It’s Not Too Late To Stream The Best Sci-Fi Movie Of 2011

It lives up to the hype.

By Josh Tyler | Published

Attack the Block

In 2011 the movie Attack the Block received almost universal praise and almost no significant theatrical release. That praise was enough to get the movie’s lead (John Boyega) a role in Star Wars, but even after he got that part few seemed aware of his original movie’s existence. Some caught on and watched it later on DVD, but for most of the world, Attack the Block was entirely missed.

Thanks to streaming, it’s still possible to enjoy indie director Joe Cornish’s awesome alien invasion debut. It still needs support and it’s not too late.

Stream Attack the Block. Here are five reasons this overlooked indie movie is worth your time…

1. Attack The Block Has Aliens Unlike Any You’ve Seen Before


The alien invasion genre has grown pretty stale in the past few years, particularly when it comes to creating the aliens themselves. Nearly every alien invasion movie ends up trying to copy Ridley Scott’s freakish horror movie characters from the eighties, and those that don’t end up modeling their aliens after some generic bug design. Attack the Block is the first movie in a long time to come up with something new in alien design, and part of the beauty in the look of the film’s alien characters is that they’re so utterly simple.

In a sense they look kind of like hairy apes, except they’re black… impossibly black on a level your brain can barely fathom. And their mouths glow. In any other movie, they’d have given them glowing eyes but Attack the Block not only makes fun of that early on in the story, it goes out of its way not to give them eyes at all. The film deserves a lot of credit for coming up with aliens that not only look completely different, but work brilliantly on its limited indie film budget.

2. The Movie’s Human Characters Are Just As Unique As The Aliens

John Boyega

In much the same way modern alien movies have all resorted to reusing the same basic creature from outer space designs, Hollywood has taken to recycling human character types as well. Here, too Attack the Block goes its own way, creating characters that don’t fit any of the usual, stereotypical alien invasion movie molds.

Instead our heroes are a bunch of teenage thugs, completely unlikable idiots who only become likable when they’re changed by their experience. You’ll hate the people they are when the movie begins and love the people they’re starting to change into by the time the movie ends.

Love them or hate them, they all feel like real people. Not a bunch of stock character traits designed to fit some specific movie demographic.

3. Attack The Block Has A Perfect Hard-Pumping Soundtrack

Attack the Block soundtrack

The movie’s soundtrack is full of hard-pumping beats and has a completely modern sound, but there’s also something incredibly retro about it. It never tells you how to feel; instead, it feels sort of like a throwback to the good old days of alien horror movies when the soundtrack existed, only to raise the level of foreboding and make you wonder what the fuck is going to happen next.

It’s hard not to listen to the soundtrack of Attack the Block and think of those great, creepy-as-hell soundtracks on movies like Alien or The Thing. It’s not as scary as those movies, and it’s completely modern, but the influence is there in a way we haven’t seen in any other alien invasion movie in at least a decade.

4. It Doesn’t Shy Away From Violence And Anyone Can Die

Attack the Block kids

Speaking of the good old days of alien horror movies, like those films, no one in Attack the Block is safe. It’s a movie that is mostly about kids, but it’s completely willing to brutally murder those kids in the most horrific ways. It’s smart enough to know when to cut away, but it’s really pretty unflinching.

Again, this isn’t shocking stuff, but Attack the Block isn’t afraid to be brutal when it’s called for. That, too is something you just don’t see enough of in movies anymore, let alone movies about a bunch of samurai sword-wielding, fast-talking, underprivileged kids.

5. Attack The Block Makes You Think Without Preaching

Attack the Block streaming

Somewhere amidst all the running around and messing up aliens, Attack the Block also manages to say something about the people and the place that it’s set in. It does it, though, with subtlety. Missing is the scene in which a character makes a big speech about how they’re being screwed over by the system; this world is far more complex than that.

Instead, it pokes fun at the viewpoint, knowing that another movie might have gone that easier route. Rather it comments on this society of crummy apartments and absent characters while the action happens, a glimpse into the lead character Moses’s all too juvenile bedroom, a look into the life of the frightened woman who lives downstairs. It’s completely relevant to the modern world, but it’s not here to preach, simply shine a light on these people’s lives and let you draw your own conclusions.

A Truly Independent Movie

Released in a year where someone had the temerity to attempt a prequel The Thing, it’s nice to have a movie like Attack the Block out there. It is of course, nothing like The Thing, but it has that same kind of I’m not going to follow any of the rules spirit that John Carpenter’s alien invasion horror movie had way back then and that the recent Thing redo didn’t.

Sci-fi has always only been successful when done inside Hollywood, with their big over the top budgets. Independent filmmakers looking to do something other than boring dramas have always had to resort to making straight-up horror movies or the occasional zombie flick. But with changes in technology making effects-heavy filmmaking cheaper than ever, movies like Attack the Block made science fiction a viable option for the burgeoning independent filmmaker looking to make his mark on the world.

Available To Stream On Amazon And Google Play

Attack the Block is available to stream right now on Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Apple TV+, and YouTube Premium. Streaming rental costs vary, but currently, it’s priced at $3.99 for a rental. It’s worth the price.