrestrial invasion.
David Roark - Paste Magazine
...an entertaining monster versus man actioner but it is not new or fresh. And, the monsters are nondescript, making them a simply an obstacle for the street fighters, not a threat to the world.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Points for thinking outside the slimy-gooey-monster box.
Dave White - Movies.com
The power of Attack the Block comes from smacking down cinematic cliches, not just the ones we're familiar with but the ones its protagonists know well, too.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
A blast of imagination and wit and sheer nerve, an alien invasion movie twice as entertaining as the ones Hollywood has churned out all summer, made at a fraction of the cost.
Katey Rich - CinemaBlend.com
On its surface, "Attack the Block" is about unlikely heroes saving the world from an alien invasion. But those aliens...are a metaphor for all the obstacles Moses and his mates face every day...
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
It's wall-to-wall sci-fi pop-culture bric-a-brac, yet it feels organic. There's something more at stake than the fate of a movie-ish Earth.
It plays like the rabid love child of John Carpenter's Assault On Precinct 13 and Stephen Herek's Critters... and I mean that as the highest compliment.
Norman Wilner - NOW Toronto
The line for this future cult hit starts here. Get in it before your friends tell you to.
Brian Tallerico - HollywoodChicago.com
Apparently, British comedian/writer Joe Cornish was paying considerable attention while he played bit parts and hung around the sets of his friends' films Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz.
Jim Slotek - Jam! Movies
Perhaps one of the highest compliments I can pay Attack the Block is that it feels like a movie that might have played on a double bill with Gremlins back in the early '80s.
Ethan Alter - Television Without Pity
Reprises scores of films, but despite an unusual combination of story with setting and characters, adds nothing in the re-doing and sports hokey creature effects.
Donald J. Levit - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Irreverently funny without ever being spoofy...The one-liners are hilarious, and Cornish has a deft touch at weaving social commentary on urban gentrification into the narrative.
Ian Buckwalter - NPR
Unfortunately, "Attack the Block" makes two crucial mistakes: It doesn't have great monsters. And it doesn't have great heroes.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
This spunky, low-budget British action-comedy proves once again that a smart script can breath new life into even the most tired of subjects.
A genuinely great film.
Chris Bumbray - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Exciting, entertaining, and rewarding.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Too goofy to be frightening and too lame to be funny or amusing, the picture ultimately turns into an interminable waste of time.
a bit like Goonies and War of the Worlds filtered through the original English version of Skins
Jesse Hassenger - Filmcritic.com
It's surprising this thing ever got released.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
Overall, the movie's low-rent British specificity is a plus because the unique milieu provides a unique set of problems for the earthlings to overcome.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
In the vein of "Shaun of the Dead" but a lot less fun...
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
Entertaining tale of London housing-project youth battling vicious aliens should emerge as a cult hit.
Maitland McDonagh - Film Journal International
That the film treats marginalized youths with real respect while delivering such a raucous and inventive spin on horror comedy is the most welcome kind of cinematic miracle.
Brian Juergens - CampBlood.org
A perfect genre gem, a movie that works a crowd the way a great song works a crowd. Paced beautifully, written smartly and shot with style and energy.
A playful approach to the genre can be far more satisfying than Hollywood's tendency to play it safe.
Geoff Berkshire - Metromix.com
If Attack the Block doesn't cut quite as deeply as Cornish, in the movie's first third, hints that it might, at least it's powered more by modest smarts than by excessive, wasteful amounts of dough.
Stephanie Zacharek - Movieline
Minor characters strive to be known as Props and Mayhem, and Attack the Block deserves the former for the wicked way it creates the latter.
Matt Pais - RedEye
Attack The Block has an agreeably scrappy early John Carpenter Dark Star/Assault On Precinct 13 vibe, rich in moral ambiguity and gleeful, smartass genre-mashing.
Nathan Rabin - AV Club
It enhances a sense of the world rather than peddling distraction from it.
Armond White - New York Press
An elegant, deliciously wrinkly action film loaded with humor, racial tension and gloopy violence.
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out
Evokes far more childlike Spielbergian wonder than this summer's similar Super 8.
Nick Schager - Lessons of Darkness
Attack the Block distinguishes itself from its genre compatriots by prizing theme and place over referentiality and hip, out of the box "grindhouse"-ness.
Jaime N. Christley - Slant Magazine
Snappy and confident, funny and exciting - an alien space-horror comedy that will engage even those who think they're beyond this sort of thing.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
Attack the Block is exactly the kind of distinctly homegrown product that the British film industry should be making.
Ben Rawson-Jones - Digital Spy
While I enjoyed the film, I did leave the theater feeling it's been slightly overrated.
Staci Layne Wilson - Horror.com
The monsters of the popular imagination are called upon to save us from imaginary monsters.
Ed Whitfield - What Culture
Inevitable comparisons with J.J. Abrams's similarly themed "Super 8" favors writer/director Joe Cornish's seemingly effortless ability to extract laughs and shocks from an alien invasion.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
A fresh and funny twist on the alien-invasion epic.
Thomas Leupp - Hollywood.com
Writer-director Joe Cornish's charmingly zippy debut wants to be taken seriously while evoking a childlike sense of marvel, or at least early-blockbuster nostalgia. (Is this the inner-city companion to Super 8?)
Aaron Hillis - L.A. Weekly
Attack the Block may emerge as one of the summer's sleepers.
Pam Grady - Boxoffice Magazine
These are the kinds of indie movies we want to see, where it's the ideas that stand out.
