Attack the Block

Rated 4.0

It’s probably a stretch to think that low-budget alien-invasion action comedy could be so anthropologically attuned as to seem prescient. But there are less distorting lenses through which to look back on the London riots. British comedian Joe Cornish makes his feature debut as a writer-director with this scrappy little thing, a sort of Super 8, but with pissed off English poor people of color and therefore much better. It seems almost designed to make middle-class white people uncomfortable, and is all the more refreshing for it. Though pumped ever forward by slangy banter, aggro hip-hop poses and Basement Jaxx beats, Attack the Block’s prevailing tone is a sort of levelheadedness. Neither the invading creatures nor the social critique seem excessively designed, and the result on both fronts is rough-hewn credibility. With Nick Frost, Jodie Whittaker and John Boyega in a striking debut.