Fred Topel - Screen Junkies
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
...the filmmaker keeps things moving to such an extent that the incoherence of the dialogue eventually becomes a non-issue...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
A slick horror comedy, Block contains a few fatal flaws that weaken its sense of cheery violent fun. It's difficult to root for a bunch of alien-busting kids when they all deserve prolonged spankings.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
There are enough laughs to qualify as black comedy, but it's also scary enough to be thrilling.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
Cornish has made a very accomplished debut; an exuberant genre mash-up, part sci-fi, part action movie, part comedy, executed with tremendous energy and flair.
Michael Bonner - Uncut Magazine [UK]
Cornish draws superb performances out of his inexperienced central quintet, especially John Boyega (taciturn Moses) and Alex Esmail (livewire Pest).
Michael Brooke - Sight and Sound
A mainstream film that refuses to pander to audiences, but instead works hard to win them over. As the kids probably no longer say: respect.
Alistair Harkness - Scotsman
A familiar situation is cleverly exploited, the characters gradually become individuals, and the admirable moral is that actions have consequences.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
Attack The Block is a mini marvel, and the most promising sci-fi debut since Moon.
Jordan Farley - SFX Magazine
I kept hoping Michael Caine's Harry Brown would appear ready to teach them a lesson or two the hard way.
Graham Young - Birmingham Mail
Cornish plays loose and fast with conventions of the genre and he doesn't think twice about sacrificing some of his young protagonists to the creatures to underline the clear and present danger.
Catherine Jones - Liverpool Echo
This isn't just a bad film, it's a film that's plain wrong. Shame on everyone involved.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
Balancing big laughs and big shocks, Attack the Block is a brilliant first film by anybody's standards.
Matt Bochenski - Little White Lies
Attack the Block is enthusiastically yoof.
David Sexton - This is London
This has the smarts of the best sci-fi and the action to go with it: It's Aliens meets Assault On Precinct 13.
Alex Zane - Sun Online
The picture is a little unpolished - characters get lost, tension slackens off - but Cornish pulls off his preposterous premise with flair.
Henry Fitzherbert - Daily Express
There's some OK dialogue when the kids aren't talking gangster and a well-shot, pretty exciting climax.
Roz Laws - Birmingham Post
Attack the Block's attempts to straddle horror and comedy are doomed: it's neither scary nor funny enough.
David Gritten - Daily Telegraph
With tremendous assurance and utter lack of condescension, Cornish puts his young cast playing the council-block kids at the very centre of the action. He directs them tremendously well and they reward him with performances of charm and energy...
The argot, drugs and council-estate setting may put some audiences off, but they would be missing a socially conscious, energetic horror comedy that's scary and very funny.
Andrew Collins - Radio Times
First-time feature filmmaker Cornish invests plenty of energy and humour into this alien invasion thriller
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
There are stylistic flourishes reminiscent of both Steven Spielberg and John Landis but this is firmly Cornish's show, a smoothly crafted sci-fi comedy horror that cleverly walks the line between laughs and scares.
Tim Evans - Sky Movies
Joe Cornish's entertaining feature debut is an intriguing idea and has some nice moments but it also suffers from a problematic approach to its characters and is neither as funny or as scary as it should have been.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
There is much to commend in this genre-bending first feature.
Lucian Robinson - Financial Times
With knowing nods to such genre classics as Critters and Gremlins, The Warriors and Assault on Precinct 13, Cornish has created his own gang-banging, creature-feature gem.
Jason Best - Movie Talk
Does require a huge suspension of disbelief at times - alien presence aside - and a massive dollop of absolution...
Lisa Giles-Keddie - Real.com
A very strong British monster movie and a great idea, and ode to South London, to base it all in a council block.
Sam Bathe - Fan The Fire
It's a blistering debut.
Jamie Dunn - The Skinny
Blending laughs, thrills and sci-fi chills with aplomb, Cornish's debut is nothing less than - yes! - the new Shaun Of The Dead. Believe, bruv.
Chris Hewitt (UK) - Empire Magazine
Robbie Collin - News of the World
This energetic mix of Kidulthood and Critters is insanely entertaining; we can't wait to see what Cornish will direct next.
Matt McAllister - Future Movies UK
However much goodwill you chuck at it, this isn't quite the instant cult classic you want it to be. But now and then it's as blinding as those alien gnashers.
James Mottram - Total Film
This is, in terms of its central plot, a pretty straightforward monster movie, but it has a very distinctive character.
Jennie Kermode - Eye for Film
A fun slice of nostalgic geek cinema that effortlessly blends action, comedy, horror and sci-fi to create an instant genre classic.
Jason Zingale - Bullz-Eye.com
It is one of the purest film pleasures I've encountered in a while, and the only real problem I have with it is that I want a new Joe Cornish movie tomorrow.
Drew McWeeny - HitFix
Snarling alien monsters are up against a teenage gang of South London hoodies in Joe Cornish's pacy, amusing and at times frightening action-adventure romp.
Mark Adams - Screen International
Cornish deconstructs our preconceived notions about the people we live with and around, and then he blows them all up, figuratively and literally.
Matt Singer - IFC.com
Some may complain about Cornish's readiness to assault your eyes and eardrums with zero warning, but a few loud bolts from the shadows still shouldn't result in anyone walking away unimpressed.
Peter Hall - Cinematical
One of the year's most dynamic, stunning and timeless blockbusters.
Charlie Lyne - Ultra Culture
I've seen this year's District 9 and it is called Attack The Block.
Jordan Hoffman - UGO
It fizzes and sparks, but sputters too much to really catch light.
Employs a terse set-up and sparse characterisations to rein in any sentimentality and stress the ambiguities of its rich political and allegorical depths.
Tom Huddleston - Time Out